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WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 31 YEARS » SEPTEMBER 2019

FREE!

THE ARTS ISSUE Complete 2019-2020 Season Preview

LOCAL ARTISTS Creston Mural By Michelle Facer Alison Hunt Andrew Kline Bryan Kosciolek Chelsea Michal Garter Eric Heerspink Jasmine Bruce Kristin Brace Kyle DeGroff Randi Ford Spencer Elliott Holly Anne McDermott


S P O N S O R E D BY

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SEP

8

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE

SEP

13

WITH SPECIAL GUEST

CHRIS LANE

Ballrooms | 8PM Tickets start at $50

Outdoor Venue | 7PM Tickets start at $43

SEP

21

BOURBON & BACON

OCT

Doors: VIP Admission | 6PM General Admission | 7PM Entertainment: SURVIVOR | 7:45PM BLUE OYSTER CULT | 9:30PM Tickets start at $50

OCT

GILL 11 JOHNNY & RALPH

5

OCT

19 & 20

26

FEATURING

KEENAN IVORY WAYANS, SHAWN WAYANS, TOMMY DAVIDSON & DAVID ALAN GRIER

Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $59

FANTASTICON Entertainment Hall Saturday | 12PM - 7PM Sunday | 11AM - 6PM Tickets start at $5

Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $35

OFF COLOR COMEDY TOUR

TOTO Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $35

TRESVANT

OCT

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER: MIDNIGHT AT THE MASQUERADE

NOV

22 & 23

WE WILL ROCK YOU THE MUSICAL Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $22

Get your tickets at Soaring Eagle Casino or Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Box Offices, ETIX.COM or call 1.800.513.ETIX. soaringeaglecasino.com

Mt. Pleasant, MI | 1.888.7.EAGLE.7

Performances held at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Entertainment subject to cancellation. Management reserves all rights.

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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AC Lounge, Grand Rapids

THE SOUL OF SPAIN IN THE HEART OF THE HOTEL DISTRICT. The AC Lounge, where collaboration meets relaxation. An open space, designed for both sides of you – work life and night life. A place where inspiration crystallizes into creative, actionable ideas by day. By night, our bartenders serve up expert local knowledge along with craft beer, hand-crafted cocktails, and tapas-style small plates.

AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown 50 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | AC-Hotels.com

GRAND RAPIDS


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* SEPTEMBER 11 THE HEAD AND THE HEART

SEPTEMBER 7 WRECKING CRUE

The Motley Crue Experience w/ Revelations - Iron Maiden Tribute

w/ The Moondoggies

*

*

SEPTEMBER 22 BLACKBERRY SMOKE

SEPTEMBER 20 LIL DUVAL

w/ The Record Company

september 27 JUDAH & THE LION w/ Flora Cash

SEPTEMBER 28

SKILLET & ALTER BRIDGE w/ BRKN LOVE

*

OCTOBER 3 STEVE HACKETT

OCTOBER 15 LITTLE STEVEN & THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL

OCTOBER 10 THEO VON

Genesis Revisited

* NOVEMBER 4 WILCO

NOVEMBER 8 X AMBASSADORS

NOVEMBER 5 JIM BREUER

w/ Bear Hands, Verite

OCTOBER 20 AJR

* NOVEMBER 10 LEWIS BLACK

OCTOBER 22 ANDY GRAMMER & BEN RECTOR

Hope Network Benefit Concert

NOVEMBER 12 BIG WILD w/ Evan Giia, Ark Patrol

OCTOBER 23 JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT RAODSHOW

NOVEMBER 13 BLUES TRAVELER

*

* NOVEMBER 14 WORLD OF DANCE LIVE! TOUR

NOVEMBER 15 RYAN HAMILTON

*

NOVEMBER 16 YELAWOLF

NOVEMBER 22 AARON LEWIS w/ Ben Danaher

NOVEMBER 23 CHASE RICE w/ Cale Dodds

NOVEMBER 30 STEEL PANTHER

* DECEMBER 7 TOM SEGURA

DECEMBER 17 JANE LYNCH

Get more info and see the full schedule at 20MonroeLive.com

"A Swingin' Little Christmas"

* SEATED SHOW

20 Monroe Live Box Office Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm-6pm / Fri: 10am-6pm Weekends: event days only / Box office opens 2 hours prior to doors. (closed on non-show days)

11 OTTAWA AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 20MONROELIVE.COM 6 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


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THIRTY SQUARE BLOCKS THAT ARE ANYTHING BUT. Check in to one of our nine hotels; ranging from old-school style to new-school swagger. With each one offering a different vibe, style, flavor, focus and – more often than not – a promotional package that puts you in the heart of it all at a price point you’ll totally appreciate. Check out the surrounding area and you’ll be amazed by the sheer number of opportunities to get your groove on, whatever it is; museums, music, fine art, theatre, the symphony, a proper cocktail, fine-dining, or fun dining. Check in with us, Check out what’s up. hoteldistrictgr.com | @hoteldistrictgr


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TIME TO TURN

UP THE VOLUME

CLIEN

FireK Casin

PROJ

Sept. JOB

FK-34

JOHN FOGERTY

COLO

MY 50 YEAR TRIP SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

4/c

SIZE

9.25”

BLEE

n/a

HOWIE MANDEL

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5

GEORGE THOROGOOD AND THE DESTROYERS GOOD TO BE BAD TOUR 45 YEARS OF ROCK

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19

BILL ENGVALL

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9

Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office or FireKeepersCasino.com.

Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change. 1 2019 10FK-34153_Sept.Revue_9.25x10.indd | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER

8/15/19 12:15 PM


WHAT’S INSIDE

September 2019 | Volume 31, Issue 9

SCENE: 14 16 18 86 22

What’s Going On Biz Beat Potshots Style Notes: Lee & Birch Comedy: Blake Webber

SOUNDS: 20 PUP

REVUE ARTS: 1A Visual arts, classical and jazz music, theater, arts event previews and more. (See the center of this issue)

THE ARTS ISSUE

27

86

90

27 29 33 37 41 45 47 51 53 57 61 65 69 72 77 80 83

Introduction Michelle Facer Bryan Kosciolek Alison Hunt Eric Heerspink Chelsea Michal Garter Spencer Elliott Kristin Brace Jasmine Bruce Holly Anne McDermott Kyle DeGroff Andrew Kline Randi Ford Rad American Women Project 1 Experience Live Art KIA Exhibits

DINING & DRINKING: 88 Lowell & Ada Beer Tour 90 Kingfisher REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

W

e don’t always think about this, but art infuses every aspect of our life.

Whether you think you’re an “art lover” or not, you notice when a restaurant’s menu looks off, or when your new house has weird wallpaper, or when you visit your friend’s apartment and notice a cool piece on the wall. Skilled artists and designers can bring life to spaces, depending what your tastes are. Here in West Michigan, it’s especially hard to not think about it, given that our two largest annual festivals have “art” right in the name. Yet, you might not know about all the incredible artists across the region painting murals, showing up to these festivals and selling work online. That’s what the Arts Issue is for, putting them in the spotlight. We talk with artists about where their artistic spark came from, what their process looks like, what kind of advice they’d give and so much more. On the cover is Michelle Facer, who’s now painted two murals — one of the most prominent forms of art that affects us daily — in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood. But we also talk with sculptors, metalsmiths, illustrators and more. Art goes beyond just the visual kind, however — there’s also theater, dance, music, museums, writing, and so on. This issue has our annual Season Previews, which give you a massive rundown of all the performances and exhibitions happening across the region in the 2019-2020 season. You can start planning your trips out now or just keep the section by your side throughout the year and pick it up when you’re wondering what to do on a weekend. If there’s one common experience we all have with the arts, it’s that we sometimes let it fall by the wayside in favor of staying in and sticking with our routine. But when we do allow ourselves to visit a play or walk through a gallery, we’re often reminded of how fun, enriching and inspiring it can be. So don’t wait, enjoy some art today.

W E S T M I C H I G A N ’ S E N T E RTA I N M E N T G U I D E

EDITORIAL Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard DESIGN Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com Liz Romain CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andy Balaskovitz Dana Casadei Eric Mitts Jack Raymond John Kissane

Kayla Sosa Kelly Brown Marla R. Miller Michaela Stock Missy Black

ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 Rich Tupica / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com Crissy Kline / christina@revuewm.com DIGITAL EDITOR Josh Veal

’Til next time,

MINION Abi Safago

FIND US ONLINE! Josh Veal, Managing Editor Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm

UPCOMING ISSUES OCTOBER The Beer Issue

NOVEMBER Local Holiday Gift Guide

Revue’s annual look at local craft beer is a thorough guide to the scene, with an extensive brewery guide, beer face-offs, trends and more.

We encourage readers to shop local and start early, guiding them to personalized gifts around West Michigan.

REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2019, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

ON THE COVER: Creston Mural by Michelle Facer See more on page 27

TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com. Space reservation is the 17th of the month before publication.

12 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


TAPROOM SUN-TUES: 11AM-12AM WED & THURS: 11AM-1AM FRI & SAT: 11AM-2AM

DELI SUN-THURS: 11AM-11PM FRI & SAT: 11AM-12AM

STORE

235 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49503

MON-SAT: 11AM-11PM SUN: 11AM-9PM

616.776.1195

SEPTEMBER SUNDAY

01

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

THURSDAY

19

Tenth Mountain Division

SATURDAY

FREE

Shamarr Allen wsg The Brandino Extravaganza $5 COVER

21

THURSDAY

Spare Parts

FREE | 5:30PM | ALL AGES

THURSDAY

05

SATURDAY

Henhouse Prowlers

FREE

07

FREE

12

Blanca Luz and TART

SATURDAY

Latin Heritage Celebration 7:00PM

28

Dede and The Dreamers, Nik James, Jordan Hamilton $5 COVER

14

SATURDAY

FREE

26

SP3 with After Ours $5 COVER

THURSDAY

SUNDAY

29

Head For The Hills FREE | 8:30PM

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Cheap Pitcher Night with $10 class 1 pitchers & Trivia Night (7pm-close)

Cheap Pint Night with $1 off class one and class two pints & Open Mic Night (8pm-close)

Mug Club Day

Taproom Exclusive Beer Special with $1 off of featured TRX beer & Free Live Music

Live Music

Service Industry Day with $1.50 off pints (11am-close)

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Late Night Happy Hour (10pm-close): half off all class 1 pints! ALL SHOWS ARE AGES 21+ AND BEGIN AT 9:30 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

@FOUNDERSGRANDRAPIDS

@FOUNDERSGRANDRAPIDS

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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WHAT’S GOING ON THIS MONTH |  Compiled by Revue Staff

9/3 Spaceballs (Meanwhile Film Series) Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Sept. 3, 8 p.m., $6 grcmc.org/theatre

There was a time when parodies were few and far between, so if you were going to make one, you better do it right. Spaceballs is one of those rare parody films that has stuck in the cultural consciousness for decades, lampooning cultural behemoth Star Wars and other iconic sci-fi flicks like Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and Alien. It’s ridiculous, it’s clever, it’s a cult classic. It only makes sense that Wealthy Theatre would show it after screening all three original Star Wars films in August.

9/11

dance-rock group has been going strong since 1976 and has no reason to stop now. Special guests OMD and Berlin join for this show in Frederik Meijer Gardens’ beautiful amphitheatre.

The Head and the Heart 20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Sept. 11, 7 p.m., $39.50+ 20monroelive.com

Folk rock is having a moment and one band is at the heart of it — or maybe the head. Seattle’s The Head and the Heart came on the scene in 2011 with a refreshing self-titled album full of vocal harmonies and booming drums over melodic piano and violins. The band has branched out slightly over the years but never strayed too far from its roots, releasing the anthemic Living Mirage earlier this summer. If you like the old stuff but haven’t heard the new, you can buy a ticket to the 20 Monroe Live show and you’ll receive a CD or digital copy of the album. THE HEAD AND THE HEART AT 20 MONROE LIVE. PHOTO BY ALEX CURRIE

The B-52s

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Sept. 11, 6-9:30 p.m., $93 meijergardens.org How many grains of sand are there on Earth? How many stars in the sky? Both pale in comparison to the number of weddings and karaoke nights where Love Shack has been played. The B-52s have written some of the most iconic songs of all times, including Rock Lobster, The Time Warp and Private Idaho. The new wave,

9/12 2nd Annual Grand Rapids IPA Challenge 7 Monks Taproom 740 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids Sept. 12, 5-9 p.m., $40 7monkstap.com/grand-rapids

We always hear about beers winning awards, but sometimes we wonder who actually decides the winners. Well, in this case, it’s going to be you and 199 other

beer lovers. The IPA Challenge has you perform a blind taste test of 12 beers, all 3 oz. pours, and vote on your favorite. The IPAs come from 10 local breweries, including Speciation Artisan Ales, City Built Brewing, Brewery Vivant and more. Your ticket also gets you a Greasy Spoon Smash Burger, a taster glass to keep and a chance to win a lifetime Friar’s Union Membership at 7 Monks.

20th Michigan Irish Music Festival Heritage Landing 1051 Shoreline Dr., Muskegon Sept. 12-15 michiganirish.org

GAELIC STORM AT MICHIGAN IRISH MUSIC FESTIVAL. COURTESY PHOTO

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Believe it or not, there are other — possibly even better — ways to celebrate Irish culture than just St. Patrick’s Day. For 20 years now, the Michigan Irish Music Festival has thrown a party in Muskegon specifically putting the

emphasis on the Emerald Isle’s long history of music. Artists like Gaelic Storm, Moxie Strings, Seamus Kennedy and many more play across seven stages on the lakeshore. This is also your chance to see cultural presentations and Highland Games like a stone throw, hammer toss and caber toss. Basically, you get to watch strong people throw heavy stuff, a timeless tradition.

on the south side of downtown. One ticket gets you a T-shirt, a pint glass, a free first drink, access to crawl-only specials at each stop, a $5 gift certificate to Downtown Market, and a “Chugging Checklist.” Participating locations include Downtown Market, Craft Beer Cellar, Peppino’s Pizza, Tavern & Tap, Grand Woods Lounge, The Tin Can and Founders Brewing.

9/14 Beer City Fall Crawl Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Sept. 14, 12-5 p.m., $25+ downtownmarketgr.com

Grand Rapids manages to fit a whole lot of beer in one place. The Beer City Fall Crawl makes use of that liquid density with a short walk between seven watering holes

Find more events in Revue Arts, and at revuewm.com!


Odd Side Ales Full Moon Cruise Aquastar Cruises 560 Mart St., Muskegon Sept. 14, 7:30-10 p.m., $35 aquastarcruises.com

If you’re not one for walking, there’s another way to see some sights while drinking beer: a cruise with some brews. This boat ride around Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan puts you in the prime spot to see a beautiful sunset and a full moon, all with some Odd Side Ales in hand. There’ll also be smooth, mellow live music by the Intolerables and light appetizers to keep the munchies at bay.

9/15 Rooftop Yoga + Brunch The Friesian Gastro Pub 720 Michigan St., Grand Rapids Sept. 15, 9 a.m., $15 twistedhotyoga.com

Twisted Hot Yoga likes to bend and stretch in the heat, so it only makes sense to head closer to the sun. Take the stairs up to Friesian Gastro Pub’s beautiful rooftop for a 50-minute yoga class, lying right under the big blue sky. Your ticket also includes a choice of mimosa or Bloody Mary, because it wouldn’t be a proper Sunday morning without brunch.

9/19 Miranda Lambert: Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Sept. 19, 7 p.m., $50+ vanandelarena.com

Way back when singing competitions were still turning people into stars, Miranda Lambert became a country music sensation thanks to Nashville Star in 2003. Her debut album, Kerosene, produced four chartbusting singles that cemented her place in the annals of country. Her next album, Wildcard, comes out Nov. 1, but Lambert already has released tracks like It All Comes Out in the Wash and Bluebird to much acclaim. Catch her supporting the album at Van Andel with openers Elle King, Pistol Annies and Caylee Hammack.

