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EVERY ISSUE 15 73 79 85

Guest Editorial Solace Savor Guide to Hotel Dining Calendar of Events

FEATURES 33 40 51 60

Inhale Exhale Steve Frykholm Within Walking Distance Artistˇs Market

LIFE 19 23 25 29

Ritsu Katsumata After ArtPrize St. Ceciliaˇs Chamber Music Reflecting the Times

VO LU M E 1 0 N U M B E R 1 ART AND MUSIC An AHC+Hospitality Publication Editorial Director Dave Kantor Creative Director Wendy Wassink Editor Amy Marinari Design Kantorwassink

O N T H E C OV E R Photography Mitch Ranger Photography Styling Mimi Ray Style: Design

A H C+ H O S P I TA L I T Y Chief Marketing Officer Chad LeRoux Senior Marketing Manager Carrie Kolehouse

Makeup Kathy Price Model Amelia Pool, Ford Models


SOLACE™ magazine is published two times per year by Kantorwassink on behalf of AHC+Hospitality. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of AHC+Hospitality. For advertising information, please call 616.776.6980 or visit us online at Follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @solacemag.


DEAR GUEST, Welcome to West Michigan! As a proud resident and a devoted creative arts aficionado, I would like to welcome you to the Spring and Summer Issue of SOLACE Magazine: The Art and Music issue. I am pleased to share with you some of the many impressive artistic sights and sounds that shape West Michigan’s culture. I believe this rich, creative tapestry is at the heart of our region’s vibrancy, and what has fueled its growing momentum and notoriety. You’ll find inspiring and unexpected art, music and culture around every corner when exploring West Michigan. Let’s start with a walking tour of the remarkable spots that hold secret and not-so-secret treasures that can be found right outside your hotel’s doors, within walking distance (p.51). Speaking of hot spots, you can brush up on your art appreciation while visiting Grand Rapidsˇ diverse gallery spaces. Go on, start an authentic art hop to help you find a little something special to bring home with our go-to gallery guide (p.60). Need to stretch your legs on a warm sunny day? Read about the uniquely awe-inspiring Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (p.33). Or find out where some of the winning art from past competitions is hung, and read about the impact winning ArtPrize has had on artists’ lives (p.23). Have you heard the buzz surrounding the Grand Rapids band Vox Vidorra? Lead singer Molly Bouwsma Schultz is one of the most fascinating and talented singers to come out of Grand Rapids. Read about her creative process and the success of her band (p.29).

And while you’re enjoying the band’s jazzy musical stylings, be sure to read about an area legend: Steve Frykholm. Steve is a mainstay of the design community here in West Michigan, and his talented history for creating the Herman Miller company summer picnic posters has earned him fame and accolades worldwide (p 40). One of the more unbelievable stories of our area is the rising success of St. Cecilia’s Music Center, which showcases world-class chamber musicians such as Wu Han and David Finckel. The pair has called this historical music venue “one of the greatest halls for chamber music in the world” (p.25). If underground music with a performance-art edge is what you are after, meet Ritsu Katsumata. Ritsu is a prolific designer, musician and artist who is quickly becoming a household name as one of the area’s most powerful storytellers (p.19). As senior marketing manager for AHC+ Hospitality—the operator of the Amway Grand Plaza, the JW Marriott Grand Rapids and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott— I’m thrilled to be able to guide you through our amazing creative art scene and reveal a few surprises along the way. So on behalf of all of us, we’d like to welcome you to your go-to guide to the vibrant art and music explosion that is happening right here, right now in West Michigan, brought to you by SOLACE magazine.

Carrie Kolehouse

Senior Marketing Manager AHC+Hospitality




Photos by Josh Tyron

A MOVING EXPERIENCE What Makes the Grand Rapids Arts Scene Stand Apart Christian and I are happy to share our thoughts with you about the Grand Rapids art scene, and not just because we happen to work for a couple of the organizations mentioned below. When we came to Grand Rapids three years ago from Los Angeles, we got funny looks from people in both places when we announced that move. I don’t think it is any surprise that Californians think everywhere else in the country is dark, dingy, uncultured and full of tuna noodle casseroles. Nor would you be surprised that Grand Rapidians thought the pace of life must have been faster, and the cultural offerings greater, on that other West Coast. Here a few things that we think make the arts in Grand Rapids stand apart. Kristen Taylor, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) There’s always something going on. I joke that the UICA is the year-round ArtPrize (just without the voting and spectacular prizes). For people who come to Grand Rapids during the 48 non-ArtPrize weeks of the year, visits to the UICA, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the galleries on South Division’s Avenue for the Arts, LaFontsee Galleries, the Richard App Gallery, the Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art and Design, and the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will give you a sense of the breadth and quality of the contemporary art scene here all year – minus the ArtPrize hoopla (but do come back for the hoopla – it’s a blast). The summer music scene is not only chockablock with great shows, it’s really accessible. Last year we took in two shows in one night – one was a giant arena blockbuster, and the other was an L.A. punk band that I had wanted to see live for 20 years. It was a sixminute walk between the two, and our spots at both venues were sweet. You also don’t want to miss the concerts at Meijer Gardens. Even if the band is maybe your partner’s absolute favorite but not yours, the terraced lawn, sunset and great sound will make your night.

Your best bet for finding what’s happening today isn’t always going to be the paper or venerable publications like this one. Get on your favorite social media platform and look and ask around. You will find smaller gallery happenings, pop-up art shows and concerts, and artist talks that aren’t advertised by more than word of mouth. And then go…art can’t happen in a vacuum. You have access to instructors who are leaders in their fields. Try Dance in the Annex, which has individual master classes and a series now through August. Christian Gaines, ArtPrize The music scene here is collegial and collaborative. There’s definitely a distinctive West Michigan sound – strong harmonies, women’s voices, folk influenced. Before we moved here, I researched the local music scene, and one band kept coming up – the Crane Wives. So my very first time in Grand Rapids, I left my hotel and walked to St. Cecilia Music Center and saw a Crane Wives show. Now I have a show on WYCE 88.1FM community radio where I can spin local music favorites like Vox Vidorra, Channing & Quinn and the Accidentals (from Traverse City). I love local music. The independent film scene in GR is fragile but growing. The UICA absolutely kills it with their film programming, and you can usually find me taking in a show there, whether it’s the Open Projector Night showcase of emerging Michigan short films or a new independent film. Celebration Cinema’s Indie Film program at Woodland is also first-rate. And there’s a tight film community here that’s making films. I was just at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin where Grand Rapids filmmaker Joel Potrykus worldpremiered his new film “Alchemist Cookbook.” In the interests of welcoming artists working in any medium from anywhere in the world, you can also expect ArtPrize to be showing more films in the future.

I would say that those who are zeroed in on their art are also zeroed in on their city. Along with the strong decades-old traditions of art and design, there’s also a real focus on urbanism in Grand Rapids. What makes a city? How do we come together and solve problems? For Grand Rapidians, the creative problem solving that art can provide is key to answering these questions. It’s exciting to live in a city that’s small enough where you can make a real difference, but that’s big enough for it to really matter. Since we moved here, we’ve seen cool new ideas take hold like crowdsourced and publicly funded murals, and a concentrated effort by businesses, nonprofits and artists to use art to create a unique sense of place in our city rooted in creativity and collaboration. The arts scene in Grand Rapids gathers the contemporary creative community for dialog, exploration and learning about art practice, culture and society. Grand Rapids knows that the arts are more than an amenity of urban living: they’re a vital part of the fabric of modern life.

Kristen Taylor, PH.D.

Development Officer Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA)

Christian Gaines Executive Director ArtPrize





By Kelly Brown Photo by Mitch Ranger

RITSU KATSUMATA Around the World and Back Again At 51, Ritsu Katsumata is a prolific artist, a multimedia designer and a well-known name in the Grand Rapids underground art community. By day, she manages the communication design group for Amway. By night (or whenever the mood suits her) she is a violinist, collaborator and revolutionary. Her music is shaped by her history – by the world and a half of which she has lived, the people she has met and the music that has changed her. “I’ve always been the different one.” Ritsu is anything but your traditional artist. Her work is eclectic and far from the norm. Her music is just as much a composed symphony as it is a multimedia project or performance art. She is a storyteller. A Japanese-American from a blue-collar neighborhood outside Philadelphia, Ritsu grew up playing the classics – Bach and Beethoven, music from the dead white guys. Post-high school, she found herself in New York, worn thin by what she considered the banality of classical music. “I stopped playing…I was disenchanted by the whole classical music scene.” Labeling herself an outsider, she felt compelled to push the limits in Portland, Oregon, where she continued her music career, this time with an electric violin. There, her music began to shift. She found inspiration in the early 90s grunge scene of the Pacific Northwest and reinvented her practice. “That was pure rock ‘n’ roll. I played Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin…I was playing in small rock bars with drums and bass.” Later, she entered a Jimi Hendrix competition, certain that this opportunity would allow her to break from the rules of the classical world. She was disqualified. She was playing the wrong instrument.

