Art.Downtown. looking for artists

Registration for those wishing to participate in Art.Downtown., an event created by Avenue for the Arts to showcase the art scene of Grand Rapids, begins today, Feb. 8. The event itself, involving over 30 locations in Grand Rapids, will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, April 12. Organizers are looking for volunteers, artists, curators and documenters.

Art.Downtown is essentially a free studio hop presenting the works of over 300 local artists across over 30 locations all over downtown, with three trolleys on hand to transport people to the different locations. It also provides maps and volunteers to help guide visitors around downtown and showcase the shops and restaurants of downtown Grand Rapids.

The event will involve live entertainment and handmade goods and film, along with photography, prints and paintings. Venues include Site:Lab, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Kendall Graduate Studios, Craft House and even Free Radical gallery spaces.

The event also serves to help connect artists with curators as well as helping connect the public with high-quality local art. Once curators, artists, sites and documenters are registered, the organization helps to facilitate connections between everyone involved, regularly meeting for planning sessions. Curators are linked with sites, and then they contact artists to submit art in keeping with their theme.

The organization also holds a conversation series, where past participants and speakers help participants discuss potential problems and how to run an art showcase smoothly. The conversation series takes place once a week during February. The organization also hosts classes and workshops for participants.

The organization is specifically looking for student involvement, whether by volunteering, submitting art, documenting and engaging with the art or possibly even hosting a Free Radical gallery.