9/20-21

products and eat a healthier diet, all while having fun.

Octoberfest Celebration

9/27

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 130 Market Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Sept. 20-21, free bellsbeer.com Oktoberfest is a holiday for lovers of beer, German culture, games and music. Celebrate the start of fall with Bell’s pouring its season Octoberfest, a lovely marzen full of malt and warm feelings. The party features German-inspired food, including a brat eating contest and brat toss, plus DJs and German folk bands alongside yard games and fun for kids.

9/21 Grand Armory Fourth Anniversary Festival Grand Armory Brewing 17 S. 2nd St., Grand Haven Sept. 21, 3-11 p.m., $10 grandarmorybrewing.com

Some places understand the importance of a good birthday party, and Grand Armory is one of them. Head outside for specialty brews and classic mainstays from the lakeshore brewery, while listening to local bands like Flexadecibel, Dirty Mitten and KJ & The Good Time Family Band. Plus, Righteous Cuisine will have a food truck, rounding out the three B’s of a great party: beer, bands and burritos.

9/22 Grand Rapids VegFest 2019

DeltaPlex Arena 2500 Turner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. grvegfest.com West Michigan’s vegan and vegetarian scene is constantly growing, so there’s still plenty to taste, see and hear. The Grand Rapids VegFest both celebrates the existing movement and welcomes more to join it with loads of food samples, vendors, cooking demos and speakers all there to help you eat a vegetable or two. You’ll learn how to cook better food, produce less waste, use more ethical

Sigrid

Calvin Fine Arts Center Auditorium 1795 Knollcrest Circle SE, Grand Rapids Sept. 27, 8 p.m., $25 calvin.edu/boxoffice It takes a true talent to cross the seas from Norway and break into American airwaves, but Sigrid has the stuff. The young pop singer and songwriter exploded on the scene with singles Don’t Kill My Vibe and High Five, which all culminated in an album earlier this year, Sucker Punch. It’s full of high-energy, powerful, extremely catchy hits that make use of her unique voice, big beats and sparkly synths. Catch her at Calvin this month with guest Raffaella.

MIRANDA LAMBERT AT VAN ANDEL ARENA. COURTESY PHOTO

9/28 GR Womxn’s Street Fest

Apartment Lounge 33 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Sept. 28, 12-10 p.m., free facebook.com/theapartmentlounge Apartment Lounge is shining the spotlight where it belongs: womxn, an inclusive term for anyone who identifies as a woman. The party welcomes all though, no matter who you are, to honor the art, music and power of women from all over West Michigan. There’ll be outdoor and indoor bars with drink specials; a huge community tent with special performances and live art installations; a stage with performance artists, musical guests and local women speaking; food trucks; and workshops for yoga, sex-ed and more. It’s free, but you should RSVP online just so they know how many people to expect. Plus, all proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood. n

SIGRID AT CALVIN. COURTESY PHOTO

ROOFTOP YOGA & BRUNCH AT FRIESIAN GASTRO PUB. COURTESY PHOTO

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Ghoul Golf

/// NEWS

LIMITED TIME ONLY Sept 13 - Nov 10

Chill Hill. COURTESY PHOTO

WEST MICHIGAN

BIZ BEAT

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

OPEN The lakeshore is hardly dry, but it could always some more liquids. First off, Long Road Distillers has expanded to Grand Haven with a third location that was once Pavilion Wharf Deli & Grill. Located at 18 Washington Ave., the building is meant to feel light and bright, featuring beloved cocktails, spirits and food that Long Road has become known for.

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

A little scary, a lot of fun

INDOOR MINIGOLF 3494 Plainfield Ave, Grand Rapids

16 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

Further south, New Holland Spirits brought its own drinks to Saugatuck with a spirits tasting room focusing on cocktails and light snacks. Don’t expect to fill up on beer and a full meal here — the smaller new spot at 201 Culver St. is meant for happy hour cocktails and an after-dinner nightcap. This just might be the future of drinking. While we’re at it, we might as well go even further south down the lakeshore. Chill Hill Winery opened in Baroda, featuring grapes from Southwest Michigan’s very own from Arrowhead Vineyards. Head to 8992 First St. to try more than 10 award-winning wines and ciders, from Cranberry Blanc to Countryside White and even ice wine. While there’s no storefront, keep an eye out for Motu Viget Spirits, the latest venture from Grand Rapidsbased entrepreneurs Jonathan Jelks, Jamiel Robinson and Willie Jackson. The company is working with St. Julian Wine Co. to produce specially branded champagne, wine and spirits that are affordable, accessible and high-quality. The name comes from Grand Rapids’ motto, a Latin phrase meaning “strength in activity.” On the drier side, Michigan medical marijuana dispensary Skymint has arrived in Newaygo. Times are

clearly changing because it’s right on the main drag at 8474 S. Mason Dr. Skymint boasts of a friendly, knowledgeable staff, an advanced facility and quality, organically grown products. If you’ve got your medical card, it’s time to head north, if you know what I mean.

CLOSED After 115 years, Russo’s International Market has come to an end. The specialty grocery store will surely be missed, being a staple of the community in Grand Rapids at 2770 29th St. SE. Brothers Phil and Dave Russo wrote in a Facebook post that they decided to close the business, retire and relax. Fair enough! Interestingly, Russo’s liquor licenses were transferred to a company called Mega-Bev, an operator of specialty adult beverage stores. We’ll be keeping an eye out. Boatyard Brewing Co. also decided to close up shop out in Kalamazoo. The owners cited economic reasons and said that the decision to end Boatyard’s run came with “heavy hearts,” and they thanked the community for welcoming and supporting them. Finally, barbecue joint Kelvin & Co. closed after just five months of business. Owner Mark Nieuwenhuis said the decision was extremely frustrating but necessary due to a “persistent roof leak” and other structural issues that weren’t being addressed by the building’s owner. The restaurant in Grand Rapids’ Eastown served smoked meats, sandwiches and salads.

—Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail josh@revuewm.com.


Get the code at idontcaregr.com

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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/// NEWS

SEPTEMBER 2019 A monthly roundup of marijuana news and notes.

H

undreds of skittish communities across Michigan have formally opted out of allowing recreational marijuana businesses in their jurisdiction. Some may never allow them, while others are taking a cautious wait-and-see approach as the state finalizes regulations. Either way, the state’s recreational marijuana law allows residents in these communities to petition the government and overrule officials by vote. The first three of these voter initiatives took place in early August, but with disappointing results for cannabis advocates. Voters in Vanderbilt (Otsego County), Highland Park (Wayne County) and Crystal Lake Township (Benzie County) rejected attempts to allow businesses. Luckily, these voters are near cities that are interested in allowing businesses.

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

804 W Vine St Kalamazoo MI 269-381-9771 www.cosmoscucina.com

18 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

Meanwhile, Attorney General Dana Nessel has formed a work group of law enforcement and state officials in hopes of clarifying ambiguous aspects of the recreational law. Though Nessel supported Proposal 1, she has said the law is unclear about penalties for certain infractions. For example, smoking cannabis in public or where plants can be grown. The group may draft some state legislation to resolve the questions, but even Nessel admits it could be tough getting the three-fourths of the Legislature to agree on changes, as is required by state law. Some communities, meanwhile, are still hung up on questions over medical marijuana. In mid-August, the city of Grand Rapids heard from divided residents and business owners about how to treat future medical marijuana businesses. (The city continues to slog through its approval process, though 11 facilities have been permitted.) Specifically, the city asked for opinions on whether dispensaries should operate near parks. Six proposed facilities are reportedly within 1,000 feet of a city park. Their approval depends on waivers granted by the city Planning Commission. Aside from predictable NIMBYism concerns (MLive

reports that the owner of a nearby company fears his truck drivers would be tempted by a dispensary), supporters say it’s hypocritical to allow pharmacies to dispense prescription drugs near parks but not medical marijuana dispensaries. The West Michigan Cannabis Guild also notes that the state and city “require extensive security” at these facilities. The group understands case-by-case considerations, but its main focus is to “ensure unfettered access to medical marijuana for West Michigan residents. In a recent report, the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency says nearly $70 million in medical marijuana sales took place between April 1 and June 30. That’s more than 11,700 pounds at an average price of $185 an ounce, if you’re counting. The state has approved 296 licenses as of Aug. 16, mostly for provisioning centers (127) and large-scale growers (96). However, a recent report published by Pew Charitable Trusts says market uncertainty is causing lower-than-expected revenue forecasts in legalized states, and the same is true for Michigan’s medical market. It’s likely due to ongoing black-market sales, whose impact on the recreational market remains unknown. Last note: Since football season is upon us, we want to congratulate former Detroit Lion and Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson on his appointment to the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association’s board of directors. Johnson and former teammate Rob Sims, Jr. plan to open several medical marijuana facilities across the state. Johnson said he wants to help Michigan create an “inclusive business environment” and make it a “national leader” in the marijuana industry. Certainly that would be an upgrade from our consistently disappointing Lions. Visit our sister publication mibiz.com for a comprehensive look at marijuana across industries. — Compiled by Andy Balaskovitz


SPONSORED CONTENT

Cheers to Fall with Seasonal Favorites from New Holland Brewing Company An invitation to savor the flavors of the season from founder Brett VanderKamp

O

n par with our incredible summers, fall in West Michigan is tough to beat. Leaf color tours, the warm glow of campfires and the roar of fans watching college football signal the turn of our favorite season. There’s a deep-rooted belief here at New Holland Brewing that life is found in savored moments, which are enhanced by the perfect beer. Every one of our beers captures a flavor, harvest and moment in time that we hope you can taste and appreciate with us. Fall is peak time for connecting with family and friends. The moments we share in this season can last a lifetime, and we craft our brews to be the perfect complement. Our lineup features some of our most legendary beverages in popular styles and flavors that beg to be enjoyed during crisp nights outdoors.

Further details can be found at newhollandbrew.com: • Oct. 12 - The Park Theatre in Holland, Mich. • Oct. 30 - The Wealthy Street Theater in Grand Rapids, Mich. ■■ Our top craft Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout, Dragon’s Milk, is the perfect accompaniment for storytelling around the fire. Its legendary name extends from a story shared during medieval times. The stout is known for its roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones. Dragon’s Milk pairs well with late evenings around a campfire with friends.

Whether you are looking for a traditional pumpkin ale, something dark and roasty, or even something a bit lighter, we brew offerings that appeal to every taste:

■■ Dragon’s Milk White is a nod to our 20 years of barrel-aging expertise and commitment to innovation in the name of flavor. The next legend to unfold in the Dragon’s Milk family, this lower-alcohol, hazygold version of Dragon’s Milk creates a stout experience that presents familiar flavors in a completely unexpected way. It pairs perfectly with tailgating.

■■ One of fall’s most sought-after beer brands, Ichabod was first brewed in 1997 and continues to set the mood for the season with the perfect blend of malted barley, real pumpkin and bewitching notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. The label of this delicious and inviting brew was inspired by the iconic “Headless Horseman” character with a wicked pumpkin in hand.

■■ Some other comforting fall flavors of chocolate, roasted nuts, and coffee can be enjoyed with our oatmeal stout, The Poet. A complement for cozy fall evenings, the oats bring a creaminess and soft mouth-feel to the roast malt character in this classic oatmeal stout. One of America’s leading oatmeal stouts (and brewery favorite), The Poet is a perfect representation of balance.

To celebrate the Halloween season, we will be hosting two screenings of Tim Burton's film Sleepy Hollow while tapping Ichabod at the events. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume as a door prize will be awarded to the best in show.

Each of our beers can be found on tap at pubs across the Midwest, including our Holland and Grand Rapids brewpubs. They’re also sold in cans or bottles at major and specialty craft beer retailers. To find a New Holland Brewing product near you, visit newhollandbrew.com/find-our-beer.

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

/// ON TOUR

PUNK WITH PURPOSE

Hard-touring Toronto band PUP confronts mental health head-on with new album Morbid Stuff

20 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

| by Eric Mitts


PUP. PHOTO BY VANESSA HEINS

J alanced 24% Dutch Cacao

from Canada’s Juno Awards and Polaris Music Prize. But that success didn’t come without its price for the band. “There were certainly times when there were more toxic elements to how we dealt with our emotions, regarding the band and toward each other,” Sladkowski said about some of PUP’s dark days slogging its way to stardom. The band processed its shared struggles with maintaining mental health while on the road on its latest LP, Morbid Stuff. With song titles like See You At Your Funeral and Full Blown Meltdown, the cathartic album doesn’t shy away from difficult personal subjects, often putting the band’s own internal conflicts front and center. “We’re adults, but in a sense, this job that we have – the escapist nature of being on tour — doesn’t mean that life just stops,” Sladkowski said. “So in a way, that’s allowed us to be more open and read each other and know when to give each other time and space and not to push each other’s buttons.” With its recent success, the band has now become something of a punk-rock champion for mental health awareness, continuing to support one another and their fan base through outreach, engagement and an ongoing nonprofit initiative. “We as individuals, especially with something that’s so personal and nuanced as individual mental health, we can only control ourselves and how we go about doing things,” Sladkowski said. “So for me, I think it’s a way to lead by example and show people, especially since we’re a band of straight white males who are affected by mental illnesses. We’re among the people who struggle the most to speak about it, which leads to a lot of toxic behaviors. “If we can lead by example and show there’s a way through that can be constructive and positive and open ... I find myself falling into old patterns that degrade my mental state, but being open and honest about that has really helped us as a unit, and I think if people can learn from that, and learn that there are things that they can find that can work for them, and it helps them take the initiative to do the work for themselves, I think we’ve accomplished our goal.” n

PUP – FALLS APART TOUR WSG. ILLUMINATI HOTTIES ELEVATION (INSIDE THE INTERSECTION), 133 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS SEPT. 29, 7 P.M., $20-25, ALL-AGES SECTIONLIVE.COM, (616) 451-8232

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REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

ust days before talking with Revue about an upcoming fall tour (hitting Grand Rapids this month), guitarist Steve Sladkowski of the Canadian punk band PUP played the biggest show of his life. Celebrating summer and the success of its latest LP, Morbid Stuff, released earlier this year, the band stepped out in front of a crowd of thousands at a massive outdoor concert space at Echo Beach in its hometown of Toronto. The band tore through a high-volume set that pulled from its nearly 10-year history and ignited more than its share of raucous mosh pits. “It was surreal,” Sladkowski said of the experience. “It was really wild to see the communities of people that have found each other and developed because of this band, and have connected with what it is that we’re doing. It was one of those shows that I think I’ll remember for the rest of my life.” But as anyone who has listened to any of PUP’s three full-length albums already knows, life wasn’t always so triumphant for the hardtouring band. “We have a song called If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will, and we have made our complaints known far and wide,” Sladkowski said of the rigors and perils of playing nearly 250 shows a year over the past half-decade. “Sometimes I try to be more mindful, because it’s difficult to look up in the moment and take in when it’s something profound or special, like what was happening at Echo Beach,” he added. “But we used to play clubs in Toronto to like 15 people, not even that long ago. Like really, truly not that long ago. So it’s just been crazy.” Grinding it out in true DIY punk-rock fashion, PUP has worked hard to get where it is today. The band began under the name Topanga back in 2010, before changing it to PUP – short for Pathetic Use of Purpose – back in 2013. Later that year, the band issued its self-titled debut album, which was met with widespread critical acclaim and opened the door for the Canadian band to play all over the world. After completing tours of the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, PUP joined up with the 2015 Vans Warped Tour, before lead vocalist/ guitarist Stefan Babcock received horrifying medical news that he had a cyst on his vocal cords and may never sing again. Defiantly titling its second album The Dream Is Over, PUP doubled down, touring harder than ever and putting the members through hell to make it or die trying. Against the odds – and defying supposed current music trends – the emo-inspired outfit broke through, drawing bigger and bigger audiences everywhere it went while earning praise

Ice Cream Sandwiches with Sponge cake imported from France!