After her time in Portland, Ritsu packed up and moved across the ocean to Tokyo, where her music became more experimental as she began to push the boundaries of her genre. From Tokyo, she moved back to New York where a group of colleagues at Cornell introduced her to world music and her art shifted once more. Then it was back to Pennsylvania, where her work transformed into more of a theatrical performance. “The Iraq war…sadness…it all started to influence my music. I started to incorporate more classical work…requiems and such in honor of the fallen soldiers.” At last, Ritsu is here in Grand Rapids and has found a home collaborating with the underground music scene. “I’ve made good friends here who also incorporate true fusion into their art.” Last year at ArtPrize, Ritsu performed “In the Beginning” at SiteLab. This full-blooded symphony was inspired by the Judeo-Christian creation story. The piece works in reverse. It starts with everything being beautiful and man looking out over his work, and moves backward into nothingness. When you watch the video of her performance, you might first notice that she looks nothing like the way you might imagine a 51-year-old violinist would look. No – instead, she dons a crown of wild, Medusa-like dreadlocks, an electric red kimono and combat boots. She embraces her violin (which, by the way, looks nothing like the classical wood-grain instrument you’re used to seeing) and sways around her set with effortless, righteous power.

The piece reflects the places she has been. There are the garage sounds from Portland and world music from Tokyo and New York. There’s a sense of modernism from Grand Rapids, and finally her music comes full circle with her roots in classical music from Pennsylvania. The performance is as viscerally thrilling as it is emotional and artistic. Now Ritsu is settled, geographically speaking, in Grand Rapids, but her music continues to evolve. “The people I’ve met here who are artistically inclined are fantastic…I’m currently working on film scores and I will probably do ArtPrize again. I have this fantasy of doing a version of the creation stories of different cultures around the world. I’d get this huge tapestry of these cultures. I wonder, what does Metamorphoses, the Roman creation story sound like? I try to imagine; how will I weave that together?” Keep an eye out for a chance to catch the electric work of Ritsu Katsumata this fall.




By Terri Finch Hamilton

AFTER ARTPRIZE What happens to artists after they win ArtPrize? They get famous. Their bank accounts swell by $250,000. And, inevitably, they keep making art. These are the past winners of ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids-based contest that brings 1,500 artists here each fall. We'll tell you a bit about them, their art, where you can see their winning pieces and how theyˇve changed since winning. RAN ORTNER, 2009 WINNER His Art: “Open Water No. 24,” a massive oil painting of the sea. Where to See It: Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids. Before vs. After Winning ArtPrize: Ortner had to borrow money from a friend in order to make it back to Grand Rapids when his work made it into the ArtPrize top 10. “I had done an adequate job of living my life as a starving artist, cobbling resources together to pay my rent,” he says. “On the heels of ArtPrize, that life was over.” Now he has assistants and his work is on exhibit all over the world. Artistic Tip: “We all know what it’s like to sit on the sofa and binge-watch TV. After a while, we think, ‘Ick, I’ve got to get out there and live a real life.’ Find some art,” he urges. Giving things consideration is huge. It doesn’t happen passively. It takes effort. But it’s important to take the time and say, ‘I’m going to see what richness is out there for me.’” CHRIS LAPORTE, 2010 WINNER His art: “Cavalry, American Officers, 1921,” a large-scale pencil drawing. Where to See It: The Grace Hauenstein Library at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, where LaPorte is associate professor of art. Before vs. After Winning ArtPrize: Before ArtPrize, buying fruit was boring. After ArtPrize, a man approached LaPorte in the produce section at Family Fare and told him “Cavalry” had changed his lukewarm relationship with his father-inlaw. The man brought his wife’s dad to see “Cavalry,” and they spent two hours with the drawing, talking and connecting. “He told me it strengthened his relationship with his fatherin-law and his marriage,” LaPorte says. “I was speechless. It made me want to get back to my studio right away.”

Artistic Tip: “I tell my students to try to create something more than you think you ought to. If you’re coloring with your kid in a coloring book, why not draw your own picture to color instead?“ MIA TAVONATTI, 2011 WINNER Her Art: “Crucifixion,” a glass mosaic 13 feet high and 9 feet wide. It weighs 425 pounds. Where To See It: Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. Before vs. After Winning ArtPrize: She had a successful art career before ArtPrize, but now the growing world of mosaic art has embraced Tavonatti as a champion, resulting in speaking engagements and workshops all over the world. She has two years of commissions backed up. Artistic Tip: “You can make a mosaic from pretty much anything. Pasta. Shells. Stones. Paper. It can become a physical thing, if you go out and hunt for found objects. It doesn’t cost anything. All you need is a board and some glue.” ADONNA KHARE, 2012 WINNER Her Art: “Elephants,” an 8-by-36 foot carbon pencil drawing of a menagerie of animals that’s also an allegory of events in her life in the past few years. Where To See It: “Elephants“ is at the Boise Art Museum through May 29, along with 30 of her other drawings. A similar but smaller work, “Elephant Whirlpool,“ is part of the permanent collection at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Before vs. After Winning ArtPrize: Khare was a public school art teacher before ArtPrize. Now she’s a full-time artist, exhibiting her work around the country and the world. She also teaches workshops and speaks to art educators. Artistic Tip: “I don’t know a better way to work through problems than to create art. There’s no right or wrong. You can’t mess up. Who cares what it looks like? What’s most important is that you did it.”

ANN AND STEVE LOVELESS, 2013 AND 2015 WINNERS Their Art: Ann won ArtPrize in 2013 with her 5-by-20 foot quilt “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.” The couple won together in 2015 for “Northwoods Awakening,“ part photograph, part quilt that’s 25 feet long and 5 feet tall. It portrays the spring forest in Benzie County, where they live. Where To See It: “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore” is on permanent display at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore visitor’s center in Empire. “Northwoods Awakening” is at the Crooked Tree Arts Council in Petoskey through mid-May. Before vs. After Winning ArtPrize: Before winning ArtPrize, Ann traveled to art fairs to sell her quilted art. These days, she and Steve get requests for commissioned work, travel the country speaking and don’t have time for art fairs. Artistic Tip: “Pay attention to what’s going on around you,” Steve says. “Be aware of the clouds, the breeze, movement and shadows, the light or lack of light. Tune in. Open up.” ANILA QUAYYUM AGHA, 2014 WINNER Her Art: “Intersections,” an intricately carved 6-foot cube, illuminated from within by a light bulb and suspended from the ceiling. It projects its shadows on the surrounding walls — and on its viewers. Where To See It: “Intersections” is at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, through July 10. Before Vs. After ArtPrize: An associate professor of drawing at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University, Agha showed her work at other universities, focusing on education. Now she’s preparing for a commercial show at a New York gallery in October. Artistic Tip: “Creativity comes in many forms. It could be writing, poetry, dance, cooking, yoga. What gives you the most joy? Make time for it.”





By Carrie Kolehouse Photo by Lisa-Marie Nazzucco

ST. CECILIA’S CHAMBER MUSIC The True Sound of Music In 1883, nine Grand Rapids women were determined to help their fellow residents truly appreciate music – and even study it if they so desired – by creating a music organization and hall. While they certainly had high hopes for this facility and its services, they couldn’t have predicted that it would one day be referred to as “one of the greatest halls for chamber music in the world” by some of the world’s top classical musicians. But this was, in fact, written in the guest book at St. Cecilia Music Center by David Finckel and Wu Han, just before the two were named “Musicians of the Year” by Musical America. Visitors to Grand Rapids could easily miss the brick building at the corner of Ransom and Fulton streets in downtown Grand Rapids, as it is discreetly placed among historic churches, the city library and a cluster of restaurants. But should they be fortunate enough to stumble upon the charming building or catch a concert there, they find what world-renowned musicians have referred to as a hidden gem. St. Cecilia’s pristinely engineered hall, Royce Auditorium, provides beauty and outstanding acoustic sound quality that happens to lend itself perfectly to chamber music.

Chamber music is the form of classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or large room. Instead of a full orchestra, just a few instruments play, which allows audiences to experience the beauty and intricacies of each one more intimately. St. Cecilia’s exquisiteness has not been a secret to local musicians and concertgoers for the last hundred years. But in 2009, the venue achieved even greater prominence after hosting a performance by the accomplished Emerson String Quartet, which included cellist David Finckel. Struck by how magnificent the acoustics were, Finckel arranged to return to the venue with his wife, Wu Han, a featured pianist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and co-artistic director with the esteemed New York organization. After the couple appeared together on stage in 2011, They were both eager to support St. Cecilia’s and return to the stage and city they had quickly developed affection for. Collaborating with Executive Director Cathy Holbrook, they decided to start a classical music series that would present the best chamber music concerts heard only in the finest concert halls in the world. This became the St. Cecilia’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series, which brings the best and brightest international chamber music artists to Grand Rapids on a regular basis.

