DECEMBER 9, 2005

Hello Everyone,
There are some cool opportunities (Including an 8 Piece Soul and Motown band looking for a male singer!) along with a ton of events I also put in some thoughts about the Art of Cool conference but that is at the bottom, read it or not I thought you all might want to hear what the state has to say about arts and culture, as well as some tips that I picked up…..

Here is the Word on the Street for December 9, 2005.

I did not get a chance to do word as early this week as I would have liked but I did want to mention that at the GVSU Campus in the Padnos Gallery work by Erin Koehler and Becky Siegwart is up, and at the Calder Lobby Rachael Culver, and Heather Belmbolt. I went and saw Michelle Froh and Joel Barry’s show last night, if it is anything like the other shows in that space then they are still showing tonight and you should stop by and check it out. The space is over on 441 S. Division, Grand Rapids. Stop by if you are out and about.. it is pretty cool. Michelle has some icebergs that are pretty eclectic mix of media, and Joel makes these crazy layered pieces… I was especially fascinated by some of his charcoal drawings and relief woodcuts.

Tonight Friday December 9th
This sounds pretty cool…. At 470 Market on the corner of Market and Godfrey there is a performance by Space Versus Time there is a show at their newly remodeled performance space. Featuring a 30 Minute performance of an eve loving work by Cory Eno Diamond and Hugo Claudin, a Butoh Performance, there will be coffee and pop on hand for an inexpensive fee, and there is a 5$ entrance fee.
The venue has been started as a place to provide music lessons host Butoh and Yoga as well as a forum for the underground performance scene.

Also tonight at the UICA there is an Aritsts Reception, for the following artsts and shows…
Monroe Avenue gallery : SUCCESSION: a painting exhibition Artists: Sandra Luckett (MFA, Virginia Commonwealth University), Kirsten Kindler (MFA, San Francisco Art Institute), Betsy Stirratt (MFA, Indiana University), Darra Keeton (MFA, Queens College), Jim Morris (MFA, University of Massachusetts).
Race Street Gallery : TUESDAY NIGHT, 8 PM: Tectonic Industries Born and educated in Scotland, artists Lars Boye Jerlach and Helen Stringfellow both hold MFAs from the Edinburgh College of Art. Jerlach is now a Professor of Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin, and Stringfellow teaches independently in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In Space Gallery: FLOAT: Julie Poitras Santos Julie Poitras Santos, currently living in Spain
Front Street Gallery : WHEN SHE’S REAL: Michele R. Kleinhenz
Grand Rapids artist Michele
Portal Space Gallery : JOHN ERICKSON MUSEUM OF ART (JEMA): Sean Miller Owen Exhibiting artists to display in JEMA at UICA include Scott Betz, Derrick Buisch’s 21 paintings titled Pink Flag, and an installation titled Body Compass by Michael McCafferty.
Portal Space Gallery BARBARA BERGSTROM Arizona artist Barbara Bergstrom (BFA Art Institute of Chicago, MFA pending at the University of Arizona)
Installation BECKY WHEMER Michigan artist Becky Wehmer (BFA Art Institute of Chicago)
Portal Space : ROBYNN SMITH California artist Robynn Smith (MFA and MA, San Jose State University)

Saturday December 10th there is a Fiesta de Santa Barbara / Chango event to benefit ththe community Media Center at 9:00 Pm at the Wealthy Theater at 1130 Wealthy SE featuring the local percussionists Dizzy J & Ensemble Ra Ra, Angelo Lopez, Sunny Eselekhomhen, Jeff Morton, The Batucada Youth Group, Mandinga Capoeira, and local latin rock band Cabildo. Admission is $7.00 and all ages will be admitted. All proceeds will benefit the Community Media Center
So the rest of the info on this is
“This event will demonstrate the link between African rhythms and contemporary
music through live performance of jazz, samba, Orisha songs, rock, and dance
music. The day of Santa Barbara is celebrated in Afro-Latin cultures throughout
the Western Hemisphere and coincides with the Festival of Chango (Orisha of the drum)”

SO AWSOME this is an awesome pairing between creative artists and a community foundation, I also know that a lot of the people involved in this event really get out there and find groups that they can work with…..