21


by Eric Mitts

COMEDY

BEHIND THE VAPE CLOUD Comedian Aristotle Georgeson takes his viral online persona Blake Webber from Instagram to the stage

E

nter the world of Blake Webber. Seemingly born on the Internet just over five years ago, the self-proclaimed “vape god” emerged out of a cloud of smoke on Instagram. Then known as Blake Vapes, his early posts included a “documentary” where he boasts about his vaping skills and lifestyle, frequently blowing plumes from his e-cigarette while espousing his equally lofty mantras in a voice somewhere between South Park’s Eric Cartman and your average frat bro. Quickly attracting attention, he became the subject of a 2015 Buzzfeed video that racked up well over 1 million views, while notoriously becoming the most disliked clip on the site. The only thing was – Blake wasn’t real. The character creation of Los Angelesbased stand-up comedian Aristotle Georgeson, Blake Vapes came to life as an over-the-top alter-ego when he was smoking weed with some fellow comics. Mocking vape culture and social media fame alike, Georgeson began developing Blake online as something of a prank experiment. “I’ve always tried to tread the line of what’s believable and what’s absolutely ridiculous,” Georgeson told Revue. “And it’s interesting to see people who get it and who are totally on board and are like, ‘Wow, this is hilarious.’

ARISTOTLE GEORGESON AS BLAKE WEBBER. COURTESY PHOTO

22 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

And then there are people who are like, ‘Is this guy for real? Is this a real thing?’ So it’s always toeing that line of what’s believable and what’s ridiculous.” Georgeson himself was introduced to stand-up comedy at a young age. He grew up all over – including spending a couple summers and Christmases here in Michigan with his dad – and first got up onstage while in high school in Florida. He describes his early stand-up as “terrible,” but found that his knack for impressions and funny voices got laughs, so he decided to follow the path of comedy. While attending Florida State University, he worked at a comedy club, solidifying his dreams of making it in comedy while earning a degree in writing and media. After graduating, he began working in marketing and social media by day while spending his nights honing his stand-up skills onstage. After struggling to score laughs with senior citizens in Boca Raton, he moved to California in 2013 and spent six years working with the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre in L.A. developing his sense of improv. “Improv gives you the ability to go with whatever happens,” Georgeson said. “And so with my current show, with Blake and everything, I incorporate those rules a lot because I

CONTINUED ON PAGE 24


AND THE WINNERS ARE... VISIT REVUEWM.COM TO SEE WHO’S BEST

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SPONSORED CONTENT

EATING GREEN

VegFest celebrates the joy of delicious vegan food

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

G

rand Rapids VegFest returns on September 22 for its fifth annual celebration of all things vegan. The festival is presented and organized by the local nonprofit organization Plant Based Roots, whose mission is to promote a plant-based diet for health, sustainability, social justice and the animals. The concept of a plant-based festival was hardly a new idea when organizers decided to put one on in Grand Rapids, more than five years ago. Cofounders Erica Wisniewski and Kim Enochs had already been vegan activists in Grand Rapids for quite some time, but wanted to bring awareness to a wider audience. The first year, we did not know what to expect, but it was a huge success and has continued to grow each year. The event itself is organized by a group of very dedicated and passionate volunteers. The one-day festival will feature food trucks offering mouth-watering plant-based foods. We are excited about Daddy Pete’s BBQ, which is new to the festival this year, while the crowd favorite Shimmy Shack returns yet again. The cooking demonstrations are amazing and feature some of the best plant-based chefs that Michigan has to offer. We will demonstrate a broad spectrum of different recipe options that festival-goers can learn how to make for themselves at home.  We are so excited for our speaker lineup this year. The Sustainable Duo will be joining us from Florida to talk to audiences about how they can lead a more sustainable lifestyle. You can visit our website at grvegfest.com for the full line-up of speakers. The day also includes live music, chalk art from a local chalk artist, a dynamic kid’s area, and local and national vendors. On top of all that, there will be several local and national nonprofit organizations that will inspire festival-goers to get involved and take action.  Make sure you come hungry, because our food vendors will be offering some delicious vegan eats..

24 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

You can grab some cookies from Bit Baking Company, a vegan hotdog from Jonny B’z, Ethiopian food from GOJO, and finish it off with a Mitten Pop from Love’s Ice Cream. Many vendors will have samples of their products, like Radical Plants with their whole line of plant-based dips that are out of this world. All the food options are sure to be a delight. The organizers believe that plantbased eating can be for anyone and we put on this event to show West Michigan that changing to a more plantbased diet can lead to overall better health for individuals and our community, as well as more compassion toward animals and positive changes to our environment that everyone can benefit from. We are so excited that we have been able to bring this festival to Grand Rapids for the past five years and we look forward to seeing you on September 22. Follow Grand Rapids VegFest on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit our website at grvegfest.com for more information and upcoming events.

Grand Rapids VegFest

DeltaPlex, 2500 Turner Ave., Grand Rapids Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $12, Kids 12 and under free Free Parking grvegfest.com

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22 love the payoff. So having that improv sort of foundation allowed me to embrace the chaos as opposed to pushing it away.” A brilliant combination of spontaneous ad-libbing and scathing satire of social media, Blake often feels like a modern update on Sacha Baron Cohen’s Da Ali G, or even Andy Kaufman’s Tony Clifton. But like fellow YouTube phenomenon Miranda Sings (aka Colleen Ballinger), so much of Georgeson’s success began with a voice. “The voice sort of came out of an improv, but during a stand-up set,” Georgeson said. “The first premise I ever used Blake for was about vaping, like you never have to ask a vaper what they’re vaping on, they’re just gonna tell you. And I did it in the Blake voice and immediately it got laughs.” Moving away from vape culture Georgeson rebranded his online presence as, Blake Webber in 2017. He started posting more voiceover clips, where Blake would dub over viral videos — especially ones featuring animals, Instagram models or celebrities, like rappers 6ix9ine and Cardi B. He also developed a world where Blake fends off interviews from TMZ, calls out his haters, and hosts his own talk show Podcast #KILLINIT on YouTube. Currently, he has more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram, where his videos receive hundreds of thousands of views. As Blake, he’s appeared on Netflix’s Cooking on High and Viceland’s Flophouse, along with countless other podcasts and live appearances with his dub-step DJ duo Double Dare. Recently, Georgeson started taking Blake out into the real world even more, developing his Killin’ The Game live show onstage, including an upcoming stop here in Grand Rapids at The Pyramid Scheme on Sept. 25. “It’s like going on Blake’s Instagram but live, so people really get a sense of the humor,” Georgeson said. “It’s broken down into three parts so you won’t get bored during the show. It’s not just one hour-long TED talk. It’s three 20-minute sections. So I feel like I’ve really done a good job of taking what you see on his Instagram and applying it to a live show so you see the best of this sort of world that he lives in.” As technology continues to change the world we live in, Georgeson says it’s hard to give himself too much credit for changing the comedy game, but he hopes that Blake helps keep pushing it to the next level. “I’ve been doing stand up for eight years now, and as Blake, I’ve been working on this show for about two years, and one of the things I wanted to apply is the idea of having visuals,” he said. “So the TEDtalk itself is an audio visual presentation because I feel like there are so many comedians. Stand-up has been around in the United States since the ’30s, I think,

"WE HAVE ALL THIS TECHNOLOGY AND I WANT TO APPLY IT TO THE STAGE, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY CHANCES FOR PUNCHLINES THROUGH AUDIO JOKES, VISUAL JOKES, TEXT JOKES ON THE SCREEN, CUES THAT I CAN DO LIVE WITH MY PRESENTATION." - ARISTOTLE GEORGESON and it hasn’t really changed. It’s been people with microphones, and it’s the purest form of comedy because it’s just you and your jokes, but we’re in the future now. We have all this technology and I want to apply it to the stage because there are so many chances for punchlines through audio jokes, visual jokes, texts jokes on the screen, cues that I can do live with my presentation. It adds another dimension. “I’m not going to say that I’m the first person to do this or that I’m changing comedy, but it’s something that I wanted to incorporate because it’s different and it adds more elements that I think people can appreciate because it’s hard to go out nowadays. There’s so much stuff to do. You can just stay at home and watch all the comedy, or any movie, you can do anything you want from your house. So to draw people out, you have to give them something different and that’s what I really want to do.” n

BLAKE WEBBER – LIVE! THE PYRAMID SCHEME 68 COMMERCE AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS SEPT. 25, 7 P.M., $18-47, 18 AND OLDER PYRAMIDSCHEMEBAR.COM, FUSIONSHOWS.COM


REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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Kendall College of Art and Design

of Ferris 26 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019State University

kcad.edu 800.676.2787

Michael Kramer (‘18, BFA Photography)


THE ARTS ISSUE

F

or some of us, it can be easy to forget how inspiring and fun art can be, whether it’s going to see a musical or getting up close to a beautiful sculpture. Luckily, West Michigan is filled to the brim with amazing artists and arts organizations, and we like to highlight them all every year. In the Arts Issue, we take a look at some local artists that are making a splash on the

scene, whether they’re heavily involved in the community, working as a full-time artist or gathering a ton of followers on social media. We ask them about their process and inspiration, while showing off some of their best work. Also check out our big Season Previews section, featuring just about every theater, music and dance performance coming in the 2019-2020 season, as well as all the

exhibitions coming to art galleries and museums. We give you permission to just yank it right out of the magazine and keep it on your coffee table for the rest of the year. You’ll also find a few stories on local organizations making a difference, such as the Experience Live Art, the Radical American Women project, and ArtPrize’s first-ever Project 1. Lost & Found. By Michelle Facer

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t a e gr o f r e p

s e i e r c e n s rma

HOPE COLLEGE

201 9 - 2020

NAI-NI CHEN DANCE + AHN TRIO SEPTEMBER 19-20, 2019

CUARTETO LATINOAMERICANO + JIJI OCTOBER 17, 2019

NOBUNTO NOVEMBER 1, 2019

RODRIGUEZ & MARTINEZ DUO JANUARY 24, 2020

LA THEATRE WORKS IN “SEVEN” FEBRUARY 22, 2020

SPANISH BRASS MARCH 27, 2020

28 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

Fo r t i c ke t s, c a l l : 6 1 6. 3 9 5. 78 9 0

h o p e.e d u / g p s


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

MICHELLE FACER DREAMING BIG IN CRESTON BY KELLY BROWN Heavily inspired by the emerging art scene in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood, muralist and printmaker Michelle Facer is ready to make her mark in West Michigan. A 2017 graduate from Kendall College, Facer works in printmaking, illustration and large-scale mural art. Drive through the Creston neighborhood and you’ll have the chance to view not one but two of her beautiful and dreamy murals.

Michelle Facer. Courtesy Photo

CONTINUED ON PAGE 31

Above: Selfie. Below: Creston Mural. By Michelle Facer

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St.Cecilia Music Center

Lee Ann Womack

Emmet Cohen Master Legacy Series

CHAMBER

Rosanne Cash

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Experience some of the world’s most incredible musicians in three extraordinary series. Only at SCMC. Clayton Brothers Quintet

GREAT INNOVATORS NOVEMBER 21, 2019

FRENCH ENCHANTMENT

JANUARY 23, 2020

FROM PRAGUE TO VIENNA

APRIL 30, 2020

JAZZ

Chris Thile

FRED HERSCH JULIAN LAGE

SPECIAL GUEST

2019 2020

OCTOBER 17, 2019

EMMET COHEN’S MASTER LEGACY SERIES FEATURING BENNY GOLSON

JANUARY 16, 2020

SEASON

MARCH 5, 2020

CLAYTON BROTHERS QUINTET

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

APRIL 16, 2020

FOLK

The Infamous Stringdusters Judy Collins

Fred Hersch

SCMC-ONLINE.ORG 616.459.2224

Raul Midón

LUCIANA SOUZA

LEE ANN WOMACK

OCTOBER 3, 2019

JUDY COLLINS

OCTOBER 20, 2019

THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS

FEBRUARY 6, 2020

ROSANNE CASH

FEBRUARY 19, 2020

CHRIS THILE

FEBRUARY 25, 2020

RAUL MIDÓN

FEBRUARY 27, 2020


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29

How did your education at Kendall shape your art and potentially your career moving forward post-graduation? I was born and raised in Grand Rapids and graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration and a Printmaking minor in 2017. I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. I’ve always had sketchbooks and doodles in the margins of my notes. I always knew I wanted to be an artist. By the time I was looking into college, I felt that illustration would be the best fit for me. In my second year, I discovered printmaking and it gave me a whole new medium to create in. I think that Kendall shaped my technical skills into what they are today. I don’t know what my art would be like without that foundation. My courses in art history gave me a lot of inspiration to draw from. I think being in that environment, surrounded by creatives and talking to other students and professors, helped shape where I want to take my career. If you could use one word to describe your art, what would it be? Phantasmic. What is your creative process when designing a new print? I usually start with a pencil sketch, which I then ink with a brush pen and turn into a stencil. I give myself a few options for how I want to layer each color of the print and will go through a series of tests before I find the combination I like. With printmaking, sometimes you can create something that is exactly like what’s in your head. Usually, the print kind of becomes itself as you’re working with the medium and figuring out its strengths and limitations. I like to create images based on a mood or dream I’ve had. It’s always interesting to decipher what the specific images mean to me while I’m working on a piece.

As someone who has lived in Grand Rapids her whole life, how has this area helped you as a creative? I think that the art community on Avenue for the Arts/ Division and in the Creston neighborhood has helped me in finding ways to give my art more exposure with artist markets. I think Grand Rapids is a good area for artists because there is a strong community of creatives who provide a lot of opportunities for collaboration. Speaking of Creston, what was it like participating in the Creston After Dark event and what is your process when creating mural work? Last year, I was asked to paint a mural in the parking lot of Lions and Rabbits. Other than painting a small spot on the Movies on Monroe parking lot, I had never done any mural work. I was really excited but also nervous to tackle such a large project. I had a good experience with that mural, so when I was asked to participate in Creston After Dark, I immediately said yes. My main inspiration when creating mural work is the area that I am working in. I used cicadas, which are symbols of rebirth and rejuvenation, in my mural at Lions and Rabbits. I used dogs to represent adaptability and determination in my mural at J&K’s at Creston After Dark. What keeps you going as an artist? The most important thing to me as an artist is being able to make the space to create, even if it is only 15 minutes a day. Prioritizing time to sit down and make something has always been the most important thing to me. I think my passion and need for creating is what keeps me going. Find Facer’s work at michellefacer.com and on Instagram at michelle_facer. n

Top: Shadows. Middle: Lost & Found. Bottom: Cicadas mural. By Michelle Facer

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GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY PRESENTS THE 17TH ANNUAL

ARTS FALL

CELEBRATION/2019

6 signature events, 17 inspiring seasons ART

POETRY

LECTURE

Jill Lepore: American History from Beginning to End

EXHIBITION RECEPTION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 5–7 P.M. ALLENDALE CAMPUS

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 6 P.M. ROBERT C. PEW GRAND RAPIDS CAMPUS

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 6 P.M. ROBERT C. PEW GRAND RAPIDS CAMPUS

EXHIBITION DATES: AUGUST 23–NOVEMBER 1

DANCE

HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

FALL

Water on the Mind: A Baroque Musical Journey

Water: A Vision in Dance

CELEBRATION

MUSIC

ARTS

An evening with Ellen Bass and Kevin Young

GVSU

Art of Today: Contemporary Collections from Chicago

MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 7:30 P.M. ALLENDALE CAMPUS

Beloved Songs of the Season

MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 7:30 P.M. FOUNTAIN STREET CHURCH

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 7:30 P.M. ALLENDALE CAMPUS

Check gvsu.edu/fallarts for event details.