The question was: would Grand Rapids residents appreciate such a series? Would they be as excited about listening to classical music in an intimate and formal concert hall as they are about the national acts at the nearby arena? Perhaps proving that St. Cecilia’s founders had succeeded in creating a community that appreciates fine music, the chamber music series quickly formed a fiercely loyal and enthusiastic audience that fills all 650 seats of Royce Auditorium at every concert. And for the past four years, that audience has clamored for the series to continue. Now moving into its fifth year, the latest chamber music series will include three concerts, featuring artists like up-and-coming violinist Sean Lee (whose debut album reached the Top 20 on iTunes “Top Classical Albums”) and Italian pianist Alessio Bax. The unique partnership between St. Cecilia’s and an internationally revered organization like Lincoln Center is a testament to how acoustically superb Royce Auditorium is, and to how desirable a destination Grand Rapids has become for artists from around the world. For tickets, visit or call 616.459.2224. For more information on the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, visit


Route 7



Stops at Leonard & Quarry

Stops at Leonard & Quarry








Route 7


Route 15

Route 15

Stops at College & Lyon





Stops at Fulton & LaGrave



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Route 6

BREWERY VIVANT Stops at Lake Drive & Dwight

Stops at Lake Drive & Atlas R

ADVERTO RI AL Advertorial by Brittany Schlacter Photos by City of Grand Rapids Planning Department and DK



15 THE ART OF TRANSPORTATION IN EXPLORATION Good Eats, Craft Brews & Spirits and Family-Friendly Fare Merely a Bus Ride Away Grand Rapids has one of the nation’s best public transportation systems. It’s easy to ride The Rapid to our city’s most popular bars, restaurants and attractions. Passes and schedules are available at the front desk of your hotel, and the bus stop is just a short walk outside your lobby entrance. We are proud to rank as one of America’s top cities for fun and recreation. That’s because we combine the cultural diversions of a cosmopolitan city with the spectacular recreation of an outdoor paradise. Riding The Rapid to explore Grand Rapids’ treasures is part of the joy that comes with visiting our city. The Rapid is home to Michigan’s first bus rapid transit line, the Silver Line. Our ridership has nearly tripled since 2000, and our daily weekday ridership averages 43,000. The ease, cleanliness, on-time service and affordability of The Rapid are among the reasons why we are recipients of the American Public Transportation Association’s Outstanding Mid-Sized Public Transportation System in North America Awards in 2003 and 2014. Here are just a few examples of where The Rapid can take you (see map at left for more details): W



Brewery Vivant Belgian- and French-inspired beers? Don’t miss Brewery Vivant, located in Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood in a gorgeous refurbished historic funeral home. The craft brews may be the foundation of the establishment, but the pub menu holds its own. Locals rave about the duck confit nachos, poutine, and the steak and frites.

Y Love


Bonus attraction: Brewery Vivant also happens to be the world’s first LEED-certified microbrewery! While you’re visiting, stop by the local art galleries and other wonderful shops in East Hills.

Terra Terra is a locally sourced farm-to-table restaurant located in the heart of Eastown on Lake Drive. Terra boasts artisan, seasonal, healthy plates that will leave you craving more. For lunch, don’t miss the hearty soups and salads. The ever-changing dinner menu often features sea scallops, pork belly and earthy wood-fired pizzas. On weekends, Terra hosts a show-stopping brunch menu. The Mitten Brewing Co. Head to the West Side to indulge in unique craft brews and pizza. The Mitten Brewing Co. is located in a restored Victorian-era firehouse. Taste a variety of pizza types by ordering the Pizza Flight and indulge in a Country Strong IPA or Coconut Brown Porter. Bonus attraction: Don’t miss the old-timey baseball decor. Sports enthusiasts will feel at home. Long Road Distillers Ride Route 7 to Grand Rapids’ first craft distillery. There you’ll find amazing, one-of-a-kind cocktails featuring handcrafted spirits. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum Visit Grand Rapids’ hands-on learning space for kids! Riding the bus is the perfect way to make visiting the museum an even more memorable adventure. The entry fee for anyone ages 1–64 is just $8.50 and $7.50 for anyone 65-plus. Nantucket Baking Company & More On the edge of the historic Heritage Hill and Midtown neighborhoods, you’ll find a spectacular grouping of mouthwatering businesses. Drop by Nantucket Baking Company to grab a freshbaked treat or loaf of bread, Lyon Street Café for amazing coffee and more baked goods, and Martha’s Vineyard for access to a global wine selection, as well as gourmet groceries.

Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St., Grand Rapids 616.719.1604 • Nearest bus stop: Route 6, Lake Drive & Dwight Terra 1429 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids 616.301.0998 • Nearest bus stop: Route 6, Lake Drive & Atlas Mitten Brewing Co. 527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids 616.608.5612 • Nearest bus stop: Route 7, Leonard & Quarry Note: Route 7 does not run service on Sundays. Long Road Distillers 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids Nearest bus stop: Route 7, Leonard & Quarry Note: Route 7 does not run service on Sundays. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum 11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616.235.4726 • Nearest bus stop: Route 15, Fulton & LaGrave Nantucket Baking Company & More 615 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids 616.350.9292 • Nearest bus stop: Route 15, College & Lyon

Brittany Schlacter is The Rapid’s public outreach coordinator of digital media. Learn more at





By Adam Barr Photo by Logan Zillmer Photography

REFLECTING THE TIMES Vox Vidorra's Molly Bouwsma-Schultz Ask most artists how they’d describe their music and you’re bound to get an answer like this: “We’re a lot like so-and-so meets so-andso.” Ask Molly Bouwsma-Schultz, lead singer of soulful indie-rock band Vox Vidorra and you’ll get a much different response. “When we perform our song ‘All In One Place,ˇ I feel like I’m getting on a spaceship,” she says. Other songs give off a different vibe. “It’s more like going into a basement party and twisting all night long.” Ignoring genres and musical comparisons, Molly considers her music something that should be sensed rather than labeled. “I like to think our songs will make you feel, and maybe help you imagine, being in a place you aren’t actually in.” Before Molly’s music made her listeners feel something, she was touched by some of the greats. Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye – all influenced the artist, singer and songwriter she is today. Now, alongside her band mates Scott Schultz, Ryan K. Wilson and Theo Ndawillie II, Molly is bringing a presence to stages across Michigan, one that’s engaging, dynamic and not afraid to have fun. “We like to get weird,” she says. Weird is one way to put it. Compelling is another. On stage, Molly moves, bends and sways with the music, her voice as her instrument, sometimes in a low, haunting tone and other times with a dramatic high note reminiscent of vocal legends. It comes naturally, but Molly is not immune to the pressures of live performances. “I still get nervous, mostly because I care deeply.” She attributes this to the investment she puts in, but also the investment others make in return. “When people come to see a performance, that’s one of the best things they can give you, so I feel like I’m a perfectionist,” she says.

Away from Vox Vidorra, Molly is an avid fan of local artists – musical and otherwise. It’s a community she’s seen grow and change over her lifetime. “I’ve been a part of the evolution in the sense that I haven’t moved away and I’ve been an active performer,” she says. “I think the output here is amazing.”

Upcoming Shows

Part of the shift Molly has seen is the new opportunities for artists to share their craft. “I think we’re leaning in the direction of becoming a city where people of different demographics and age groups are going to start putting their stuff out there,” she says. “It feels like a place where you can do that, at least more than it did when I was little.”

May 21 Frauenthal Center – Muskegon, MI

May 07 May Day Fest – Detroit, MI May 13 The Mitten Bar – Ludington, MI May 20 Shorts Brewery – Bellaire, MI

Jun 10 Buttermilk Jamboree Festival – Delton, MI Jun 14 Tuesdays in the Park – Fennville, MI Jun 25 Radi8er Launch Fest – Grand Rapids, MI Jul 07 GRAM on the GREEN – Grand Rapids, MI

Despite the evolution, Molly also sees a tension, one that exists between the artist and the community that supports it – or doesn’t. “When you have a lot of something, you can take it for granted,” she says. “My hope is that we can all learn to do a better job at respecting artists so that they aren’t stifled in sharing their art.”

Jul 28 Filling Station – Traverse City, MI Jul 29 Farm Block Fest – Allouez, MI Jul 30 Oredock Brewery – Marquette, MI Aug 05 Mile of Music Festival – Appleton, WI

When asked about her creative process, Molly quotes one of her major influences. “Nina Simone said it best when she said, ‘The artist should reflect the times.’” Molly takes this message to heart by writing about the topics, issues and inspirations all around her. Sometimes it’s the hard-to-watch stories on the news. In other cases, it’s inequality, race or religion. “There’s a moment when something’s happening, when I’m reflecting on what’s going on around me, and I can create art from it,” she says. “I process reality by making music.”

Aug 06 Shorts Fest – Elk Rapids, MI


T H E R I C H A R D & H E L E N D E VO S



& S C U L P T U R E PA R K



III M U S T- S E E S C U L P T U R E S There are seven major works of contemporary sculpture placed throughout the Japanese Garden. Here are three you should definitely see, including one that you really have to hunt for.

I Jenny Holzer (American) “For the Garden” 2015. Thirteen granite boulders scattered across the garden, etched with 22 short Japanese poems. II

Zhang Huan (Chinese) “Long Island Buddha” 2010-11. Copper (black-hued) sculpture of a giant reclining Buddha head. (shown at left)

III Masayuki Koorida (Japanese) “Existence” 2013. Five granite boulders ranging from approx. 3-7’ in height and approx. 4-8’ in width. Feel free to contemplate what these boulders represent…or if, in true Zen tradition, these boulders simply are.