Tonight at the DAAC! Manufactured Ecologist’s Playground opens with artists Jessica Hacker, Linsey Davis, and Jules Schmuker from 6-9 is the opening, come down and meet the girls they all use printmaking in a totally different way…… Then from 8-12 there is live entertainment with Chris Scamehorn, The Planet Jackers, and the Vigilantes… and did we mention that it is FREE??!!! 115 Division Ave. S, Grand Rapids MI, 49503

Also just a heads up The GVSU Ceramics Sale is next week Monday until Friday ( 12-16th) 9-5 so make sure you stop out to the Kirkhoff center main lobby ( on the Allendale Campus) for great buys on ceramic work by GVSU students…… Some of the artists like Chris S. are carried by local galleries and this is a great time to actually meet him, buy the work direct and have a really one of a kind purchase.

Amy has an 8 Piece Soul/ Motown Band that is looking for a male singer who is interested in getting serious with a pretty big band, and looking to sing a bit of Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison, ect. If you are looking for a more extensive play list and a bit more info about auditioning you can contact Amy Miller

On going if you have kids or know kids, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is having a month long event where children can make a gift and then take it home with them… a new gift can be made each week and there is no additional cost above the admission fee which is $4 and if the kid is under 2 they are free….. so this Saturday grab a kid and help inspire some creativity. The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is located at 22 Sheldon ave. NE ( right Downtown)

Cool Local Stuff

Ruby Clothing has finally released their website, it is designed by Blame and it is great, it is very in keeping with their design style and has all of their cloths on it so check it out cause it is pretty sweet, and a great place to purchase some pretty hot Christmas gifts. Also, Ruth, Sally and Kelly make great Ruby models.

I went to the Art of Cool Conference (a program thought the state to complement their Cool Cities Initiative) yesterday and thought I would share a few tidbits from that before we get into the rest of the good stuff….
First off: There was a ton of reinforcement that the future of industry and cities is linked to the creativity of its designers and an understanding of how to create unique places and items. Generally speaking, all products designed to do similar tasks or goods that are consumable, act in a similar way and fulfill a similar function they are made for and by similar people. At the end of the day People want and purchase commodities based on how they are different and the culture that is indicated through design, and the experience that surrounds that object (sound familiar!) So the difference is that here are government officials, and a governor backed initiative saying, this is the same for cities, and towns. The Government is telling these city developers and creative heads of culture, work together become so fully integrated together that there is no separation, that you are seen as fully integrated halves, when you talk about what a city has to offer economically, you also in the same breath begin to describe it sculptural assets. I LOVED hearing those in government positions saying that it is Imperative that these places utilize, highlight and FUND, the arts and culture of their communities to show what it is that separates them as unique, and desirable
Secondly: it was all about Design, Design, Design! “designers”, now it the time to understand the power of your work, and “artists” now is the time to understand how you can operate multi-functionally and use that “out of the box” mentality for the improvement of communities.
Last major thing that I wanted to talk about was that I went to a really great lecture about increasing your community based art audiences. And for as much as this lecture was looking at venues, I felt it could be used for individuals. If you want people to come and see your work, and you want to sell work, and live as an artist, you need to be proactive in the approach to getting work into the public eye. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Finding the communities that are interested in the work that you create, creating customers and patrons that are comfortable with you, your work, the atmosphere that you show in, and to show the value of your work. HOW DO YOU DO IT? Go to the places where people are, for instance if you belong to a church group, ask if you can come in and present a small talk about your work. If you have a show coming up find groups that may be interested in the theme of your work, find access to that group (use the yellow pages, internet… cold call) make an appointment to talk to the group, go in show them a preview of what you are doing, and explain your process the thoughts behind the work, make yourself accessible, assume at the end that they will want to come to your event, give them info about it. When people come to your opening make sure you ask as many people as possible, what do you think of this experience, event, ect. Then listen to what they have to say, because, in the end they will either like the work or not, but more importantly (at that point) is making sure that they enjoy the experience so that next time they come back, and maybe at some point, after you develop a relationship with you, they buy your work. There are other tips that I picked up at this conference that I think are as applicable to individuals as they are to venues and organizations.
The Moral of the Story Is! Don’t wait for people to find you because they do not need you, they do not need the arts and culture. It is up to you to show the VALUE of your work, the importance of your vision and how it relates to the community, and think about what you offer to others before you wonder why you are not selling work, or still working at that full time job instead of existing solely as an artist. More then Talent it takes marketing, work, communication, and a bit of ingenuity and time.

Now WOTS is online at or you can go to G-rad and then access it through projects…. AS Always (PLEASE) you can post comments and all that good stuff so check out G-rad. If you know of something interesting going on in the area, or have a review of and event that you attended and want to share it, drop me an email at or
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom

Posted by jenn at 3:01 PM.

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