32 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

Media Sponsor:


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

BRYAN KOSCIOLEK

AS MANY WEIRD THINGS AS POSSIBLE BY MICHAELA STOCK

Rooted in the grit of Midwestern manufacturing and the chaotic independence of DIY artist culture, Bryan Kosciolek is a printmaker and painter creating out of Grand Rapids. Focused slightly more on the process than the product, Kosciolek’s spontaneous and playful attitude is highlighted throughout his entire collection of work, which expands across an impressive array of materials and mediums. Kosciolek is a part of the Dinderbeck Studios community of downtown Grand Rapids, but when he’s not there, you can find him screenprinting at CreateMyTee or collaborating with local organizations, such as the DAAC and Experience Live Art.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 35 Bryan Kosciolek. Courtesy Photo

Left: Collaboration with Joshua Solas. Right: Powertool print. COURTESY PHOTOS

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Rotating Gallery Exhibitions • Fallasburg Arts Festival Community Theater • Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concert Series House Concerts • Art and Theater Classes 223 W Main Street, downtown Lowell LOWELLARTSMI.ORG

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LowellArts connects artists and audiences through the visual and performing arts.

theater

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SEASON ANNOUNCED! SEASON FLEX PASSES CONCERT BUNDLES

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33

How has being in Grand Rapids helped you grow as an artist? There’s just more art here. It’s easier to get to. I grew up in the suburbs about 40 minutes away from Detroit, so living 5 minutes away from downtown Grand Rapids is a little different — just how convenient it is to see art all the time, compared to living in the suburbs where every house looks the same. You graduated from Kendall College, which is what brought you to Grand Rapids. What did you study? I studied illustration. Toward the end of the program, I took more of an interest in printmaking because I enjoy the process of making artwork. It’s just a little more handson. Printmaking has more of a manufacturing history. The skills I learned as a printmaker allowed me to be a little more nostalgic about what my father and grandfather do, because they work with their hands, and so do I now, just in an adjacent way. I still have a manufacturer’s career path, but I’m connected to the arts. What has been inspiring you recently? The most inspiring moment that I’ve had recently was a mural that I did with Josh Solas. There was a sense of energy where it was like, ‘You don’t have time to hesitate, so don’t be self-conscious of anything that you’re working on right now. Just create something.’ That was the first time I felt like I was doing something legitimate. That was eight months ago. That was after I graduated college with an art degree. Why did that inspire you? It clicked because I was sharing energy with a fellow creative. I realized then that making artwork on my own is fun, but creating artwork with a community or with another individual is so much more genuine. Doing art for a community or with a community is what really matters to me. What’s your creative process like? I like to have a base iconography, and then I like to distort it. I really like Romantic portraiture, like Roman and Greek sculpture. I like that it represents a manufactured perfection of the human body, and then I like to distort

it — whether it’s with color or through the process in which I create it. Tell me about Dinderbeck, the art studio you’re a part of in Grand Rapids. It’s wonderful. Basically, it is a group of artists who share a community space, and we are all print-based artists. I think the most interesting part of it is that we are all different ages. A few of our older artists are 35 and have children, and then we have someone who’s in their late 20s who is about to get married and just bought a house, and then there’s a young 22-year-old who just graduated college. And there’s me, who’s a goofball floating through life. What’s the studio environment like? For people who have never worked in a print shop, you can compare it a little bit to working in a kitchen. It’s a lot of team-based work, where someone’s doing one half of a task and I’m immediately taking it and doing another half of it. It’s a similar environment — you’re making a beautiful product for somebody, to be consumed in a different way. We do weird, quirky stuff that we think would be silly just for the sake of making things, not because we’re like, ‘Oh, we’re going to make a ton of money off of this!’ One guy just got a tattoo gun, and he gave me a tattoo yesterday. That’s the kind of the environment — very silly, very spontaneous. What advice do you have for younger artists? Expose yourself to as many mediums as possible while you’re young. If you feel in yourself that you are creative and then you bottleneck yourself into just doing dog portraits and then you hate doing dog portraits in like four years but that’s all you can do, you’re going to be really upset with yourself. Do not hesitate to do as many pieces of art as possible, and do not let anyone tell you, ‘Oh, if you’re going to paint with oils, you can only paint with oils.’ Spray paint on your painting, and oil paint on it. Do as many weird things as humanly possible all the time. See Kosciolek's work at bryankosciolek.com or on Instagram at bryan_kosciolek. n

Top: Mural at Spiral. Middle and bottom: Prints made at Dinderbeck Studios. COURTESY PHOTOS

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SPONSORED CONTENT

LOOKING FOR A REAL BARN FIND? A quick note from the Barn Theatre in Augusta

tibetan monks drepung loseling monastery

november 6–10

november 8

mandala sandpainting at kalamazoo valley museum

concert of song & dance at comstock auditorium, kalamazoo – 7:30 pm

rahim alhaJ & sahba motallebi Iraqi oud master with Iranian tar virtuosa

Friday, October 18 at 7:30 PM St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Kalamazoo

If you’re a theatre buff in West Michigan, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Barn Theatre School just south of Grand Rapids in August, MI. “The Barn” as it’s affectionately called by patrons, offers a unique theatre experience to guests every summer for the last 73 years.

A REAL BARN FIND

Yes, the theatre is in a historical barn. Still, the barn boasts seating for more than 400 audience members, a large stage, sound systems, lighting and more, to bring top notch performances each and every summer. It’s a relaxed atmosphere where everyone is welcome. Free parking is available on the front lawn. And yes, they do have air conditioning!

PROFESSIONAL EQUITY THEATRE Fujin Raijin: music of Japan Featuring organ, marimba, and Taiko drumming

Sunday, October 20 at 4:00 PM Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Kalamazoo

schola antiqua Early music vocalists performing Jerusalem 1000-1400

Sunday, November 17 at 4:00 PM First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo

The Barn Theatre company is made up of professional actors as well as apprentices, who come from across the country to hone their craft and earn weeks toward their membership in the Actors Equity Association. The apprentices are more than just actors. A visit to the Barn and you’ll see all hands on deck in parking cars, serving drinks at the Rehearsal Shed, taking tickets and more. They learn every aspect of what it takes to run a professional theatre production.

FAMOUS BARNIES more than 16 events, including: the passion of Joan of arc (film with live soundtrack) leahaliza lee . taiko drumming . samite . and many more! presented by

october 18 – december 1 kalamazoo, michigan

for tickets: ccmusicfest.com or 269-382-2910

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There are many famous actors who have started as apprentices on the Barn Theatre stage, or behind the scenes. They are affectionally dubbed “Famous Barnies” and many come back to participate in different performances when they are able. A few famous faces who got their start at the Barn Theatre include Tom Wopat, Jennifer Garner, Dana Delany, Lauren Graham, Jonathan Larson the creator of RENT, Marin Mazzie and many, many more.

Above: Barn Theater. Below: Shinnerrie Jackson as Motormouth in Hairspray.

SUMMER STOCK THEATRE + CHRISTMAS SHOW

The Barn Theatre puts on 6 to 8 shows each summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day, most run for two weeks. They also hold special seasonal performances like their Annual Christmas Cabaret during weekends in December. Be sure to join their email list or follow them on Facebook to see what they have in store this fall.

TWO SHOWS EVERY NIGHT

The Rehearsal Shed is where rehearsals happen, but it is also home of “The Bar Show”. After the mainstage shows patrons stroll over for a drink, snacks and a cabaret style show. It’s an up-close experience to interact with the actors as they sing, dance, serve drinks, snacks and more.

Barn Theatre School 13351 West M-96, Augusta (269) 731-4545 barntheatreschool.org


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

ALISON HUNT

FINDING JOY IN THE FREAKY, CREEPY AND WEIRD BY ELMA TALUNDZIC Alison Hunt encourages people who view her art to embrace their individuality and strangeness. The 22-year-old Grand Valley State University student graduates in December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration. Hunt’s work brings together bright colors, defined lines and classic movie monsters. This blending of scary, darker themed content with traditionally happy, bright colors resonates throughout her work. We spoke with Hunt about her art and the joy you can find in the unusual.

Alison Hunt. Courtesy Photo

CONTINUED ON PAGE 39

Above: Toxic Head. Below: Lunch Date. By Alison Hunt

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DESIGN YOURSELF Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

kcad.edu 800.676.2787

19163 Revue Arts Ad (September 2019) FINAL NEW.indd 1

Capturing West Michigan’s natural areas through art and conservation See new work by

7/10/19 2:19 PM

2019–2020 SEASON PREVIEW see page 1A

Jean Allemeier Boot • Anne Corlett • Jane Everhart Randi Ford • Yolanda Gonzalez • Thomas Hegewald Shilin Hora • Ellie Iorio • Sally Jenks • Justin Kellner Kathleen Kalinowski • Kathy Mohl • Teresa O’Brien Michael Pfleghaar • Susan M. Rose • Cayla Tinney

for the first time at two unique gallery receptions MUSKEGON

Frauenthal Center Reception Gallery Thursday, October 3, 2019, 5-8 p.m. Exhibit runs October 3-8, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS

SERVING CUBAN SANDWICHES AND CARIBBEAN INSPIRED CUISINE.

LaFontsee Galleries

Thursday, October 17, 2019, 5-8 p.m. Exhibit runs October 17-19, 2019

Learn more and register to attend online at naturenearby.org/preserved Proceeds from registration and art sales will benefit the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. 1 CARLTON AVE SE, SUITE A, GRAND RAPIDS

(616) 988-9788 DanzonCubano.com facebook.com/DanzonCubano Instagram: @danzoncubanogr

38 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 37

How long have you been an artist? For as long as I can remember. I’ve always been drawing and sketching during school. That’s what I would do instead of actually doing school. I decided that’s the one thing that I was really passionate about. It’s always been a part of my life ever since I was little.

identify with myself. I really enjoy mixing fun, playful colors and themes with more dark subject matter. So sometimes it gets weird and the tagline serves as a preface to that. I want people who view my work to embrace that, and find some personal freedom in enjoying something that isn’t conventional.

How would you describe your style? Quirky, bold, bright, graphic and kinda freaky. My use of color and clean lines is something that defines most of my work. I like my work to really pop and grab people’s attention. I think that there’s a juxtaposition that’s in a lot of my work. Sometimes it’s darker themed content but then I have a style that’s really bright colors and clean lines. I think that comes from my personality a little bit. I’m into dark humor.

You mentioned that you love it when people embrace the weird. Why is that? I want everyone to be able to embrace their individuality and feel pride in the parts of themselves that aren’t ‘normal.’ It’s really fulfilling for me to be able to express myself through my art and make all the weird things in my head come to life. I want to be able to share that joy with the people who look at my work. We can do whatever we want in this life, so why not do something fun and crazy just because it brings us joy.

I really like how vibrant your work is. Is there a reason you like to use bright colors? I used to only do black and white work for a really long time. I think when I got to college and I took a color theory class and I got exposed to a lot more artists, I just realized that color is so much fun to play with. You can make it as bright and ridiculous as you want. I always feel really happy when I’m painting with super bright colors. Could you tell us a little more about your website's tagline: Welcome all you freaks, geeks, and creeps. It’s a phrase that kept coming to mind when I thought about introducing people to my body of work and something I

How do people react to your work? I feel like some people don’t understand it, some people get really excited about it and some people think it’s weird and gross. I’ve been told that the way I draw eyes can give people the heebie jeebies. Where do you get your ideas from? I get them from everywhere. My recent work has been inspired by old cheesy horror movies, like Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon. They just have those clas-

sic iconic monsters. That imagery has lasted for decades and it’s still recognizable. I draw a lot of inspiration from that. Are you working on any current projects? I have a couple of commissions I’m working on. I’m hoping to open up an online shop soon with T-shirt designs, so I’ve been working on coming up with ideas for that. What has been the most challenging part of being an artist? Finding your own voice. As an illustrator, there are so many different styles, mediums and ways to work. I think experimenting with that and trying to figure out what really spoke to me and helped my art look the best way it could look has been a journey. It’s still an ongoing process, finding your voice behind the art. It’s an evolution that never stops. There’s pressure to be unique and different and stand out from what everyone else is doing, but you also don’t want to do something just for the sake of being unique. What do you hope people will experience when they view your art? Any amount of happiness I can bring someone through my work is a job well done. I hope that they can find an appreciation for the things in life that may seem ugly and scary. Nothing is all good or all bad, and monsters can be beautiful too. Find Hunt’s work at alisonhuntart.com. n

From left to right: My Mind is a Fire, Mutant Man Eater, Toxic Terror. By Alison Hunt

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THEATER AT GRCC GRCC’s award-winning theater faculty offer 18 courses that cover performance, dance, theater design and technology, and theater appreciation. CUSTOM JEWELRY - YOUR DESIGN OR MINE. Unique. Art gallery with up to 18 artists including 3-D. 202 E. Michigan Ave, Paw Paw | (269) 657-1031

THEATER TAUGHT ME THE RULES OF ACTING; IMPROV TAUGHT ME TO BREAK THEM. I LOVED DOING BOTH! - LANGSTON GANT, FREELANCE MUSICIAN GRCC ALUMNUS

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ArtWalk September 17 - October 7

10th Anniversary Art Events, Live Music and More!

GRCC 2019/2020 SEASON Welcome to Arroyo’s by Kristoffer Diaz Nov 7-9 Constellations by Nick Payne (in lab space/black box – Room 201)

Meet our ArtWalk artists Tonya Rund and Laura Crabtree at First Friday on October 4!

Jan 9-11, 2020 Tigers Be Still by Kim Rosenstock March 26-28 Call 616-234-3946 or visit www.grcc.edu/theater for more information.

40 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

C2C GALLERY Art for your everyday life.

104 Washington Ave., Grand Haven

c2cgallery.com


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

ERIC HEERSPINK FINDING SHAPES IN THE STARS BY KELLY BROWN Ceramic artist Erin Heerspink wants you to know one thing: Don’t label him as the “Star Wars Potter.” Even though Eric draws inspiration from the original film trilogy, one does not have to be a fan of the movies to appreciate and understand his work. A native of West Michigan, Eric’s ceramic education and career has taken him from Calvin University to Miami to Southern Illinois’ University of Edwardsville for a master’s degree and then back to Calvin as an adjunct professor. These days, when he isn’t working part-time, he’s focused on ceramics and family.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 43 Eric Heerspink. Courtesy Photo

From left to right: Lidded Jar, mugs, Yellow Castle Bowl. By Eric Heerspink

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Live Shakespeare. Made in Michigan.

A story of – Skills, Friendship, Compassion...

SEW WHAT? The story of the Caregivers Sewing Group

THOUGHT PROVOKING FILMS PRESENTS “SEW WHAT?”

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© 2019 TPF PRODUCTIONS

Thursday, September 19, 6:30pm | Koning Micro Cinema (inside Wealthy Theatre) Tickets (Wealthy Theatre website or at the door): $5 - General Admission / $4 - Community Media Center members

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42 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

Left to right: Boat, mugs. By Eric Heerspink

We have to ask, what do you think of the new Star Wars films (third to be released this year) and how have they influenced your work? As a kid, I saw the original trilogy and was immediately captivated. They instantly became my favorite movies. Today, as an adult, the original Star Wars films carry with them nostalgia. It is this feeling of familiarity that I work to convey through my pieces. The new movies do not carry the same weight. While they are similar in many respects visually, thematically and even to some extent with the plots, they do not make me feel the same way when I watch them. To put a number on it, I’ve watched Episode VII: The Force Awakens perhaps 4 or 5 times, compared to the countless times I’ve watched the original three. Do you ever feel artistically pigeonholed by deciding to design your work around the Star Wars trilogy? I’ve never felt pigeon-holed, but I do have a fear of being labeled the “Star Wars Potter.” While I talk about Star Wars in regards to my work and draw inspiration directly from the films, it’s not necessary, as a viewer or user of the work, to know the inspiration or to have even seen the films. I was very deliberate to not directly include images pulled from the films. Instead, I looked to shapes, patterns, colors and lines to reference and provide inspiration. However, it is quite satisfying when someone says, “it reminds me of Star Wars” when exploring the work.