T O V I S I T T H I S N E W J A PA N E S E G A R D E N I S T O E X P E R I E N C E A W O N D R O U S PA R A D OX T H AT ’ S A S B E A U T I F U L , B A L A N C E D A N D M YST I C A L AS T H E L I F E - G I V I N G A RT O F B R E AT H I N G . YO U B R E AT H E I N . YO U B R E AT H E O U T. O V E R A N D O V E R A G A I N . T H E S E A R E O P P O S I T E – S E E M I N G LY O P P O S I T I O N A L – A C T I O N S . Y E T E A C H I S U T T E R LY D E P E N D E N T O N T H E O T H E R T O M A K E R E S P I R AT I O N F U N C T I O N AT A L L .


This spectacular Japanese garden works on you in much the same way, requiring no more conscious effort than it takes to breathe. The surroundings are spectacular, yet remarkably serene. Passing through here is exhilarating, but strangely calming. Every step you take and every turn of your head brings you face to face with a rush of beautiful new sights, intriguing sounds, changing textures and fragrant aromas. Yet somehow, this multisensory barrage works to empty you of whatever stresses and anxieties you walked in with. You can literally feel your blood pressure drop at the same time your engagement with this beguiling garden rises. And it all happens automatically – as naturally as a pool of water finds its own level. In many ways, the Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a great paradox in and of itself. It’s situated half a world away from its country of origin. Covering eight acres, it’s much larger than most native Japanese gardens, which are built onto crowded islands with scarce real estate. (Alternately, you might look at this as a collection of several Japanese gardens – including a bonsai garden, Zen-style rock garden, three faith reflective gardens and others – all brought together into one). While the space appears to be mostly natural, most of this Japanese Garden was transformed by human design. Hills were built up from flat grade. Wetlands were bordered and reshaped to form two ponds with dry


ground surrounding them, peninsulas jutting into them and an island in the middle. Thousands of boulders were brought to the site and precisely placed. Likewise, thousands of plants and trees were transplanted here, adding to others that were preserved on-site. While this Japanese garden was only opened to the public in summer 2015, it looks to be generations old. Many of the Japanese maples and other deciduous trees were planted to angle out over the water, mimicking their natural growth pattern over long periods of time. And many of the pines are pruned into niwaki – carefully nurtured garden trees representing the idealized form of a mature tree. Most significantly, this place is a magnificent yin and yang of the very old meeting the very new. On the one hand, it is deeply steeped in the ancient traditions of Japanese gardens, built around dozens of components that are quintessential to this form: everything from prominent water features to meandering walking paths to abundant boulders to beautiful bridges, gates and gazebos – all designed to produce greater serenity and inspire deeper contemplation by visitors. On the other hand, the Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden is highly innovative, thanks to the addition of seven major works of contemporary sculpture that were exactingly selected and placed throughout this garden. This unique combination carries the millenniumold tradition of the Japanese garden into the 21st century. It echoes Meijer

Gardens’ dual mission of showcasing beautiful horticulture and sculpture. And it creates a one-of-a-kind Japanese garden unlike any other that exists today. It was none other than Fred Meijer who came up with the idea to add a Japanese garden to the already world-famous Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park that he and wife, Lena, first opened in 1995. It was one of his last requests for Meijer Gardens, floated to Gardens’ President and CEO David Hooker in 2009. Soon after, the couple seeded the Japanese garden with a major donation and brought on Richard & Helen DeVos to be its namesake partners. Over 200 other community members have generously contributed since, raising the $22 million needed to create this incredible space and sustain it for generations to come. Internationally acclaimed master Hoichi Kurisu was hired to design the Japanese garden and bring it to life. He worked on-site for more than three years to create this masterpiece, doing everything from initial pencil sketches to final landscape designs to personally overseeing the implementation of his vision – directing details down to the precise placement and angling of countless individual boulders and trees. “My wish is that the beauty and tranquility of this space will touch visitors very deeply for many generations to come,” said Mr. Kurisu. He’s almost certain to get that wish, since this Japanese garden was very intentionally created

to be enjoyable in all seasons and to age gracefully long into the future. Indeed, while it opened to the public in June 2015, “gardens are never really finished,” says Director of Horticulture Steve LeWarre. “It’s a living thing that will continue to take shape and grow for decades to come.” Indeed, there is no bad time to visit the Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, come winter, spring, summer or fall, morning, afternoon or early eve. (Just make sure Meijer Gardens is open before you come). You’ll find a changing kaleidoscope of delights here throughout the year. Likewise, with so many different discoveries and gardenswithin-the-gardens awaiting you, you simply can’t turn the wrong way once you’re here. Just come when you can, then go wherever your feet may wander. And don’t be surprised to find yourself returning again and again – repeatedly breathing in this transcendental space that also has the power to take your breath away.

IIIII C A N ’ T- M I S S E X P E R I E N C E S The Guide Map lists 53 Points of Interest throughout the Japanese garden. Here are just five experiences recommended to give you a well-rounded sampling of all this amazing place has to offer.


Stroll the Entrance Garden Pathway, along the Entrance Garden Pond, on to the Cherry Tree Promenade. See and smell dozens of beautiful cherry trees in bloom (in season). Arrive in a cul-de-sac meadow with many large boulders, including several etched with the words of short, pithy Japanese poems (part of the Jenny Holzer sculpture “For the Garden”).

II Climb the spiral walking path up Viewing Hill. From here – 35 feet above pond level – you’ll get your first 360° view over the entire Japanese garden, discovering its scale and layout. Or come up near the end of your visit for a visual recap of everything you experienced here that day. III

Take your time crossing the northwest tip of the main Lena Meijer Pond on the amazing Zig Zag Bridge. A series of right-angle turns perhaps triples the distance, but you won’t mind. You can also pause on several bump-outs built into the bridge to take in the sights, out of the way of other visitors.


Stop to enjoy the captivating sights and sounds of the North Waterfall from the Stone Bridge, or the South Waterfall from the Wood Bridge, both along the eastern side of the Japanese garden.


Cross over the centrally located Ached Bridge, passing the stone pagoda, to arrive on the Family Island. From here, you can survey most of the Japanese garden at eye level. Enjoy a very different perspective – from a short distance, over the water – of several of the larger works of contemporary sculpture, especially “Long Island Buddha” (by Zhang Huan) and “Existence” (by Masayuki Koorida) to the north.









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a conversation with the herman miller design legend, 2016 WRITTEN BY CHRISTINE EMMER



A legend resides in the heart of Grand Rapids. For the past 45 years, Steve Frykholm has been responsible for creating Herman Miller’s stunningly innovative graphic identity. His iconic Picnic Poster Series has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. He’s even been awarded the AIGA medal – the highest honor for graphic designers.

I was honored to spend a quiet morning sipping coffee in his impeccably designed downtown residence. Steve sprinkles a little bit of resilient delight and curated optimism on everything he touches, whether it’s his shiny bright red front door or the way his chuckle sneaks out of his famous beard and puts a mischievous twinkle in his eye.



q You’ve been living in downtown Grand Rapids for almost two years. Anything you miss about the country?

a If I miss it, I just go out there. What I miss is the sounds and the smells. The tree frogs in the spring and the geese flying over in the fall. The sound of the pileated woodpeckers drilling holes. The smells of fresh mowed hay. The silent sound of snow falling. Of course, it’s an equally exciting sight when a peregrine falcon lands on my balcony railing in the city.  Grand Rapids, when I moved here in 1970, was very conservative, very provincial, very quiet. I really prefer it now. There’s much more going on. 

q Since your graduation from Cranbrook, you’ve stayed in Michigan.

a After Cranbrook, I was in New York interviewing and received a call from Herman Miller asking if I would be interested in helping establish an internal capability. I said: “Yeah, I’d be interested, but I’d really like to be on the East or West Coast. I’ll give it some thought.” I became aware of Herman Miller when the product designers at Cranbrook would go to the annual sale and come back with these amazing treasures. That was my first awareness of them.

q So how could you not be interested?

a I thought I’d stay for a couple of years. Here I am – 45 years later. Now I am a consultant. And I have a lot more flexibility with my schedule, which I like.


q Is the picnic posters series your proudest achievement?

a It’s one of them. We also did a magazine called SEE. It's graphically very rich; whenever I was working on it, I thought - I have the best job in the company. Another is the 35 annual reports I did for Herman Miller. I never looked at them like a financial statement. I looked at – what did the company do this year, what are we proud of, what makes this company tick. And it happened to have numbers in it. 

q A lot of us are led to bigger cities for design work. What do you think is the special sauce that gives West Michigan a voice?

a I suppose it might be the industry that’s here. The client that wants better design. And there are a lot of creative leaders in this town, in all the arts. Our theatre is good in this town. Our ballet is excellent – the best ticket in town. It has music, motion, costume, sets, lighting. I’ve gotten so I see performances twice – I go different nights because I see different things. 

q Ever think about taking a ballet class?

a I did, once. I didn’t do real well *laughs*.




You’ve mentioned you ask, “What’s next, and then what’s next?”

So the what’s next. What’s next for Grand Rapids?


