Commerce, continued

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The photo I took on Commerce Ave. was pretty popular, so here is another one I took just before the shot from Friday. The first photo you saw was taken as I walked a few steps past the parking ramp.

Grand River Flood Panorama

Grand River Flood Panorama

I stopped to see the river today with my daughter. We’ve broken a record for rainfall in April, and the water level is causing quite a few problems in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Since I’ve dedicated so much of my time recording places in this city, I had to make a trip downtown today to see the rising waters for myself. As you can see, it was just clearing under the blue bridge as of about 12:30 today. Water levels are not expected to crest until Sunday/Monday.

*As of noon on Sunday, the bridge where I took this photo has been closed until further notice as a precaution.

Chicago Revisited

Chicago Revisited

I had the pleasure of visiting Chicago for a long weekend recently for our spring break getaway. We stayed in the south loop, which gave me the opportunity to walk by Columbia College and take some photos. You may recognize the logo above the college’s as the logo of Brunswick’s. They are one of the many companies that called this building home until Columbia College bought it in the mid ’80s.

GRAM on Sunday

 

February in Michigan can be brutal. We are usually knee deep in snow (as we are now) and the sight of sunshine is scarce. Today we decided to make a family trip to get some some fresh, chilled air and to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum. It actually was sunny today, and it felt great to break up the routine.

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For those who don’t know, I work full-time doing design work for a cool, locally owned company here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was for that reason that I was excited to see that the current exhibit at GRAM is Graphic Design – Now in Production with an accompanying exhibit Stephen Frykholm: Herman Miller Picnic Posters. My husband worked for Herman Miller in the Graphic Printing Arts Department from 1986-1992 as the Senior Graphic Typographer. He has stories about his experiences working with Frykholm, so this was a pretty cool exhibit for him to attend as well. Our daughter tagged along, and I’m pretty sure she was just thrilled to be out of the house after a week-long illness.

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I recommend the current exhibit at the GRAM. I believe that the Frykholm exhibit absolutely outshines the Graphic Design exhibit though. The graphic design exhibit was informative, but not particularly inspiring. Frykholm used this 20 year long poster project as an outlet for his creativity. I particularly enjoyed looking at the posters chronologically to see how they built upon each other to create a whole body of work.

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Sundays at the GRAM are great. If you arrive right when they open at noon, you pretty much have the place to yourself. There is also a live concert series that runs every Sunday from 2-3p.m. The best kept secret is that if you are an early bird as we were, you can listen to the musicians warm up and practice as if it is your own personal performance. It is a cool thing to experience is such a great space.

This family had a great afternoon out enjoying one of the many things our fair city has to offer.

 

 

 

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Wealthy Street

I recently met up with some good friends for dinner on Wealthy Street (Grand Rapids, MI). I lived at the corner of Wealthy and College about 12 years ago. Back then it was still a fairly gritty part of town. I have many stories about my experiences there, and none of them are bad. Even back then this area had a real charm to it. The homes are gorgeous. The famous Meyer May house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was just around the corner. The street is mostly still brick. I often thought about what this area was like back in the time of horse and carriage. That apartment still is at the top of my list of favorite homes I have had.

When I was leaving this neighborhood I could see the glimmer of renewal taking place. The liquor store a couple of blocks east has just been replaced by the Wealthy Street Bakery. Today this area is filled with locally owned eateries, shops and coffee houses. My favorite apartment is now a luxury condo.

I was early meeting my friends so I took a minute to shoot a couple of photos:

Wealthy Street Theatre

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Upcoming UICA show!

I’m excited to be doing my first ever art sale this coming weekend. I stopped by the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts this evening to find my booth assignment.

A Summer Evening Remembered

I found this pic today from a visit to Chicago back in August. We happened upon a neighborhood festival in Rogers Park. It was such a fun evening. I took this photo of the kids cheering on the dancing kitten puppet show.

This puppet show is actually a booth attached to a bike. To better see what I’m talking about, visit http://www.puppetbike.com.

My after work trip to SiTE:LAB – ArtPrize 2012

I just had the most surreal experience over at the old Public Museum where sitelab has set up shop for ArtPrize. This is a building I used to visit often in my childhood. My mom liked to take me there and I had the annual school trip. I don’t think I’ve been in here since I was about 10 years old, and it has been closed to the public for most of the time while the new public museum has been open. Not only was it so strange to see that most of the things I remember about that building are still there, most of it is totally untouched. It is like a time capsule from my memory brought right back into this physical world.

I was not the only one who was feeling this way, I overheard a lot of descriptive words about other peoples’ experience, “spooky, strange, weird…” I even heard a woman say, “I’m just a little freaked out right now.”

The way the artists in this venue worked with what was already existing here is what heightens the surreality of it all. I can’t quite decide if my childhood memories made this experience more or less crazy for me. The art here is really amazing and absolutely worth looking at. This is one of 5 venues nominated for the “Best Venue” award, and I am happy to say that I agree with that whole heartedly.

I left with over 150 photos. I was there for a little over an hour. I chose just a few to show here. You really have to see this place to believe it.

Alois Kronschlaeger’s work incorporates modern sculpture into existing painted nature dioramas that were already in the museum space.

This gives a better view of the types of spaces Kronschlaeger worked with for this piece. The space shown had a ramp that allows people to walk into the diarama.

Blane De St. Croix’s work hangs from the ceiling in the main part of the museum.

This better shows the combination of use of existing space with the addition of new work.

Me with a close up of one of the numerous taxidermy animals throughout the building.

Lily Cox-Richard’s work, Strike, combines a number of lightning rods with the museum space.

This work by Complex Movement was one of my favorites. It was a pleasant surprise tucked in the back of the museum.

This work by Filippo Tagliati was really interesting. It is a combination of photographs and video. I found the photos to be really interesting to look at.

This is a close up from the ‘Not Design’ space which featured a lot of letter press.