Has that inspiration ever run out or put you in a design rut? So far, no. There is a wealth of visual imagery within the films. I am always looking at the scenery and ship design for shapes, patterns and forms. Often these are pulled from obscure places within the films. I not only look to the movies but also to the drawing and paintings of Ralph McQuarrie. He was the lead designer and illustrator for the Star Wars films and many of the elements used in the movies were developed through his drawings. What is your creative process? It’s hard to describe my process, because I’m unsure if I have one. When thinking about a new form, the ideas come often at random times and places. There has been more than one occasion where my wife and I are at dinner and I start asking her opinion of a new form as I’m sketching something on my napkin. Ideas often come when my mind should be focused on something else entirely like at a family event, while falling asleep or even at church. How does that process translate to working in your studio? When working in the studio, my process is more assembly line than what most people think of as ‘creative.’ I usually make pieces in batches. For example, I make 24 mugs at a time. I form all of the bodies and handles, then attach the handles, then glaze the mugs, and finally fire and sand

them. Creative decisions are being made all the time about where to put the glaze lines, what color to glaze them, where to attach the handle and so on. What’s most important to you as an artist? Simple answer, my family. I know it sounds cliche but it’s absolutely true. I would not be where I am without the incredible support of my wife as well as my own parents. It was my parents who supported and encouraged me in my choice of majors at Calvin University. I have heard it many times while teaching, especially at the college level, ‘I would be an art major but my parents won’t allow it.’ It’s almost impossible to achieve a goal when those closest to you are not encouraging. My wife has been the biggest source of support and encouragement. We had our first child this past Christmas and she is the most important person in this world. It’s incredible how quickly my reason for making has changed. I find myself thinking how I just want her to be proud of her dad and to be able to provide for her. Find his work at ericheerspinkceramics.com or on Instagram at heerspinkceramics. n

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Picture Yourself at the

Symphony

CONCERT & TICKET INFO:

KalamazooSymphony.com

Join us for our 43rd Season! A MERRY MOSAIC Celebrating the many colors of Christmas

Richard Phelps, Music Director & Conductor visit www.kalamazoosingers.org

44 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2019 5:00 pm First Presbyterian Church Kalamazoo

SHOWSTOPPERS!

WAR NO MORE

Bringing you the biggest moments in musical theater

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of V-E Day

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 , 2020 7:00 pm Comstock Community Auditorium Kalamazoo

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2020 5:00 pm Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Portage


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CHELSEA MICHAL GARTER ABSTRACT ARTICULATION BY ABI SAFAGO

Ever since she was little, Chelsea Michal Garter’s been more interested in capturing the feeling of a person, animal or experience than making a picture-perfect recreation. Her abstract (sometimes semi-abstract) art has made her a name around town, this year winning Best Artist with tons of votes in Revue’s Best of the West readers poll. Raised in Lowell and homeschooled all the way up to college, Garter said she had plenty of free time to hone her abilities and express herself through art. She also attributes her abilities to all the great instructors she’s had over the years who continue to push and inspire her. We talked with Garter about her artistic journey and where her inspiration comes from. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

Above: Chelsea Michal Garter. Courtesy Photo Below: Female. Chelsea Michal Garter

June. Chelsea Michal Garter

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45

Left: Krabi Caves. Right: For better or worse. Chelsea Michal Garter

How did you get involved with art? How has it evolved? When my career took off, I was painting these large abstract animals. They would just sell. They were abstract and I used different colors but I would still get a little bored. People would be like ‘Oh, you paint animals!’ and I'm like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if that's the vibe I want to go with.’ It was awesome and a great start to everything, but I sort of used the same color scheme and started doing abstract work. It was really hard to transition because people now still come up to me and say, ‘Oh, you're the one who paints animals,’ but that's people that knew my work from 10 years ago. I just started painting large abstracts. What about when you were first making art? The first thing I did when I was little was portraits all the time. I was obsessed with trying to make perfect faces and it's hard, so I started doing line botanical studies. I started doing those first as simple lines and ended up transitioning into work on faces and such. I was just dabbling and having fun with it and I ended up wanting to do much more with it. What is a recent piece you're proud of? I have one hanging at Linear restaurant downtown. I painted it in 2017, so it isn't super recent, but I love it. I’ve kept it at my own house on my walls and haven’t had it anywhere until this August. It means a lot, because I painted it while my grandpa was declining in health, so I definitely feel close to it. It was a weird time in my life — I journal with my paintings and it really signified a certain season or chapter in my life. What is your planning process, or is it in the moment? Usually I have some planning, a few images with color palettes that are inspiring to me and then go with the emotion I'm trying to portray. I have so many journals and I put my

46 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

ideas in there. There is always a thought for a new piece processing, written down somewhere. It’s kind of like little dances and ideas of what the next abstract will look like. For line drawings, I just see people and faces I love and it's fun. What do you want people to see when they look at your art? I think I want it to evoke emotion for sure. Everyone experiences it differently. It’s kind of funny and ironic actually; when I'm sad, I tend to paint with really bright colors. I think I want to bring joy and life and good emotions when people look at the paintings and drawings I’ve done. I think it's OK to be sad when looking at them too. I paint with neutrals sometimes to create a calming or peaceful look. I think my faith has guided me to want to paint vibrant colors to show there is a light in the darkness. I just really want to change my little corner of the world with color and using paint. Who are your artistic influences? A big one of mine is Helen Frankenthaler. Otherwise, I would say some other artists that inspire me would be Kooning, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, Laelie Berzon, and Matisse. They're all amazing artists who helped me find how I want to paint and do my art. What are you working on right now? I have a few murals coming up! I have some that will be in downtown I’m really excited for. It's so fun to see these little drawings I have done or been inspired by get blown up. I also have a few shows until the end of the year at Ferris Coffee and Stovetop Coffee Roasters. What is your biggest goal with art? My biggest goal is to sell enough to keep me painting. It’s just something I am really grateful for.

You do a variety of art. What’s your favorite size to work in? I love using four-by-five foot canvasses. I feel so free when I paint that big, I think the space just makes it feel more open. I have never made a huge one I don’t like, so when I get to paint that large, I trust it. I would love to paint bigger, I just haven’t found someone to make canvases bigger than that yet. Do you think West Michigan is a good place for artists? Absolutely. It’s so good over here. I feel like it’s growing and there’s something happening here. It’s got such an energetic and artistic vibe coming from the youth, and people are so excited about art here. It makes it easier to sell art here, because you know people appreciate it. What is the best advice you would give to a new artist? Just start. Find an artist you like and copy their pieces. Practice their art, but don’t show off their work you copied though! Work on that with other artists until you intertwine what you really like and make it your own. Then you can start showing off art and create your own vibe. Start putting it out there, don’t be afraid. What is the best advice you’ve been given? It would have to be from one of my writing professors a long time ago. He told me to ‘write a picture,’ and I take this same advice for my paintings, ‘paint an expression.’ This is why I am drawn to action painting and abstract expressionism, because it is only in that same moment you can express or ‘write’ the feeling/emotion. In the same way, my line faces are not meant to be pretty, they are done quickly and meant to be an abstraction of the people’s faces that I see. n


SEPTEMBER 2019 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS

FREE

WEST MICHIGAN'S CULTURAL ARTS GUIDE

Season Previews A complete preview of West Michigan’s cultural arts events for 2019–2020


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[PREVIEWS]

VISUAL ARTS

Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard

COMPILED BY DANA CASADEI

Design Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com Liz Romain

BROAD ART MUSEUM

547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing broadmuseum.msu.edu, (517) 884-4800

Through the end of December, Broad Art Museum is hosting A Brief History of Art in Space, an exhibition that looks at historic moments across the cosmos, like the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, and how the exploration of space has been intertwined with artistic imagination and visual culture. The Edge of Things focuses on how art can be a call to action and an act of resistance, gathering together pieces from the 1960s through the late 1980s, two decades full of oppressive social, political and cultural conditions. The pieces in Scholar’s Garden come from the MSU Broad’s own collection. These East Asian works look at how gardens have inspired sites of learning, providing opportunities for intellectual enrichment and solitary contemplation. Then there’s Katrín Sigurðardóttir opening in September alongside new works by Puerto Rican artist and filmmaker Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, whose pieces will have viewers discussing the effect of Hurricane Maria on his homeland. ■■ A Brief History of Art in Space, Through Dec. 8 ■■ The Edge of Things: Dissident Art under Repressive Regimes, Through Jan. 5 ■■ The Scholar’s Garden, Through Feb. 9 ■■ Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Sept. 14-March 1 ■■ Field Station: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Oct. 12-Jan. 26

CALVIN UNIVERSITY CENTER ART GALLERY

106 S. Division, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/centerartgallery/studio, (616) 526-627

In September, the Center Art Gallery is displaying newly acquired works from its permanent collection in the John James Audubon exhibit. Selections were made from the complete 1966 set of Audubon’s Birds of America, which was originally published in the early 19th century and contains 400 colored illustrations of birds. Two more exhibitions will open in September, including items from the private collection of Nicholas and Claire Wolterstorff, which features chairs made by world-renowned Danish designer Hans Jør-

Contributing Writers Kayla Sosa Dana Casadei Marla Miller Michaela Stock Abi Safago

FIND US ONLINE:

Website: revuewm.com/arts Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm  Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. PHOTO COURTESY OF BROADWAY GALLERY, LETCHWORTH

gensen Wegner. There will also be works by artist and woodturner John Van Ast. The fall concludes with Dwelling: Our Watershed in Image and Word, in which Calvin’s Plaster Creek Stewards — a group that helps restore the health and beauty of the Plaster Creek Watershed in Grand Rapids — will celebrate its 10th anniversary through an exhibit of student photography and poetry. Then comes Chicago-based artist David Wallace Haskins, who is well known for exploring light, space, time and sound to create immersive and interactive installations, sculptures and architectural interventions. There’s also a faculty exhibition featuring graphic designer Chris Fox and his Grand Rapids-based art collective, Not Design, a group focused on stepping outside the boundaries of traditional design. Come the new year, the gallery will showcase selections from the Donna Spaan Collection; Nagel Institute: Spirit and Matter Exhibition; a Cherith Lundin Exhibition; as well as an exhibit with Professor Craig Hanson. ■■ John James Audubon: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Sept. 3-Jan. 28 ■■ Wolterstorff Collection Exhibition, Sept. 3-Oct. 19 ■■ I Only Enhance What’s Already There: John Van Ast, Sept. 3-Oct. 19

■■ Dwelling: Our Watershed in Image and Word, Oct. 18-Nov. 29 ■■ David Wallace Haskins, Oct. 28-Dec. 14 ■■ Faculty Exhibition: Chris Fox, Oct. 28-Dec. 14 ■■ Selections from the Donna Spaan Collection, Jan. 28-July 31 ■■ Nagel Institute: Spirit and Matter Exhibition, Jan. 6-Feb. 22 ■■ Cherith Lundin Exhibition, March 2-April 25 ■■ Versailles: Contextual Explorations with Professor Craig Hanson, March 2-April 25 ■■ Senior BA and BFA Exhibition, May 4-23

FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK

For advertising, subscription, and distribution inquiries, e-mail: Rich Tupica sales@revuewm.com REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2019 Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved.

ON THE COVER: SEPTEMBER 2019 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS

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WEST MICHIGAN'S CULTURAL ARTS GUIDE

1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids meijergardens.org, (888) 957-1580

A new exhibit coming in September is Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb. The British installation artist works with dried and fresh plant material to create site-specific installations, like the one that will be displayed in the Balk Gallery. Since Law works mainly with natural materials, guests are encouraged to visit the time-based exhibit more than once to watch the process of drying.

Continued on page 4A

Season Previews A complete preview of West Michigan’s cultural arts events for 2019–2020

Yuka Oba in Possokhov's Firebird. PHOTO BY DAMION VAN SLYKE Aladdin at Wharton Center for Performing Arts. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY ICS2018rdfrnylw-turqprp by Sydney Blum. SPECTRA at the UICA. COURTESY PHOTO Emmet Cohen. PHOTO BY JOHN ABBOTT

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Visual Arts

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The Meijer Gardens also will continue its annual events like Chrysanthemums & More, which is the largest exhibit of its kind; Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions to ring in the holiday spirit; and the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation, Fred & Dorothy Fichter’s Butterflies Are Blooming. ■■ Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb, Sept. 20-March 1 ■■ Chrysanthemums & More!, Sept. 20-Oct. 27 ■■ Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions, Nov. 26-Jan. 5 ■■ Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming, March 1-April 30

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM

101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org, (616) 831-1000

Writer's Block By Billy Mayer. Billy Mayer: The Shape of Things at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. COURTESY PHOTO

What would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared by Dean Allison. A New State Of Matter: Contemporary Glass at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. COURTESY PHOTO

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Open since May, Maya Lin: Flow and Melanie Daniel: Only Four Degrees will both come to a close in September. However, through early 2020 we have Billy Mayer: The Shape of Things and David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling. Mayer, who passed away in 2017, is considered one of Michigan’s most distinctive and unique sculptors, bringing together large and small-scale sculpture that demonstrated his imagination and enormous range of interests and sources. Wiesner is one of the most highly acclaimed book illustrators in the world and a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, which is a HUGE deal. He will have 70 original watercolors on display. Pieces include works from the books that won him those Caldecott Medals: Tuesday, The Three Pigs and Flotsam. Also displayed are works from his early career, sketches and notebooks. Opening next year, A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass has 19 artists, including Grand Rapids’ own Norwood Viviano. The focus is entirely on the power of glass as an art form, showcasing contemporary artists who use it in innovative ways while presenting its metaphorical possibilities and connecting to cultural, environmental, spiritual and political themes, such as social media and climate change. ■■ Maya Lin: Flow, Through Sept. 8 ■■ Melanie Daniel: Only Four Degrees, Through Sept. 8 ■■ Billy Mayer: The Shape of Things, Through Feb. 2 ■■ David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling, Oct. 12-Jan. 12 ■■ A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass, Jan. 25-April 26 ■■ In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870-1940, May 21-Oct. 4

■■ An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2016, Oct. 24-Dec. 31

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 314 South Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775

The KIA’s first three exhibitions of the season — Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan, and Resilience: African American Artists As Agents of Change — all focus on art by African Americans and those of African descent, with artists’ works in a variety of mediums as diverse as their age range. Come October is Natural Flow, Natural Forms: Contemporary Works by Japanese Women, followed by David Park: A Retrospective. The latter will present the work of the pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, the first exhibition of its kind in 30 years. Also opening in December is the Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review. Spring and summer will have two exhibitions. First is Unveiling American Genius in March, with the gallery showcasing the reinstallation of the six galleries devoted to spotlighting its permanent collection. Then, the KIA will present Ginny Ruffner’s sculpture work in Reforestation of the Imagination, creating an interactive viewer experience through augmented reality technology. ■■ Moments of Peace: Watercolors by Sunghyun Moon, Through Oct. 13 ■■ Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Sept. 14-Dec. 8 ■■ Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan, Sept. 14-Dec. 8 ■■ Resilience: African American Artists As Agents of Change, Sept. 14-Dec. 8 ■■ Natural Flow, Natural Forms: Contemporary Works by Japanese Women, Oct. 26-Feb. 2 ■■ David Park: A Retrospective, Dec. 21-March 15 ■■ Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review, Dec. 21-March 8 ■■ Unveiling American Genius, March 28 ■■ Reforestation of the Imagination: Ginny Ruffner, Summer 2020

LAFONTSEE GALLERIES 833 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids lafontsee.us

After closing its Douglas gallery and now focusing solely on its presence in Grand Rapids, LaFontsee Galleries is hosting two art demos this fall that include artists working in painting, mixed media and textiles. So far, there are also two group exhibitions planned for the season.