I’d like to see more local restaurants with personality – like Donkey, Osteria Rossa and Grove. When I have a craving for a liverwurst sandwich, I go to the Schnitz deli. 

That was actually a technique that Charles Eames practiced. Because there are always consequences and the more you can anticipate those, the better your solution. It’s this holistic thinking – the what’s next. In improv, they say “Yes, and...” Well. George (Nelson) told me, when someone says “but” that’s when you should start to listen. “I like it, but...” or “I’d love to go to the ballet, but…”



The lesson is this. Have people in this city really experienced the ballet, the theatre, the opera, the symphony? Or the smaller venues - like concerts at GRAM? Even the conventions and trade shows. Heck, a ping-pong tournament. Just get out there.

some of steve’s favorite spots The Grand Rapids Ballet ( GRAM ( UICA ( Donkey Taqueria ( Schnitz Deli ( Osteria Rossa ( Grove ( Grand Rapids Theatre (



MURAL FOR GRAND RAPIDS by Jeff Zimmermann SW corner of Division and Pearl


Inspiration comes from many places: new cities, an incredible meal, a walk outside on a sunny day, sculptures that are happened upon unexpectedly. Grand Rapids has a special blend of culture and history that creates a perfect venue for a day of exploration. Once a furniture capital, Grand Rapids, while becoming a more modern city, has fortunately not shed its appreciation for quality and artistic excellence, creating a strong influence on the city’s love of the arts. The Amway Grand Plaza, serving as the historical cornerstone for downtown, and the Courtyard and JW Marriott locations are prime starting points for many fantastic downtown adventures.

LA GRANDE VITESSE by Alexander Calder Calder Plaza, Ottawa Ave NW You can’t miss the Calder – its siren-red color calls and beckons you to explore. The sculpture, enhancing an area that once was a project of urban renewal, was the first NEA-sponsored public piece and created an uproar among many Grand Rapids residents at the time. Controversy always accompanies change, and that was the main story surrounding Calder’s progressive red sculpture. Now an icon for the city, the Calder logo created by James Ward is emblazoned on everything from the city flag to city trucks.

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM AND WMCAT Murals by Tracy Van Duinen 11 Sheldon Ave. and 98 Fulton St. E Just beyond the UICA are two spectacular murals created by Kendall College of Art and Design graduate Tracy Van Duinen. On the exterior of the Children’s Museum is Van Duinen’s “Imagine That!”, a 2009 ArtPrize winner (coming in second place and earning the artist $100,000). Also created by Van Duinen in 2011 is “Metaphorest” located on the west side of the WMCAT (West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology) building, located just a few blocks up Fulton beyond the UICA. 51

THE GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM 101 Monroe Center Street NW Directly behind Rosa Parks Circle you will find the GRAM, the world’s first LEEDŽ Gold Certified art museum. Truly blessed by generous donors and a deep passion for the arts, Grand Rapids has invested heavily in bringing significant art to the area. While there is a great appreciation and pride in local Michigan artists, the museum also houses works spanning from Renaissance to Modern art, with a regular rotation of visiting exhibits. The building itself is a serene place to explore. Newsweek named it one of the top buildings of the year in 2007. The third floor houses gems by Miro, Dali, Picasso and Wyeth, with an exceptionally cool room devoted to architectural pieces and midcentury modern furniture by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, Charles Eames and too many more to list. Truly a must-see stop. If you need to bring home a consolation gift to your kids, a stop at the museum gift store offers a wide range of artistic and educational items that will make packing to go home an exercise in strategic packaging, but well worth the effort.

THE FED GALLERIES@KCAD Kendall College of Art and Design 17 Fountain St. NW Located in Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD), The Fed Galleries is a hub of provocative exhibitions and collaboration with regional, national and international artists. This gallery is a wonderful and unexpected treasure, focusing on traveling exhibitions. This high-end, modern wing of what is otherwise known as a classical, historical building has a great flow and energy to its art pieces and is simply not to be missed.

THE GRAND RIVER Blue Bridge, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Gerald R. Ford Museum, The Fish Ladder Many treasures lie on the shores of the Grand River. If you brought your running shoes, lace them up and head out to the riverfront. You'll get not only an awesome scenic run, but also an educational tour. Look to your left to see the famous Blue Bridge, one of the longest truss bridges in Michigan. Just across from Pearl Street Bridge is the Grand Rapids Public Museum (272 Pearl St. NW) with its picturesque carousel that overlooks the river. Take a right after you cross the bridge. You will see the Gerald R. Ford Museum (303 Pearl Street NW) where you will pass archeological mounds of the Hopewell people, Ah-Nab-Awen Park (303 Pearl St. NW), statues of famous people both of yesteryear and of not so long ago, as well as the tombs of a Grand Rapids native the late President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford. If you continue north you will discover the famed Fish Ladder (560 Front Ave NW) sculpture by Joseph Kinnebrew, an environmentally beneficial work that was designed to allow migrating fish a way of circumventing the strong water currents of the Grand River to move upstream. I highly recommend at this point a stop into The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck for a quick appetizer (the tuna tartar is outstanding). Paired with one of their signature cocktails and a seat overlooking the river, you will find yourself enjoying the ease of life in Grand Rapids. To fire yourself back up after a relaxing break, head over to Mad Cap (98 Monroe Center) for what many locals claim to be the best coffee in town.

THE SUNBURST Amway Grand Plaza Lobby 187 Monroe Ave. NW A piece that is worth seeing is located in the Amway Grand Plaza’s lobby, the Sunburst. Make your way through the Monroe entrance and notice the magnificent Sunburst sculpture on the far northern wall. Originally commissioned by the Moroscini family in Genoa, Italy in 1740 for their castle ballroom, the family home was tragically destroyed by fire, and the handcrafted piece was salvaged and purchased by the Amway Grand Plaza for the lobby.

PYRAMID SCULPTURE by Joseph Kinnebrew North Side of Calder Plaza, Ottawa Ave. NW Within the same square as the Calder is a tribute to a local lawyer (besides medicine and beer, there are a lot of law firms in Grand Rapids) with an elegant, understated sculpture called The Pyramid by Joseph Kinnebrew (who also designed the famed Fish Ladder on the Grand River) located outside the federal building. A large tire swing had been added to the piece in 1977 but was removed in 2013. Plans are in place for a new swing to be added. Carl Rickert, a security guard for City Hall, said of the swing, “It was a destination for old-style backyard fun, with everybody taking a turn and enjoying a laugh. And it soon will be again.”


IN OUR ELEMENT by Ruben Ubiera 48 Front Avenue NW (underpass) This is a not-to-be-missed, major immersive painted mural that tells the history of street art as an art form from the Egyptian hieroglyphs to 1980s graffiti tags. The work includes stunning painted orange koi swimming in a massive sea of blue that encapsulates the history of street art and gives the medium reverence. If you look closely, toward the end of the mural you will see a hand holding a torch; when the daylight catches it just right, the torch lights up as if it were on fire. Metallic paint reflects both passing headlights and natural light coming in from an opening in the bridge, making it look as though the fish are swimming — providing perspective and movement in an otherwise 2-D piece.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING Fulton Street, East Park Place, Grand Rapids Public Library and Fountain Streets There are too many historical sites to count, but given the reasonable radius of the downtown, they are all within a few minutes' walk from wherever you may be. Highlights include Park Congregational Church, St. Cecilia’s Music Center, Fountain Street Church and, across the street, the statue of Helen Claytor (an activist in the Civil Rights movement and the first African American YWCA president). There is also the Grand Rapids Public Library, which still houses a functional public pay phone. Historic indeed!

ROSA PARKS CIRCLE by Maya Lin 135 Monroe Center St. NW Located across from the Amway on the northwest corner of Monroe Center is Rosa Parks Circle, created by architect Maya Lin, famous for creating the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., when she was a 21-yearold graduate student at Yale. In the winter, this spot is a favorite ice rink where locals and visitors alike can lace on their skates and enjoy the quaint and always charming endeavor of skating, taking breaks for hot chocolate at Kilwin’s fudge shop across the street. Spring through fall, this city center serves as a place for public performances and concerts, drawing those passing by into a communal gathering that is often spontaneous and memorable.


UICA 2 Fulton W Grand Rapids is lucky to have the UICA (Urban Institute for Contemporary Art). For the $5 entry fee you can have a peaceful stroll through an eclectic mix of modern art that give you moments of pause as you take in diverse and inspirational pieces. If you’re looking for an alternative evening plan, the UICA is a nice departure from your ordinary movie theatre; here, you can view independent and foreign films as well as cult classics such as Monty Python. Again, hit the gift shop for cool things that are unique to Grand Rapids, often created by local artists.


Michigan Street NE

Michigan Street NW



8 9


Division Ave N


Monroe Ave NW


Ottawa Ave NW


Lyon Street NE

Lyon Street NW



14 11 12





Pearl Street NW 13





ta wa

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13 The Grand Rapids Art Museum 14 FED Galleries@KCAD 15 Mural for Grand Rapids 16 Helen Claytor Statue 17 Fountain Street Church 18 Grand Rapids Public Library 19 Park Congregational Church 20 “Metaphorest” Mural at WMCAT 21 “Imagine That!” Mural at Children's Museum 22 UICA

Commerce Ave SW


Ionia Ave SW

BY THE NUMBERS 1 Gerald R. Ford Museum 2 Grave of Gerald R. and Betty Ford 3 Grand Rapids Public Museum 4 Carousel 5 Blue Bridge 6 “In Our Element” Mural 7 The Fish Ladder 8 The Pyramid Sculpture 9 La Grande Vitesse 10 The Sunburst 11 Rosa Parks Statue 12 Rosa Parks Circle


Fulton Street W 22

Division Ave S




Oakes St SW Oakes St SE



Wander through Calder Plaza, visit the GRAM or take a trip to Meijer Gardens, and you may notice that Grand Rapidians like to surround themselves with art. But while the magnificence of Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse is best suited for a public scale, this city is also full of opportunities to see, learn about and purchase artwork for your own private collection. We toured four different galleries, each with its own distinctive personality, to suggest where you might begin (or expand) your collection of original art.





PERCEPTION GALLERY 210 FULTON ST E 616 451 2393 They say good things come in small packages, and it’s certainly true at Perception Gallery, where you’ll find a cozy room rich with some of the finest paintings ever to come out of Grand Rapids. Listed American artists from 1850 to 1960 are the focus here, including noted Grand Rapids artist Mathias Alten, known for his oil landscapes and seascapes. You’ll also find a fine collection of ornate original and reproduction period frames. Opened in 1989, Perception grew out of owner Kim Smith’s fascination with historic art, which began when he worked for another gallery. “One day, I asked the owner how many places like his existed in the state of Michigan, and he said, ‘Ask me how many exist in the country. There might be 10 left.’ Well, that was intriguing, and here we are.” Today, Smith is widely recognized for this particular niche. “Since Mathias Alten was a Grand Rapids artist, it makes sense that the work’s got to stay here. When people in other states end up with it, they call the art museum or Grand Valley State University, and they recommend me. I’ve bought Altens in maybe 25 states. He was a real working artist.”


Despite 39 years in the market, Smith says, “You don’t sell art to people; people buy art. The unfortunate thing is, it does have to fit a budget. But the way I look at it is, you’ve got carpet in your house. When you get rid of that, you pay someone to come in and tear it up. What was your investment in that? Quality of life. You walked on it every day. That’s what art can be. An investment in the quality of your life. Is it going to go up in value? I don’t know, but I can tell you this: it’s not going to lose as much value as your carpeting.” He glances over at an empty wall where a painting has been sold and says, “How pretty is that painted wall? To me, it looks pretty darn bare. But if you hang something on it, it comes to life. And I think that’s what somebody has to think when they buy art, is that it means something to them.” If you visit: Pair your trip to the gallery with a visit to the GRAM, just blocks away. The museum houses more Mathias Alten paintings as part of its permanent collection.

RICHARD APP GALLERY 910 CHERRY ST. SE THERICHARDAPPGALLERY.TUMBLR.COM App was working as a photographer when he started framing his own prints and carrying other artists’ work. In 2006, his business became a full-fledged gallery, and today, his spacious, light-filled rooms in East Hills are brimming with vibrant work. “At any given time, we’ll have 30-70 different artists on display, and we rotate work all the time,” he says. “We have a great knowledge of not just the work, but the artists and what they were doing with the work, and that’s an important part of the deal.” While the gallery has a strong local presence—including the sought-after expressionist landscape painter Sheryl Buddnik and graphic mixedmedia artist KEEMO—it also represents work from regional, national and international artists. “Abstracts, big color, good movement, those are things that excite me right out of the gate,” says App. “We also have really strong sculpture, and we always have good photography. We have a heavy influence of Cuban artists right now.” When asked about his target audience, App says, “There are people who can afford art, and there are people who can’t afford not to have it, and we cater to both of those.” Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned collector, he’s confident that you’ll know the right piece when you see it. And if you’re intrigued by a certain artist, there are plenty more in the archives. “For every painting on the wall, I probably have eight in the basement,” says App. “The common misconception for people who haven’t collected is that they don’t know anything about art,” he says. “What I always respond with is: People know what they like. If you were to get into a car and turn on the radio, regardless if it was classical or jazz or R&B, you’d stop when you found something you like. Art’s the same way. You don’t have to have a trained eye to know what you like. If your favorite color is purple, that’s okay. If it’s a seascape you’re all about, that’s good too. There is no right or wrong in what you like.” If you visit: Come between meals and happy hour so you’ll have time to browse before the neighborhood’s bustling with visitors to the brewery and restaurants down the street. (Then stay for a bite).


BEERHORST FAMILY HOME 106 FULLER AVE. SE STUDIOBEERHORST.COM Tucked into a busy street in an urban neighborhood, you’ll find the funky family-run gallery of Rick and Brenda Beerhorst. It’s easy to distinguish. Just check the driveway for their one-of-a-kind Wonder Wagon, an embellished gypsy caravan that serves as the family’s traveling gallery. While the Wonder Wagon makes occasional appearances at the Fulton Street Artists’ Market and other events, Rick and Brenda have been showing their critically acclaimed paintings from their home since 2006. Their two-story garage has been converted into a rustic showroom featuring Rick’s folk-inspired narrative portraits and cityscapes, woodcut prints and wooden carvings, along with Brenda’s non-objective painting with an emphasis on color and pattern. While people may discover the Beerhorsts’ art on their website or in Etsy shops, “Coming here is a really important step,” says Rick. “That’s where people get caught in our dragnet of beauty and love. It is unique, it’s not classy, but it’s peculiar.” That “peculiar” environment stems from a conscious choice to focus their lives around art. “Most of our mentors had been academics,” says Rick. “We wanted to pursue something that would allow us more time and freedom for our art. To make that possible right from the beginning it was like, how can you live on nothing? We found a way. It’s been family living frugally, doing art and being part of the community.” Beerhorst believes that art is an important part of enriching that community. “Art is not practical in the sense that we think about it,” he explains. “It’s not a roof. It’s not a pair of work boots. But it lifts the spirit. It enables you to actually live. And when you purchase artwork, you are not just investing in yourself, but also investing in this cultural community. In a sense, we’re all in this together. If you buy something from Richard App or something from Rick and Brenda, we all win. This is a cultural family, and we’re all in this together.” If you visit: Call to arrange a tour, and plan a return trip for the first weekend of May or December, when the Beerhorsts host their semi-annual Family Art Show featuring art and crafts by Rick, Brenda and their children.


LAFONTSEE GALLERIES 833 LAKE DR. SE LAFONTSEE.US Once upon a time, two art students met, fell in love and opened a frame shop. Now 29 years later, their little enterprise has grown into the area’s biggest commercial gallery. As they approach their 30th birthday, owner Scott LaFontsee says, “We realized the reasons we started are the same reasons we’re here today. First, to have a place where artists could show their work and feel like it was represented professionally. Second, to have a place where the general public could go see art and not feel that it was pretentious. And third, to employ people who work in the arts.” Today, their spacious, airy gallery in Eastown hosts an eclectic array of art from across the country. “We want to have a huge variety,” says LaFontsee. “If we had just abstracts or landscapes, someone might leave thinking, ‘There's nothing there for me.ˇ” He says finding the right art is highly personal. “If you take something home and put it on your wall, now you have to justify it when all your friends come over. You want something you’re comfortable enough with so when your friend says, ‘What the hell is that?’ you can say, ‘It’s a so-andso,ˇ and be proud and happy about it.” At the same time, he wants visitors to be free to tell him what they don’t like. “If you come in here and say, ‘I love that but I can't stand that,ˇ it doesn’t bother me a bit. It’s part of human nature to say, ‘if I don’t understand it, I don’t like it.ˇ But when you give people permission not to like something, it opens the door for them to really see it.” He adds, “Art is forever. And it’s connected in a deeper way. Look at how you feel about a piece of art on a day when you’re melancholy, and then on a day when you feel really good and the sun is shining. The art’s going to be totally different. Why? Because it’s about that connection, about you and them.” If you visit: Ask to see the artist bios in a binder at the front desk. And if Scott stops by, start a lively conversation by telling him what you don’t like!

SOLACE SAVOR The Mighty Melon

How to pick out the perfect melon: Thumping is for amateurs. Pick that puppy up. If it’s heavy for its size, heavier than it looks, you’ve picked yourself a winning melon.



You don’t need an expert to tell you nothing is sweeter on a sweltering summer day than a juicy slice of watermelon. And, try as you might, you probably won’t find a better way to prepare it than to cut a big slice, start eating and let the juice drip down your chin. But some of our local chefs have tried, and succeeded, to improve on the mighty melon. Here’s how three of them made more of melons.