Continued on page 6A


EXHIBITIONS OPENING SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan Resilience: African American Artists as Agents of Change The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is proud to host a suite of exhibitions that will fill nearly the entire museum with art by Black and African American artists from around the country and the world. Together we seek to build awareness and appreciation for the contributions of national, regional, and local artists – in all mediums – as they illuminate universal dialogues of identity, separation, validation, and cultural history.

SEPTEMBER EVENTS AT THE KIA

Friday, Sept. 6, 5-8 pm FREE Art Hop digital exhibition preview & music w/DJ Disobedience Thursday, Sept. 12, 6:30, $5 Evening talk with Crystal Bridges Museum Curator Lauren Haynes Saturday, Sept. 14, 11 am-5 pm, FREE Community Opening Day Party Sunday, Sept. 15, 11 am-5 pm, $5 Family Fun Day Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:30 pm, $5 Evening Talk with Black Refractions artist Adia Millet Children are always free. More events through November. Learn more at kiarts.org

S

COMMUNITY EVENTS THIS FALL

Kalamazoo’s community-wide celebration of Black art and artists includes exhibitions, performances, and artists-in-residence at the Kalamazoo Public Libary, Black Arts and Cultural Center, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Western Michigan University. Find a full event calendar at blackrefractionskalamazoo.org. Juliana Huxtable, Untitled (Psychosocial Stuntin’), 2015, color inkjet print 40 × 30 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee 2015.8.1 ©Juliana Huxtable Courtesy the artist and American Federation of Art Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem was curated by Connie H. Choi, Associate Curator, Permanent Collection,at the Studio Museum. This exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Major support for Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem provided by Art Bridges. Support for the accompanying publication provided by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Sponsors in Kalamazoo include The Stryker Johnston Foundation, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Stryker, Old National Bank, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Humanities Council, Discover Kalamazoo, and WGVU.

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 435 W. South Street

kiarts.org

Free parking & entrances on South and Lovell streets

269/349-7775

Admission $5 / Children & members free REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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[PREVIEWS]

Visual Arts

Continued from page 4A

First is Eye Opener: alternative views of summer, followed by Mix it Up. In October, the gallery is partnering with The Land Conservancy of West Michigan, which works with local artists to raise awareness of the importance of conserving West Michigan’s natural areas. The exhibition, Preserved, will feature works by 16 Michigan artists and all registration and art sales will benefit the Land Conservancy. For those on the lakeshore, Preserved will also be on display at the Frauenthal Center Reception Gallery in Muskegon, from Oct. 3-8, with an opening reception on Oct. 3. ■■ Eye Opener: alternative views of summer, Through Sept. 6 ■■ Art Demos, Sept. 14 and Dec. 14 ■■ Preserved, Oct. 17-19 ■■ Mix it Up, Oct. 25-Nov. 22

LOWELLARTS!

223 W. Main St., Lowell Lowellartsmi.org, (616) 897-8545

First up at LowellArts is the International Society of Experimental Art’s (ISEA) 28th Juried Experimental Art Exhibit with Joseph Becherer as this year’s distinguished juror. Becherer was formerly the founding director and curator of the sculpture program at the Meijer Gardens. The annual Holiday Artists Market will follow and feature more than 50 area artists. After the new year ball drops, The Art of Change arrives, an exhibition that hopes to raise awareness of timely social issues and encourage positive change through the pieces displayed in a variety of mediums. Up next is the 34th Annual West Michigan Art Competition, which features artists who reside in a 25-county region. The last two exhibitions planned for the season are A Reason for Being | Small Wonders | Between/Among/Within and the Great Lakes Pastel Society National Juried Exhibition. ■■ ISEA: Annual Juried Exhibition, Sept. 7–Oct. 26 ■■ Holiday Artists Market, Nov. 14-Dec. 22 ■■ The Art of Change, Jan. 6–Feb. 10 ■■ West Michigan Art Competition, Feb. 29–April 8 ■■ A Reason for Being | Small Wonders | Between/Among/Within, April 25–June 6 ■■ Great Lakes Pastel Society National Juried Exhibition, Sept. 5–Oct. 24

MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART 296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

If you haven’t had the chance to see Guitar with Wings, Rising Voices and Lights, Camera,

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Rock ‘n’ Roll, they all close by early September. Once those are gone, however, the MMA has four more exhibitions opening. There’s the annual Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition, now in its 91st year. Then we have a West Michigan Artist Series featuring five different local artists. Also opening in September is Undying Traditions: Memento Mori, where contemporary artists will explore the Medieval Latin Christian philosophy, and The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda, who both focus on the natural landscape. Just in time for the start of the holidays is the annual Festival of Trees, marking its 15th year. Excellence in Fibers V, an international juried fiber arts competition organized by the Fiber Art Network, returns for the fifth year, followed by The Art of Making: Sculpture and Fiber from the Permanent Collection. Next up is 20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators, where the MMA will continue its tradition of showcasing original art from illustrators across the U.S, but this time all illustrators specifically call Michigan their home state. The spring will conclude the season with Expressions 2020, Postcard Salon and the Permanent Collection of the MMA. ■■ Guitar with Wings: The Photography of Laurence Juber, Through Sept. 1 ■■ Lights, Camera, Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Music Photography of Paul Jendrasiak, Through Sept. 1 ■■ Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters, Through Sept. 8 ■■ 91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition, Sept. 5-Nov. 13 ■■ West Michigan Artist Series, Sept. 5-May 10 ■■ Undying Traditions: Memento Mori, Sept. 12-Jan. 5 ■■ The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda, Sept. 19-Dec. 15 ■■ Festival of Trees, Nov. 20-Dec. 1 ■■ Excellence in Fibers V, Dec. 12-March 15 ■■ The Art of Making: Sculpture and Fiber from the Permanent Collection, Dec. 19-March 29 ■■ 20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators, Jan. 16-May 10 ■■ Expressions 2020: 38th Annual Muskegon County Student Art Exhibition, March 25-April 26 ■■ Postcard Salon, April 9-23 ■■ Permanent Collection of the MMA, May 7-Aug. 30

SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS 400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

Frail Deeds — which opened in May — has works by Mandy Cano Villalobos, who focuses on history, the passage of time and the

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019

ICS2018rdfrnylw-turqprp by Sydney Blum. SPECTRA at the UICA. COURTESY PHOTO

nature of memories in her two- and three-dimensional works. She’s also this year’s Artist in Residence at Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and works with rather unconventional items in her art, like tea bags, hair, fabric and ashes. Built around the light-infused artwork by artists Simon Alexander-Adams, Patrick Ethen, and Cuppetelli and Mendoza — shown in tandem with the installation, Playful Spaces, by Jeremy Barnett and Jason Maracani — is Luminescence. This interactive exhibition lets guests do something rare: actually touch the work. In fact, it’s encouraged. Playful Spaces is a literal line of color and light traveling between the SCA’s outdoor and indoor spaces, made from wood and oversized sticks to form cohesive linear energy. Guests are allowed to touch this too.

the Washington, D.C. area, where Cook set up makeshift photo booths. In January is Translating Valence, in which the works of four black male artists question and deconstruct ideas and ideologies around black masculinity. Then there’s A Beautiful Struggle, with 30 works from 18 black female contemporary artists who explore the integration of black feminist and Afrofuturist ideas. The spring and summer season will consist of Pantone Color of the Year, an entire exhibition utilizing the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year, and an exhibition titled Center. A few shows for fall of 2020 are already planned as well, including Fresh Pick: Egan Franks Holzhausen, Manufactured Narratives, and a solo exhibition with works by Neha Vedpathak.

■■ Frail Deeds, Through Sept. 16 ■■ Luminescence, Oct. 18-Dec. 22

■■ Michigan Emerging Graduate Artists (MEGA) 2019, Through Sept. 8 ■■ Composite: High School Artists Exhibition, Through Sept. 8 ■■ All That Glitters, Through Sept. 8 ■■ SPECTRA, Sept. 6-Dec. 20 ■■ Kennedy Yanko: Before Words, Sept. 28-Jan. 26 ■■ Mark Rumsey: Memory Map: Roof Line State Street, Sept. 28-Jan. 26 ■■ Larry Cook: On the Scene, Sept. 28-Jan. 26 ■■ Translating Valence, Jan. 17-May 3 ■■ A Beautiful Struggle, Feb. 21-June 14 ■■ Pantone Color of the Year, May 22-Sept. 20 ■■ Center, June 26-Sept. 6 ■■ Fresh Pick: Egan Franks Holzhausen, June 26-Sept. 6 ■■ Manufactured Narratives, Sept. 26-Dec. 20 ■■ Neha Vedpathak solo exhibition, Sept. 26-Dec. 20 n

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids uica.org, (616) 454-7000

September brings with it four new exhibitions for the UICA. There’s SPECTRA, a group exhibition where each piece has a foundation in abstract art theories; Before Words, a body of “paint skin” and metal-based work by Kennedy Yanko; Mark Rumsey’s Memory Map: Roof Line - State Street, a site-specific installation by the Grand Rapids-based artist that features braids of repurposed textiles strung into planes that float; and On the Scene, photographer Larry Cook’s solo exhibition. All of the photos were taken within the last two years in


THE ART OF THE CHRYSANTHEMUM

CHRYSANTHEMUMS & MORE! SEPTEMBER 20–OCTOBER 27, 2019

Enjoy a celebration of the chrysanthemum and fall plantings at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s Chrysanthemums & More! exhibition, the largest of its kind in Michigan. Experience formal garden displays with modern touches. Every display will be artfully arranged to create commanding, bold patterns that beg a closer look. We look forward to treating you to an artful autumn!

East Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI MeijerGardens.org | #MeijerGardens | @MeijerGardens

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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MUSIC

[PREVIEWS]

COMPILED BY ABI SAFAGO AND JOSH VEAL

BATTLE CREEK SYMPHONY The Music Center 450 North Ave., Battle Creek yourmusiccenter.org, (269) 963-1911

The oldest orchestra in Michigan has an interesting assortment of concerts throughout the season, starting off with Tango!, featuring one of the best bandoneonists in the world and tango dancers to bring the music to life. Then Broadway superstar Doug LaBrecque returns to his hometown with the Battle Creek Community Chorus to perform some big vocal hits. You’re bound to feel a little out of this world with the The Planets, Gustav Holst’s interstellar masterpiece. ■■ Tango!, Oct. 5 ■■ Doug LaBrecque in Concert, Nov. 9 ■■ A Gospel Christmas, Dec. 14 ■■ The Planets, Feb. 29 ■■ The Gilmore Concert, May 2

FONTANA CHAMBER ARTS

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo fontanamusic.org, (269) 382-7774

The Crybaby Concerts kicks off Fontana’s season, providing a place for children under the age of five to hear music in a comfortable and flexible environment. For the first full show in October, see two of the most prominent and well-known performers in classical music today: violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt. Enjoy three sonatas and selected pieces by Kurtag from this iconic duo. Then, quartets and trios are making their way to Fontana, such as the JACK Quartet and the Takács Quartet. To finish up the season, there’s a jazz concert in collaboration with the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, with a “big reveal” coming sometime this year! ■■ Crybaby Concerts, Oct. 19 ■■ Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, Oct. 26 ■■ JACK Quartet with Colin Currie, Nov. 22 ■■ Anna Polonsky, David Shifrin, Peter Wiley, Nov. 22 ■■ Takács Quartet, Feb. 21 ■■ Jazz Collaboration Concert, April 2020

FRANKE CENTER FOR THE ARTS

214 E. Mansion St., Marshall frankecenterforthearts.org, (269) 789-9677 Above: Augustin Hadelich. COURTESY PHOTO Middle: Christian Tetzlaff. PHOTO BY GIORGIA BERTAZZI Below: Takács Quartet . PHOTO BY AMANDA TIPTON

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019

Fr a n ke C e nte r h o s t s j a z z a n d b l u e s throughout the year alongside its comedy

shows, movie nights and children’s theater performances. ■■ The Tony Monaco Trio, Sept. 21 ■■ Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, Oct. 26 ■■ Laith Al-Saadi, Dec. 28 ■■ Winter Blues Fest, Feb. 1 ■■ Joe Louis Walker, March 28

GILMORE KEYBOARD FESTIVAL

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo thegilmore.org, (269) 342-1166 The Irving S. Gilmore Keyboard Festival brings the greatest pianists in the world to West Michigan, both through its bi-annual festival and with events throughout the year. Check out the Rising Stars series for amazing performances from young talent before heading to the extremely special festival in spring — we’ll have more details on that when the time draws near. Rising Stars ■■ Tiffany Poon, Sept. 22 ■■ Aliya Alsafa & Jeffrey Chin, Oct. 6 ■■ Lukas Geniusas, Oct. 20 ■■ Charles Richard-Hamelin, Nov. 10 ■■ Wei Luo, Jan. 19 Gilmore Keyboard Festival, April 22-May 10

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY 300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451

Since 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony has brought in incredible performers from around the world to perform with our very own homegrown talent. This season, the symphony’s lineup is as huge as ever. If you’re looking for an intro to hearing the symphony live, there are plenty of movies to see. Throw it back with movies like Home Alone and Ghostbusters, scored live by the orchestra. Or make the Harry Potter movies even more magical with the soundtrack performed right onstage as you watch the Boy Who Lived soar through the air and fight off Death Eaters. What you really need to treat yourself to, however, is the symphony’s huge classical series, featuring music by composers from all over the world. Even if you think you’re not into classical music, seeing it live will make a believer out of you. The symphony will teach you all about the music you’re

Continued on page 11A


SEPT 13-14 | DeVos Hall Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series

BARBER Overture to The School for Scandal BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 Concert Sponsor

Augustin Hadelich

violin

Guest Artist Sponsor Edith I. Blodgett Guest Artist Fund

SEPT 27-29 | DeVos Hall

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OCT 4-5 | DeVos Hall Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series

Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” and

TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet: Overture-Fantasy TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 3 TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique" Guest Artist Sponsor Edith I. Blodgett Guest Artist Fund

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616.454.9451 x 4 or GRSymphony.org REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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WHAT MOVES YOU?

FIREBIRD October 18-20, 2019 | Peter Martin Wege Theatre | 616.454.4771 x10 | grballet.com/firebird Yuka Oba in Possokhov’s Firebird; photo by Damion Van Slyke

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019


Music

[PREVIEWS] Continued from page 8A ■■ Concerto for Orchestra!, April 17-18 ■■ Mahler’s Resurrection, May 15-16

■■ Family Concert: Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, March 22 ■■ Classics III: Beethoven 9, April 18

Fox Motors Pops ■■ Queens of Soul, Sept. 27-29 ■■ Broadway Showstoppers, Nov. 8-10 ■■ Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops, Dec. 5-8 ■■ Hollywood Hits Up - Movie with Orchestra, Jan. 17-19 ■■ REVOLUTION - The Beatles Symphonic Experience, May 8-10 Gerber SymphonicBoom ■■ Ghostbusters - Movie With Orchestra, Oct. 31 ■■ Home Alone in Concert, Nov. 12 ■■ Old National Bank Cirque de Noël, Dec. 18-19 PwC Great Eras ■■ The Last Century, Oct. 11 ■■ The Glory of the Baroque, Jan. 31 ■■ Clara’s Circle of Friends, March 13 ■■ Mozart & Haydn, April 3 Specials ■■ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Oct. 18-19 ■■ Symphonie Fantastique with Itzhak Perlman, Nov. 7 ■■ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Feb. 21-22 ■■ Symphony with Soul, Feb. 29 ■■ The Pianists with Ingrid Fliter, April 19

HOLLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

96 W. 15th St. Ste. 201, Holland hollandsymphony.org, (616) 796-7680

Above: Ahn Trio. COURTESY PHOTO Below: Spanish Brass. COURTESY PHOTO

hearing, so you’re not going in totally blind — or rather, deaf. You can feel the music come to life when you hear it live, especially if you attend Mahler’s Resurrection on May 15-16. To start off the classical series, enjoy Hadelich Plays Beethoven on Sept. 13-14. Violinist virtuoso Augustin Hadelich will be performing with the GRS, which is an experience in itself. Hadelich is a Grammy-winning performer who is known for incredibly powerful and intuitive performances. The symphony also is putting on plenty of pops shows, including some amazing Broadway Showstoppers, Queens of Soul

and The Beatles Symphonic Experience. Quite simply, there’s something for everyone here. Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series ■■ Hadelich Plays Beethoven, Sept. 13-14 ■■ Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet, Oct. 4-5 ■■ Tristan & Isolde, Oct. 25-26 ■■ Prokofiev Triumphant, Nov. 15-16 ■■ Shostakovich & Mozart, Jan. 10-11 ■■ Schubert’s “Great,” Feb. 14-15 ■■ Beethoven’s Pastoral, March 6-7 ■■ Beethoven Celebration - The Five Piano Concertos, March 27-28

Holland Symphony explores the classics for most of its season, starting with Classics UpClose, which uses the intimate space of First United Methodist Church to put the audience as near to the music as possible. Then Rachel Barton Pine plugs her violin in to take the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto to another level. The Russian composer probably never foresaw someone like Pine absolutely “shredding” the strings on Allegro vivacissimo in D major, but that’s the joy of living in the 21st century. Later that day, Pine joins the symphony for a slightly more typical performance. The rest of the season features classics like Gerswhin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Beethoven’s 9th and the annual holiday show. ■■ Classics Up-Close, Sept. 6 ■■ Rachel Barton Pine: PLUGGED IN , Sept. 28 ■■ Classics I: Rachel Barton Pine Defying Boundaries, Sept. 28 ■■ Classics II: Rhapsody!, Oct. 26 ■■ Holiday Concert: Seasons Greetings, Dec. 14

HOPE COLLEGE GREAT PERFORMANCE SERIES 141 E. 12th St., Holland hope.edu/gps, (616) 395-7860

Hope College’s Great Performance Series outlines its mission right in the name: bring great performers to the Holland community, providing the lakeside community with internationally renowned music, dance and theater. The classically trained Ahn Trio starts off the season with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, performing incredibly inventive music and dance together. The Ahn sisters are world-renowned, even playing in the White House in 2011. Then, Cuarteto Latinoamericano and Korean classical guitarist Jiji shine the spotlight on Latin American music, combining the beauty and energy of all kinds of strings in a highly unique performance. Female a cappella quintet Nobuntu brings the incredible power of Zimbabwean music, Afro-jazz and gospel to Hope. It’s a rich, vibrant performance focused on amazing voices, with a little percussion and dance thrown in. Then, Pianist Alfredo Rodriguez and percussionist Pedrito Martinez come together to blaze new trails in Cuban jazz. Finally, Spanish Brass has remained one of the most acclaimed and relevant brass ensembles in the world for more than 30 years. The brass quintet receives rave reviews wherever they go.

■■ Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and the Ahn Trio, Sept. 26-27 ■■ Cuarteto Latinoamericano with Guitarist Jiji, Oct. 17 ■■ Nobuntu, Nov. 1 ■■ Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez Duo, Jan. 24 ■■ Spanish Brass, March 27

KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo kalamazoosymphony.com, (269) 349- 7759

Kalamazoo’s season is big and bold, with performances ranging from Star Wars in concert to Mahler’s masterpieces. Throughout the season, you have a couple chances to see the symphony in a totally different setting, performing in smaller groups with shorter songs at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe for the Pint-Sized series. Classics Uncorked is similar, featuring amazing music with wine pairings, dessert, coffee and table seating at the Epic Center.

Continued on page 13 A REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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2019 2020

2018-2019 SEASON OFFERINGS 2019-2020 Concerts) Save 17% off the single ticket price! Season Ticket (Includes 5 Concerts)*

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RACH ON! RACHEL BARTON PINE Concert Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center, Hope College SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2018 – 7:30pm Saturday, September 28, 2019, 7:30 pm Smetana: Ma at Vlast Fatherland) Concert Hall the(My Jack H. Miller Center, Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.2 Hope College in C minor, Op.18 Rachel Barton Pine, violin Young-Hyun Cho, piano

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RACHEL BARTON PULLING OUT PINE PLUGGED IN! THE STOPS Saturday, September 28, 2019, 3:30 pm Concert Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center, Concert Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center, Hope College Hope College SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2018 – 7:30pm Rachel Barton Pine, violin Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture Shortened, family-friendly version of “Fingal’s Cave”, Op.26 the Classics I concert. Rheinberger: Organ Concerto No.2, Op.177 Jongen: Symphonie Concertante, Op.81 Workshop with Huw Lewis, Organ

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All events take place at Hope College Diane Penning, soprano Open to high school and middle school string players. Diane Penning will join the HSO for a festive concert featuring seasonal light classics, traditional carols and holiday pops.

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DeWitt Auditorium, Zeeland East High School Saturday, October 26, 2019, 7:30pm (general seating) SUNDAY, MARCH 2019 – 3:30pm Concert Hall at the24, Jack H. Miller Center, 2:30pm, Children’s pre-concert fun Hope College Norbert Mueller Concerto Competition Winner 2019 Andrew Le, piano Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture “Fingal’s Cave”, Op.26 Holiday Concert Debussy: Nuages (Clouds) from Nocturnes Handel: Water Music Suite No.2 in D major December (Hornpipe) 14, 2019, 3:30 & 7:30 pm Saturday, Ravel: “Une Barque sur l’ocean” Dimnent Chapel, Hope College from Miroirs Beethoven: “Thunderstorm” mvt.4 from Symphony No.6 Family Concert Smetana: Moldau from Ma Vlast

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Concert Hall at thepre-concert Jack H. Miller 2:30pm Children’s funCenter, Hope College DeWitt Auditorium, Zeeland East High School SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2019 – 7:30pm 2020 Norbert Mueller Concerto Competition Winner Mozart: Overture from Abduction from Seraglio, K.384 Classics III Beethoven: Triple Concerto in C major, Op.56 Andrew Le, piano; Jennifer Walvoord, violin & Alicia Eppinga, cello Saturday, April 18, 2020, 3:30 & 7:30 pm Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor Concert Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center, Hope College

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4 ways to order:

ONLINE: ONLINE: www.hollandsymphony.org www.hollandsymphony.org MAIL: Holland Holland Symphony Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, PO PO Box Box 2685, 2685, MAIL: Holland, MI MI 49422-2685 49422-2685 Holland, PHONE: PHONE: 616-796-6780 616-796-6780 IN IN PERSON: PERSON: Midtown Midtown Center, Center, Suite Suite 201, 201, 96 West West 15th 15th Street, Street, Holland Holland MI MI 49423 49423 96

ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS HOLLAND SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRAS 1. Holland Area Youth Orchestra, high school auditioned, meets Monday evenings from 6:00 to 8:30pm. 2. Holland Area Concert Strings, fills the need for intermediate string players. Meets Monday evenings from 6:15 to 8:15pm. 3. Holland Area Junior Strings, middle school non- auditioned, meets Monday afternoons from 4:30 to 6:00pm.

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019

NEW HORIZONS STRING ORCHESTRA program is geared exclusively to musicians who would like to play their instruments but may not have played them in many years. New Horizons meets Tuesday evenings from 5:15 to 6:45pm.

MUSIC IN ME A music class for our littlest musicians! Ages 6 months to 5 years old. Check website for class times and session dates.


[PREVIEWS]

Music

Continued from page 11A ers Quintet is fueled by passion, creativity and the bond of siblings. As for Chamber music, the series begins with a program of music from Great Innovators, such as Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio, which was the first of its kind, and Smetana’s Piano Trio, the first major chamber work from the Bohemian region. Then comes French Enchantment, diving deep into the elegant, graceful, witty music of France. Lastly, From Prague to Vienna closes out the season with music following a line of mentors. Brahms discovered Dvořák, who then taught Suk, and all three of them changed history with their music. Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center ■■ Great Innovators, Nov. 21 ■■ French Enchantment, Jan. 23 ■■ From Prague to Vienna, April 30

Above: Imani Winds. COURTESY PHOTO Below: Emmet Cohen. PHOTO BY JOHN ABBOTT

Then there are the big shows, such as Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, featuring acclaimed violinist Leticia Moreno. Another special guest, pianist Kevin Cole, joins the symphony for Gershwin’s two Rhapsodies. Later in the season, Beethoven, Bach, Mahler and Ravel all get some time in the spotlight too, featuring music from the West and East alike. Visit any show for the chance to see amazing guest soloists or even a chorus perform with the symphony. The symphony reconvenes for the summer, officially closing out the season with Sounds of Kalamazoo, featuring local artists like The Red Sea Pedestrians, Dacia Bridges Project and Nashon Holloway performing alongside the orchestra. ■■ Fall Craft Music: Pint-Sized KSO, Sept. 11 ■■ MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition, Sept. 20 ■■ Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Oct. 11 ■■ Icarus at the Edge of Time, Oct. 20 ■■ Gershwin: Rhapsodies, Oct. 26 ■■ Classics Uncorked, Nov. 8-9 ■■ Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”, Nov. 23 ■■ Holiday Music: Sounds of the Season, Dec. 13 ■■ “Spring” Craft Music: Pint-Sized KSO, Jan. 15 ■■ How to Train Your Dragons in concert, Jan. 25 ■■ Carnival of the Animals, Feb. 2 ■■ Valentine’s Music: Sounds of Love, Feb. 14 ■■ Classics Uncorked, Feb. 21-22 ■■ Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), March 7 ■■ Bach: St. Matthew Passion, April 3 ■■ E.T.- The Extra Terrestrial, April 17 ■■ RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé, May 22

■■ Summer Celebration: Sounds of Kalamazoo, June 20

ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids scmc-online.org, (616) 459-2224

St. Cecilia Music Center’s spans the spectrum with impressive chamber, jazz and folk shows all year. First up, Lee Ann Womack is ahead of her time. Across her 20-plus-year career, her style has spanned country pop, traditional country and Americana, and her show at St. Cecilia is sure to have it all. You might remember her hit 2000 single, I Hope You Dance. Later that month, Judy Collins is an iconic singer/songwriter who’s written folk, pop, rock and roll, show tunes — really just about any genre you can think of. She’s also collaborated with heavy hitters like Joni Mitchell and Stephen Sondheim. Later in the folk series comes Rosanne Cash, Johnny Cash’s daughter who’s a prolific, renowned musician in her own right; mandolinist and singer Chris Thile of The Punch Brothers, who took over A Prairie Home Companion; and Raul Midón, an “eclectic adventurist” and one-man jazz/folk band. Speaking of jazz, this season features the spectacular pianist Fred Hersch with guitarist Julian Lage, followed by the Emmet Cohen Trio. Cohen’s Master Legacy Series brings in some of the best jazz musicians in the world to collaborate with him and his trio. Then Brazilian singer Luciana Souza arrives. She recorded hundreds — literally — of commercial jingles in her early life and has since become an amazing jazz singer, performing with orchestras and jazz musicians around the world. Finally, the Clayton Broth-

Spectacular Jazz ■■ Fred Hersch with Julian Lage, Oct. 17 ■■ The Emmet Cohen Trio feat. Benny Golson, Jan. 16 ■■ Luciana Souza, March 5 ■■ The Clayton Brothers Quintet, April 16

closes the season out with Mahler’s massive Symphony No. 2, which requires a choir so big, it takes two chamber choirs — Grand Rapids’ and Muskegon’s — to make it all happen. The symphony actually will spill out into the audience, so you know this is going to be a powerful finale. ■■ All Russian Season Opening, Sept. 27 ■■ Beethoven and Blue Jeans, Nov. 8 ■■ Sounds of the Season, Dec. 13-14 ■■ Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo, Jan. 31 ■■ Introducing Sujari Britt, March 13 ■■ Mardi Gras in Muskegon, April 17 ■■ Four Seasons, Two Hemispheres, May 15 ■■ Voices of Resurrection, June 5

WHARTON CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS 750 E. Shaw Ln., East Lansing whartoncenter.com

The Wharton Center brings all kinds of amazing musicians to Lansing, from vocal soloists to pianists, composers, quintets and even rap violinists. Check out the full lineup below and keep an eye out in Revue for previews and interviews throughout the year.

Folk Acoustic Cafe ■■ Lee Ann Womack, Oct. 3 ■■ Judy Collins, Oct. 20 ■■ Rosanne Cash, Feb. 19 ■■ Chris Thile, Feb. 25 ■■ Raul Midón, Feb. 27

WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY 360 W. Western Ave. Ste. 200, Muskegon westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 726-3231

West Michigan Symphony’s seasons are always interesting, including shows like Beethoven & Blue Jeans, featuring young star pianist Charlie Albright. We’re not sure yet where the blue jeans come in, so you’ll have to go to find out. First, the Russians takeover with the symphony performing works by master composers like Mussorgsky, Ravel and Tchaikovsky. Then, a couple pops shows split up the season. Sounds of the Season is always a holiday crowd favorite, followed by guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo performing jaw-dropping six-string feats with the orchestra. After that is another young virtuoso, the 17-year-old Sujari Britt on cello performing works by Florence Price, Saint-Saens and William Grant Still, who’s considered “the Dean of African-American composers.” Then it’s back to pops with Byron Stripling on trumpet, bringing Mardi Gras to Muskegon, followed by a return to the master works. Violinist Chee Yun takes a trip around the sun with both Vivalid’s Four Seasons and Piazzaolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, which was inspired by Vivaldi’s work centuries later. Finally, Voices of Resurrection

■■ Michael Feinstein and Storm Large, Oct. 12 ■■ Black Violin, Oct. 16 ■■ Emerson String Quartet, Oct. 18 ■■ Keiko Matsui, Oct. 25 ■■ Imani Winds, Nov. 8 ■■ Jonathan Biss Plays Beethoven, Jan. 8-10 ■■ Kenny Barron Trio & Sean Jones Quartet, Jan. 30 ■■ Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Feb. 24 ■■ DRUM TAO 2020, March 13 Lansing Symphony Orchestra ■■ An Evening with Audra McDonald, Sep. 21 ■■ Mozart and Beyond, Oct. 11 ■■ Mahler Symphony No. 2, Nov. 2 ■■ Holiday Pops, Dec. 22 ■■ An American in Paris, Jan. 18 ■■ Night at the Movies, Feb. 15 ■■ The Music of ABBA, March 28 ■■ Brahms Symphony No. 2, May 8

MILLER AUDITORIUM 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com

Among big Broadway shows and tons of other special events, Miller Auditorium hosts fun classical and jazz musicians throughout the year. ■■ The Piano Guys, Nov. 20 ■■ The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston, Feb. 5 ■■ Piano Battle, Feb. 7 ■■ DRUM TAO 2020, March 1 n

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ACTORS’ THEATRE, GRAND RAPIDS