Tim Moreno | Cygnus27 Spicy watermelon sauce 1 serrano chile, seeds and stem removed 1/2 shallot, minced 3 tbsp carrot, minced 1/2 roma tomato, chopped 1 Garlic clove

2 tbsp vegetable oil 1/4 cup agave nectar 1 cup watermelon, chopped 1/3 cup lime juice, fresh 1 tsp kosher salt,

Tuna and Watermelon Ceviche

Directions: Sauté pepper, shallot, carrot, tomato and garlic in vegetable oil. Add agave and drop heat to low. Cook 5 mins. Place mixture in a blender or food processor and mix until very smooth. Add watermelon and lime juice, blend until smooth. Strain mixture. Reserve sauce. Ceviche Tuna, 1/2 lb, small dice Watermelon, 1 cup, small dice Spicy watermelon sauce, 1 batch

Aged balsamic, 1 tbsp Basil chiffonade, 1 tbsp Coarse sea salt, 1 tsp

Directions: Mix tuna and watermelon sauce. Allow mixture to “cook” for 1 hour. Add all other ingredients and toss. Serve cold. Enjoy.

Cygnus27 Amway Grand Plaza 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 A 60-second elevator ride to the 27th floor. Amore Trattoria Italiana 5080D Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, MI 49321 A 10-minute drive (well worth it) from your hotel. Donkey Taqueria 665 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 A 5-minute taxi ride just southeast of your hotel.

Visit for more delicious details about featured chefs, restaurants and recipes.

Jenna Arcidiacono | Amore Trattoria Italiana 4 cups of seedless watermelon (small dice) 1 cup red onion (small dice) 2/3 cup of fresh cilantro (chopped) 1/4 cup of fresh mint (chopped)

1 oz of your favorite tequila (optional) Small diced jalapeño to taste Zest and juice of one lime Salt and pepper to taste

Spicy Watermelon Salsa

Directions: Mix all ingredients and eat with homemade blue corn chips!

Donkey Taqueria | Darryl Rector 1 cup Tequila Blanco 1 cup Tequila Reposado 1 cup Tequila Anejo 1 ½ cups orange Curacao 2 lbs watermelon, cubed and frozen

1 cup lime juice ½ cup agave syrup Himalayan pink salt 1 European cucumber peeled, cubed and frozen

Margarita de Sandia

Directions: Freeze the cubed cucumber and watermelon chunks. Add all ingredients to large-capacity blender. Blend till smooth. Dip rim of choice of margarita glass into water. Dip wetted rim into Himalayan pink salt. Pour delicious margarita into glass all the way up to the rim. Hide your car keys and chill.




Whether you’re looking for a snack on the go, a happy-hour hot spot or a fine dinner created from fresh, local ingredients, our selection of restaurants and bars delivers. (In fact, you might start wishing there were more than three meals in each day).

CYGNUS27 Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Enjoy the skyline as you dine atop the Glass Tower in Cygnus27. Indulge in a variety of Latin-inspired dishes at this AAA Four-Diamond restaurant for an epic dining experience. Casual attire, no jacket required. Private dining also available. 616.774.2000 x6525

SIX.ONE.SIX Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Those looking for highly inspired cuisine in a stylish, cosmopolitan setting, look no further than With its unique combination of globally influenced tastes to regional favorites fashioned from local produce, offers a feast for the senses without even having to leave the area code. Free validated parking is available. 616.242.1500

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza At Ruth’s Chris Grand Rapids, we’re picky about our steaks. That’s why we serve only the finest USDA Prime beef available. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, choose from our chef’s seasonal specials, fresh seafood selections, classic sides and homemade desserts. Casual attire. Private dining also available. 616.776.6426




GARDEN COURT LOUNGE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza The Garden Court Lounge is an excellent choice for breakfast, a quick drink with friends or for a few moments relaxing with a fine glass of wine. The Garden Court Lounge offers a breakfast buffet and an array of beer, wine and cocktails. 616.774.2000 x6524

LUMBER BARON BAR Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Settle into the warmth and charm of this historic bar—complete with fireplace, leather club chairs and a large selection of premium drinks and food from the Ruth's Chris Steak House menu. The Lumber Baron is a grand choice for the beginning or the conclusion of a night on the town. 616.774.2000 x6522

GP SPORTS Located in the Amway Grand Plaza One large screen, 30+ HD flat screens, pool tables, outdoor patio seating, pizzas, signature burgers and more. The best place to unwind, enjoy a casual meal and catch all the sports action! 616.774.2000 x6528

THE BISTRO Located in the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Eat. Drink. Connect. Serving American food, bistro style, whether it’s grab-and-go for someone on the run or guests dining in for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Bistro offers fresh seasonal options that are satisfying favorites. The Bistro serves Starbucks beverages and has a full-service bar, known as the S-Bar. 616.776.3400


THE KITCHEN BY WOLFGANG PUCK Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Made-from-scratch comfort fare meets authentic global classics in the kitchen of the world’s first celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck. Known for his genuine warmth and love of his craft, Wolfgang offers gourmet pizzas, appetizers, salads, noodles and entrees for lunch and dinner in this casual and inviting restaurant. Pair your meal with a signature cocktail or enjoy a glass of wine in our bar overlooking the tranquil Grand River. 616.776.3230

THE KITCHEN COUNTER BY WOLFGANG PUCK Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Quick, healthy and delicious, The Kitchen Counter serves freshly baked and made-to-order breakfast and lunch items with ingredients to nourish and delight. 616.776.6428

MIXOLOGY Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Casual, upscale service and atmosphere invite guests to enjoy the comfort of the solarium and the views. This type of service allows guests to complete business tasks while still enjoying the access to great food and libations. 616.242.1448

STARBUCKSÂŽ COFFEE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza, JW Marriott Grand Rapids and Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Stop in to Starbucks for a morning or afternoon treat. It's the perfect place to enjoy a large selection of your favorite made-toorder specialty coffee drinks, teas, pastries and much more. 616.774.2000 x6565 616.242.1500 616.242.6000



EVENTS local happenings

We might be a small city, but there’s never a shortage of big things to do here. From art, theatre and live music to sporting events and productions kids will love, our region offers a full range of tantalizing options.

Art and Exhibitions

Theatre and Performing Arts





Through April 30, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park The annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition at Meijer Gardens is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. Tropical butterflies from around the world fly freely in the Tropical Conservatory. Some may even land on you! For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit

April 29 & 30, 2016 DeVos Performance Hall The unforgettable event of the season: Charles Gounod’s grand, five-act opera, Romeo and Juliet, based on the classic story by the great poet and playwright William Shakespeare, is packed with notable duets with the young, star-crossed lovers. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit

Opens May 21, 2016 Grand Rapids Public Museum Organized around Earth’s spectacular eco-zones, Earth Explorers brings the unparalleled adventures of National Geographic to life. Learn about the daring men and women who venture into dangerous and remote parts of the world to discover new places, help protect our planet’s biodiversity and unearth new scientific discoveries. For more information, call 616.929.1700 or visit


May 4, 2016 DeVos Performance Hall Fans can expect more comedy, talk show antics, multimedia presentations and music (yes, he sings), but Brown is adding a slew of fresh ingredients including new puppets, songs, bigger and potentially more dangerous experiments, and what every cook needs in his kitchen – fire! For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit


Through May 22, 2016 Grand Rapids Art Museum Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are has sparked the imaginations of generations of readers since its publication in 1963. This exhibition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication with original drawings, prints, posters and more from one of the greatest children’s authors of the 20th century. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit

Through August 14, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Italian sculptor, painter and graphic artist Mimmo Paladino is among the innovative artists responsible for the revival of figurative art at the end of the 20th century. In an exhibition exclusive to Meijer Gardens, Paladino will be installing works in the sculpture galleries and in the Arid and Tropical conservatories. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit



Through July 31, 2016 UICA UICA will present an original exhibition of experimental works that will each utilize the 2016 PANTONE® Color of the Year, leading viewers on a journey from inspiration to realization with work by local, national, and international artists and artisans. For more information, call 616.454.7000 or visit


Through August 14, 2016 Grand Rapids Art Museum Showcasing some of the strongest works exhibited across Grand Rapids during the annual art competition ArtPrize, this collection of contemporary works will be displayed in and among the museum’s permanent collection. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit

Through September 4, 2016 Grand Rapids Art Museum This exhibition focuses on notable pieces of 20th-century furniture from GRAM’s collection, with select loans. The 20th century saw tremendous change in furniture design and production as designers pushed new technologies and discovered new manufacturing processes. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit


Through September 17, 2016 Grand Rapids Public Museum The Robot Zoo reveals the magic of nature as a master engineer. Eight robot animals and more than a dozen handson activities illustrate fascinating real-life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors, a giant squid propels itself and a fly walks on the ceiling. For more information, call 616.929.1700 or visit


Calendar of Events presented by:

September 21 – October 9, 2016 Three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what art is and why it matters. Downtown businesses and public spaces exhibit the art, as the public decides the winner. For more information, visit

a b ov e left


May 15, 2016 DeVos Performance Hall David Sedaris, author of the best sellers Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and regular National Public Radio contributor, will be offering a selection of new readings and recollections as well as a Q&A session. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit


May 18-29, 2016 DeVos Performance Hall Following an acclaimed sold-out tour of the United Kingdom, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success The Phantom of the Opera will come to DeVos Performance Hall as part of a brand-new North American Tour. For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit


June 3–19, 2016 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Race, rage and civil rights are at the heart of this deeply personal (semi-autobiographical) story by Tony Kushner (Pulitzer Prize for Angels in America). This is the story of Caroline Thibodeaux, a divorced mother of four, and a middleaged African-American maid who works for a Jewish family – the Gellmans – in 1963 Louisiana. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit


June 9, 10 & 12, 2016 St. Cecilia Music Center What happens when a prince who, destined to marry a princess, falls in love with a barmaid on his university campus? Presented to audiences in Beer City, USA, is a coming-of-age love story set in a Heidelberg biergarten. Featuring costumes designed by students from Kendall College of Art & Design’s Fashion Studies program. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit

Maurice Sendak: Where the Wild Things Are

Modern Design at GRAM: 20th Century Furniture




June 12, 2016 DeVos Performance Hall Multiplatinum Irish music sensation Celtic Woman presents Destiny, an enchanting new show and world concert tour. The Destiny Tour features an entirely new production with timeless Irish traditional and contemporary standards wrapped in the group's celebrated style. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit


June 21–26, 2016 DeVos Performance Hall The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” And Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” It’s The Book of Mormon, the nine-time Tony Award®-winning Best Musical from the creators of South Park. For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit


September 9–25, 2016 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre This 2011 Tony Award®-winning new play is about a single mother who loses her job at the Dollar Store. Filled with humor and grief, Good People will have you discussing the cultures of class, poverty, wealth and privilege long after the show. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit


Journey & The Doobie Brothers


May 6-8, 2016 DeVos Performance Hall With his recognizable scores, John Williams has redefined the art of film music. Listen as Bob Bernhardt conducts your Grand Rapids Pops in selections of his beloved movie hits, including Home Alone, Saving Private Ryan and, of course, Star Wars. For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit


May 24, 2016 Van Andel Arena Rock powerhouses Disturbed and Rob Zombie co-headline an electrifying tour across the U.S. with support from Pop Evil. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit


June 6, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Initially associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early 1980s, Tears for Fears later branched out into mainstream rock and pop, which led to international chart success with hits like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


June 8, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Assembled in Los Angeles in 1965 for the television series The Monkees, the quartet of Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and the late Davy Jones brought together a singular mix of pop, rock, psychedelia, Broadway and country to their music. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


June 13, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Of Monsters and Men first had the world talking in 2011 with their infectious quadruple-platinum smash “Little Talks.” The indie folk-pop band from Iceland’s 2016 tour includes a stop at Coachella in Indio, California, along with this performance at Meijer Gardens. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


June 15, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park A six-time Grammy winner, Emmy winner, singer, songwriter and producer, Ziggy Marley has released twelve albums to critical acclaim. The eldest son of music legend Bob Marley, Ziggy’s concerts include feel-good reggae tunes perfect for a summer evening. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


July 11, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park The Decemberists are an indie folk band whose 2011 album The King Is Dead entered the Billboard album charts at Number One, and the track Down by the Water was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Song category. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


July 13, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Singer-songwriter Ben Harper plays a mix of world beat, folk, soul, blues and rock and is known for his guitar-playing skills and live performances. Harper reunites with the band he formed in the early nineties for their Call It What It Is tour. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


July 14 & 15, 2016 Cannonsburg Ski Area Triumphant classical favorites - including Wagner's “Ride of the Valkyries” and Tchaikovsky's “1812 Overture” - and the best fireworks show in West Michigan come together for a soaring kickoff to Picnic Pops 2016! For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit


July 21 & 22, 2016 Cannonsburg Ski Area Rock musicians join your Symphony for a night of Freddie Mercury hits with the music of Queen. Hear hit songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Somebody to Love, Another One Bites the Dust and more. Get ready, because they will rock you! For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit


July 28 & 29, 2016 Cannonsburg Ski Area The surf is up with the music of The Beach Boys. Get into the “Fun, Fun, Fun” spirit with Papa Doo Run Run’s high energy show featuring their award-winning re-creation of the hits of The Beach Boys. They never fail to get the entire audience on their feet and singing along! For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit


Cultural and Community Events DIANA ROSS


July 25, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Motown, R&B, soul, disco and pop legend Diana Ross first broke out in the 1960s as part of the singing group The Supremes, one of the most successful female vocal groups of all time. She went on to release one hit single after another throughout her solo career, which favorites like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I’m Coming Out.” For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park August 31, 2016 A best-selling artist, respected guitarist and accomplished songwriter, Bonnie Raitt has become an institution in American music. The nine-time Grammy winner, who Rolling Stone named one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time,” just released her 19th album. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


July 27, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park An American rock band formed in 1986 in Buffalo, New York, The Goo Goo Dolls are best known for their many notable and popular singles including “Iris,” “Slide,” “Black Balloom” and “Name.” For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park September 1, 2016 American rock jam band O.A.R. (Of A Revolution) was founded in 1996 and has transformed from an independent college band to a billboard chart-topper over the course of a long, varied career – with hits like “Shattered (Turn the Car Around).” For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit



July 28, 2016 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Acclaimed TV late night show host, admired stand-up comedian, best-selling children’s book author, much-indemand corporate speaker and lovable TV and movie voiceover artist Jay Leno takes the amphitheater stage for a night of entertainment. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit


Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park September 7, 2016 Two popular musical acts will take the stage – including Gaven DeGraw, who’s debut album Chariott sold over a million copies – and Andy Grammer, who is emerging has gained success with hits like “Honey I’m Good,” and shared the stage with artists like Taylor Swift, Train, and Colbie Caillat. For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit


June 3–5, 2016 Downtown Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts is a community celebration featuring arts, entertainment, food and fun activities for the entire family – including six stages and dozens of food vendors operated by local nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit


August 20 & 21, 2016 Rosa Parks Circle The fifth annual GRandJazzFest will bring together notable jazz performers as well as highlight up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences. Bring your lawn chair or blanket for this family-friendly musical event. For more information, visit


October 7-9, 2016 14 Local Polish Halls Celebrate Polish Heritage with the city’s annual three-day event in which the city’s normally private Polish halls open their doors to the public for food, drinks and activities, including the pageant for Pulaski Days queen. For more information, visit

Grand Jazz Fest photos by Christopher Wilson Photography



August 2, 2016 Van Andel Arena Journey and The Doobie Brothers will bring the San Francisco Fest 2016 tour to Van Andel Arena, bringing together two of the iconic groups that helped define the San Francisco Sound. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit


August 2, 2016 Cannonsburg Ski Area The genius of David Bowie's innovative range of musical styles influenced multiple generations of groundbreaking music. Now, hear his iconic music performed as never before with the Grand Rapids Pops featuring Guest Conductor Brent Havens and a full rock band; taking you on a symphonic odyssey that pays tribute to the legendary musician and epic storyteller David Bowie. For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit


August 4, 2016 Cannonsburg Ski Area The symphony welcomes award-winning R&B sensation Boyz II Men for the final performance of our summer season. Hear their trademark harmonies and infectious rhythms as your Grand Rapids Pops join them on hit songs including On Bended Knee, End of the Road, Motown Philly, I'll Make Love to You and so many more! For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit



Sporting Events

Children’s Events







April 7 – September 3, 2016 Fifth Third Ballpark Enjoy the excitement and competition at Fifth Third Ballpark as West Michigan’s professional minor league baseball team competes against other teams in the Midwest League! Stop by the concierge desk for special ticket deals for hotel guests at the team’s 70 home games. For more information, call 616.784.4131 or visit

May 14, 2016 Downtown Grand Rapids The 39th Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run will feature the largest 25K road race in the country, along with 10K Run, 5K Run, 5K Walk and Junior events, and will play host to more than 21,000 participants. For more information, call 616.771.1590 or visit

August 6, 2016 Downtown Grand Rapids The Color Run, also known as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet,” is a unique paint race that celebrates health, happiness, individuality and giving back. Participants can walk or run the 5K at their own pace, and are asked to wear white – as they will finish covered in color from the packets sprayed on runners as they pass by. For more information, visit


Baseball, Softball, Outdoor Track and Field; Women’s Golf, Volleyball and Soccer; Football Beginning in Fall The Grand Valley State University athletic program has repeatedly earned the NACDA Directors' Cup for being the best NCAA Division II athletic program in the nation. For more information, call 616.331.3200 or visit


Freckle Face Strawberry

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West Michigan Whitecaps

April 22 – May 1, 2016 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre This children’s musical is filled with entertainment and an important message for children of all ages. This play comes straight from the pages of the New York Times best-selling book, written by celebrated and award-winning actress, Julianne Moore. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit

July 29 – August 7, 2016 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Welcome to Wayside, a 30-story building with one classroom on each floor. The zany characters will take you on a bizarre classroom journey that promises to thrill and excite the entire family. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit

Tuesdays Grand Rapids Children’s Museum Special programs designed specifically for ages 3 and under are available every Tuesday morning between 10 am and noon, with activities ranging from sensory play to art to story times. For more information, call 616.235.4726 or visit


Saturdays Grand Rapids Art Museum Drop in to the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Education Center on Louis Street anytime between 1 and 4 pm for family activities. Children and their adult chaperones are welcome to join the fun and participate in exciting art exploration activities in the Education Studio. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit

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SOLACE Spring / Summer 2016  

SOLACE Spring / Summer 2016