160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946

Up first, Actors’ Theatre is introducing audiences to East German rock 'n' roll performer Hedwig Schmidt in the Tony Award-winning musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (You’ll learn what exactly that “angry inch” is all about pretty quickly.) Then, this fall is the Michigan premiere of MacArthur Genius grant winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ dark comedy Gloria, where a group of 20-something editorial assistants witness a shooting at the New York magazine where they work. Also making its Michigan premiere is Amy Herzog’s play Mary Jane, about the title woman as she cares for her sick child. Rounding out the season on the main stage are Paradise Lost in its national premiere and The Humans. During the former, Satan vents about not being in heaven and the plan for revenge after hearing about God creating humans. The latter — winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize finalist — centers on a family reunion that goes as all go: nothing like anyone had planned. Plus, this fall, the annual Living On The Edge play festival returns for its 17th year. ■■ Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Sept. 12-21 ■■ Gloria, Oct. 10-13, 17-19 ■■ L.O.T.E. 17: World in the Balance, Nov. 23 ■■ Mary Jane, Jan. 30-Feb. 8 ■■ Second Space: "Blank": Feb. 14-17, 21-23 ■■ Second Space: "Lungs": March 28-31, April 4-6 ■■ Paradise Lost, April 16-19, 23-25 ■■ The Humans, May 14-17, 21-23, 28-30 ■■ Second Space: #thewaterproject, July

BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS 122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285

The Broadway Grand Rapids 2019-2020 season begins with Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher’s fresh take on Fiddler on the Roof and then Disney phenomenon The Lion King, which has been seen by more than 95 million people worldwide. Kicking off 2020 is a musical you might have heard of, all about one of the founding fathers, Alexander Ham-

ilton. Then there’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel of the same name. The last musical of the season will take guests away to the magical Margaritaville. This musical comedy, Escape to Margaritaville, obviously features a whole lot of Jimmy Buffett music. ■■ Fiddler on the Roof, Oct. 8-13 ■■ The Lion King, Nov. 20-Dec. 1 ■■ Hamilton, Jan. 21-Feb. 9 ■■ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, March 10-15 ■■ Escape to Margaritaville, May 26-31

CALVIN THEATRE COMPANY

3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/academic/cas/ctc, (616) 526-6282

Madeleine L'Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is brought to the stage in November, where Meg Murray joins forces with Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit to rescue her father. Calvin University students present an evening of one-acts at Laboratory Theatre “Shorts” in February. Closing the season is William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. For 12 years, Prospero has lived in isolation on a magical island with his daughter after being sent there by his brother the Duke of Milan. Seems 12 years was the breaking point for Prospero though, because he’s finally found a means to avenge himself. Best of luck! ■■ A Wrinkle in Time, Nov. 8-18 ■■ Laboratory Theatre “Shorts,” Feb. 6-8 ■■ The Tempest, April 24-30, May 1-2

CENTRAL PARK PLAYERS 421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven centralparkplayers.org, (616) 843-3906

If you love fairy tales, you’ll probably recognize at least one of the characters in the Central Park Players’ 2019-2020 season opener, Into the Woods. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning masterpiece follows the cast of classic fairytale characters, all with their own personal quests. Then, adapted from the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women opens in December. The lives of the four March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — are the primary focus and even though the book is more than 150 years old, we won’t spoil exactly who dies. In Joe Simonelli’s

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Broadway Grand Rapids. COURTESY PHOTO

adult bawdy comedy, Old Ringers, four senior women come up with a very … let’s just call it a “creative” business plan to make money after receiving a rather obscene phone call. Last is Anne Coulter Martens’ Alice in Wonderland, adapted from the Lewis Carroll classic. ■■ Into The Woods, Oct. 11-19 ■■ Little Women, Dec. 12-15 ■■ Old Ringers, March 6-14 ■■ Alice In Wonderland, May 8-16

FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE KALAMAZOO 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com, (269) 343-2727

The Farmers Alley Theatre’s 12th season begins with a reimagined version of Camelot. Pared down for a smaller cast — ideal for the theater — the musical has songs made famous more than 60 years ago, like If Ever I Would Leave You and I Loved You Once in Silence, as well as the famous Round Table that Arthur and the gang hang out at. To end 2019, Farmers Alley has taken the beloved Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life and turned it into a live 1940s radio broadcast. Starting in the new year is the Michigan premiere of The Cake, Bekah Brunstetter’s dramedy about

baker Della, who must decide whether or not she can make a cake for the girl she helped raise, who is marrying a woman. The late Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Lost in Yonkers, is up next, followed by Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the story of the famed American jazz singer Billie Holiday. Set in the deep American South during the early part of the 20th century is Bright Star, in which literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier who inspires her to confront her past. The musical was inspired by real events and has a Grammy-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Closing the season, High Fidelity is a romantic comedy focused on the newly single Rob, who tries to figure out what went wrong and win his love back. ■■ Camelot, Oct. 4-27 ■■ It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Nov. 22-Dec. 22 ■■ The Cake, Feb. 7-23 ■■ Lost in Yonkers, March 13-29 ■■ Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, April 24-May 10 ■■ Bright Star, June 12-28 ■■ High Fidelity, July 24-Aug. 9

Continued on page 17A

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Continued from page 15A

■■ Firebird, Oct. 18-20 ■■ The Nutcracker, Dec. 13-15 & 20-22 ■■ Eternal Desire, Feb. 14-16 ■■ Jumpstart 2020, March 6-8 ■■ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, April 24-26 & May 1-3

professor, Jill Lepore. Finally, Beloved Songs of the Season will put you in the holiday spirit as Fall Arts ends in December.

GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE

30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org, (616) 222-6650

Yuka Oba-Muschiana in Possokhov's Firebird at Grand Rapids Ballet. PHOTO BY DAMION VAN SLYKE

FESTIVAL PLAYHOUSE, KALAMAZOO COLLEGE

1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo reason.kzoo.edu/theatre, (269) 337-7333

Now in its 56th season, the Festival Playhouse begins with Spitfire Grill. The musical is based on the 1996 movie of the same name, in which Percy, who has recently been released from jail, finds herself working at the titular grill in the small town of Gilead. This winter has two productions, the Senior Performance Series and Silent Sky, a play about Henrietta Leavitt — who is well worth a Google — and her fellow female astronomers at the Harvard Observatory during the turn of the 20th century. Then there’s Water by the Spoonful in the spring. Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play focuses on Odessa Ortiz, a woman who creates an online family through moderating a chatroom for recovering drug addicts. ■■ Spitfire Grill, Fall ■■ Silent Sky, Winter ■■ Senior Performance Series, Winter ■■ Water by the Spoonful, Spring

GILMORE THEATRE/ WMU THEATRE

1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo wmich.edu/theatre, (269) 387-3227

Based on George Orwell’s iconic and increasingly relevant 1984, the play begins the Gilmore Theatre’s latest season as Winston Smith is physically and mentally under the eye of Big Brother. Throughout the rest of 2019 is Amadeus, in which composer Antonio Salieri is out to destroy a bratty yet highly talented young composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Urinetown: The Musical, set in a future where people have to pay to use the bathroom until one man decides to fight the system; Gem of the Ocean, August Wilson’s ninth work in

his 10-play cycle recording the American Black experience; and Next Stop, Broadway, featuring Broadway’s Cady Huffman. After a brief hiatus comes the new drama Blood at the Root, all about the Jena Six; then Amy Freed’s Restoration Comedy, focused on an unfaithful husband who thinks his wife has died (surprise, she’s alive); Tribes, Nina Raine’s touching tale of Billy, the only deaf member in his family, and Sylvia, a young woman who is the only one who can hear in her own family; and lastly, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s won-all-the-awards musical, Sunday in the Park with George. ■■ 1984, Sept. 20-29 ■■ Amadeus, Oct. 4-13 ■■ Urinetown: The Musical, Oct. 25-Nov. 3 ■■ Gem of the Ocean, Nov. 15-24 ■■ Next Stop, Broadway, Dec. 5-7 ■■ Blood at the Root, Jan. 24-Feb. 9 ■■ Restoration Comedy, Feb. 7-16 ■■ Tribes, March 13-22 ■■ Sunday in the Park with George, April 3-11

GRAND RAPIDS BALLET COMPANY

341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids grballet.com, (616) 454-4771

Beginning the season is Firebird — originally composed by Russian mastermind Igor Stravinsky — with San Francisco Ballet’s resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov’s transformation of the classic, alongside a few other dance pieces. Following that is a West Michigan tradition, The Nutcracker, before February’s Eternal Desire, a collection of performances filled with passion and promise. The last two productions include the new showcase, Jumpstart 2020, and the Bard’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Johnny Cash, Princesses Anna and Elsa, and Buddy the Elf are the focuses for the theater’s first three productions. Then A Streetcar Named Desire takes a break from the musicals. Tennessee Williams’ tragic play is all about fragile Southern belle Blanche DuBois, who moves in with her sister, Stella, and brother-in-law, Stanley. In late February, the Civic’s back to musicals, including two based on timeless children’s characters, Matilda and Junie B. Jones. The Wiz is more grown up, being a musical retelling of The Wizard of Oz set in modern African-American culture with music combining R&B, jazz, gospel and pop. In summer, as part of the summer repertory program, High School Musical will sound familiar if you watched Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens in a certain 2006 Disney channel original movie. Then, in a moment of serendipity, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream also finishes the Civic’s summer season. ■■ Ring of Fire, Sept. 13-29 ■■ Frozen Jr., Oct. 18-27 ■■ Elf the Musical, Nov. 22-Dec. 22 ■■ A Streetcar Named Desire, Jan. 10-26 ■■ Matilda the Musical, Feb. 28-March 22 ■■ Junie B. Jones the Musical, April 24-May 3 ■■ The Wiz, May 29-June 21 ■■ High School Musical, July 24-Aug. 2 ■■ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, July 25-Aug. 1

GVSU FALL ARTS

gvsu.edu/fallarts, (616) 331-2183

Every year, GVSU celebrates music, art, dance and theater. We’re just going to put it all here for convenience’s sake. There’s Art of Today: Contemporary Collections from Chicago, an exhibition with more than 40 pieces of work — spanning across 15 years — in a variety of mediums, all drawn from the GVSU’s collection and additional loans from Chicago. In September is a musical performance with Baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews at Water on the Mind: A Baroque Musical Journey. There’s an evening with Ellen Bass, a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and Kevin Young, poetry editor at The New Yorker and director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in October. Also happening are Water: A Vision in Dance, featuring BODYART, a New Orleans–based dance theater company; and a lecture from New York Times best-selling author and Harvard University

■■ Art of Today: Contemporary Collections from Chicago, Aug. 23-Nov. 1 ■■ Water on the Mind: A Baroque Musical Journey, Sept. 23 ■■ An evening with Ellen Bass and Kevin Young, Oct. 3 ■■ Water: A Vision in Dance, Oct. 28 ■■ Jill Lepore: American History from Beginning to End, Nov. 5 ■■ Beloved Songs of the Season, Dec. 2

GVSU THEATRE

290 Lake Superior Hall gvsu.edu/theatre, (616) 331-2300

For the third time on this list — but in yet another form — is A Midsummer Night's Dream. Following the Bard is the Theresa Rebeck workplace dark comedy, What We're Up Against, where a group of architects are feeling the pressure to finish designing a new mall. Coming in November is Working, a musical based on the Studs Terkel book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World finishes out the season as Christy Mahon runs away from his Irish home after claiming to have killed his father. ■■ A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sept. 27-Oct. 6 ■■ What We're Up Against, Nov. 15-24 ■■ Working, Feb. 7-16 ■■ The Playboy of the Western World, March 27-April 5

HOLLAND COMMUNITY THEATRE

50 W. 9th St., Holland hollandcivictheatre.org, (616) 396-2021

Kicking off the Holland Civic Theatre’s latest season is Out of Order. The Ray Cooney farce — and Olivier Award Winner for best comedy — is a sequel to Two Into One and takes place in a posh London hotel where Richard Willey, a government junior minister, plans to spend the evening with Jane Worthington, one of the opposition's typists. Naturally, the whole situation goes disastrously, but at least there’s a lot of humor along the way. Finishing up the year is the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life, with A. R. Gurney’s highly comedic Sylvia being the first production of 2020. Following is a play with a much different tone, On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson. It focuses on couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are off to their summer home when their daughter and her fiancé arrive with his son. Cue some highly emotional chats. Closing out the season are the children’s production of Disney’s The Aris-

Continued on page 19A

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2019-20 Season

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Jan. 15 & 16

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Feb. 5

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Performing Arts

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Continued from page 17A

or Purple. Did you see the commercial for Cats, the new movie starring Taylor Swift and Idris Elba (and many more)? Well, you should really see the actual musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot in May. ■■ Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Nov. 15-17 ■■ Jersey Boys, Jan. 15-16 ■■ Les Misérables, Jan. 28-Feb. 2 ■■ Waitress, March 27-29 ■■ The Color Purple, April 7 ■■ Blue Man Group, May 1-3 ■■ Cats, May 15-17

MUSKEGON CIVIC THEATRE 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon muskegoncivictheatre.org, (231) 722-3852

Aladdin at Wharton Center for Performing Arts. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY

tocats Kids and The Somewhat True Story of Robin Hood, this season’s teen production by the company. ■■ Out of Order, Oct. 3-19 ■■ It’s a Wonderful Life, Nov. 29-Dec.14 ■■ Sylvia, Jan. 30-Feb. 15 ■■ On Golden Pond, April 24-May16 ■■ Disney’s The Aristocats Kids, July 9-18 ■■ The Somewhat True Story of Robin Hood, Aug. 6-15

JEWISH THEATRE GRAND RAPIDS

2727 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids jtgr.org, (616) 234-3595

The Jewish Theatre’s trio of plays begins in December with Neil Simon’s comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers, as middle-aged Barney Cashman tries to join the sexual revolution before it’s too late, while clearly also having some sort of mid-life crisis. The Bernard Weinraub play The Accomplices examines the sad truth of our history, as so many Jews were turned away at the American border during a mass genocide. Then, if you could know literally everything about your baby before they were born, would you want to? And if you did, would they still be here? Jonathan Tolins asks those questions and many more in his play Twilight of the Golds. ■■ Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Dec. 4-15 ■■ The Accomplices, Feb. 27-March 8 ■■ Twilight of the Golds, June 11-21

KALAMAZOO CIVIC THEATRE 329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kazoocivic.com, (269) 343-1313

Between September and June, the Kalamazoo Civic is presenting 14 productions during the 91st season. Much like last season, there

will be musicals, dramas, comedies and productions done through the Carver Center Studio Series, Civic Reader's Theatre, youth department, and the Penguin Project. There are three shows opening in September and October, including Matilda the Musical, based on Roald Dahl's children’s book; the no-holdsbarred Ann, a play about Ann Richards, the legendary governor of Texas; and The World Goes ‘Round, which features hits by the infamous duo of Kander and Ebb. There’s a whole lot more happening this season, so just take a look. ■■ Matilda the Musical, Sept. 20-Oct. 6 ■■ Ann, Oct. 11-20 ■■ The World Goes ‘Round, Oct. 18-27 ■■ Karen Mason Simple Broadway, Nov. 1 ■■ The Three Musketeers, Nov. 8-16 ■■ Elf the Musical, Nov. 22-Dec. 8 ■■ Tick, Tick...Boom, Jan. 10-26 ■■ Born Yesterday, Jan. 31-Feb. 15 ■■ Romance Guaranteed, Feb. 14-23 ■■ Race, Feb. 28-March 14 ■■ Frozen Jr., March 13-22 ■■ August: Osage County, April 17-26 ■■ Sunset Boulevard, May 1-17 ■■ Annie Jr., June 5-13

MILLER AUDITORIUM

2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. That song will be stuck in your head come November when How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical comes to town. Then, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons get their groove — or at least their sway — on in Jersey Boys. Direct from its acclaimed Broadway return, which was presented by Cameron Mackintosh, is Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s tourde-force musical Les Misérables in January. After that are two musicals full of love, loss and powerhouse vocals: Waitress and The Col-

A parody adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock is this season’s opener, The 39 Steps. Man meets mysterious woman who claims to be a spy, man takes woman home, woman gets murdered, then man has some big problems. Next, there’s back-to-back musicals, A Christmas Carol with dear old Ebenezer Scrooge, and Fun Home, the 2014 Tony Award Best Musical winner based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novel. One more play follows in February, Our Town, about the small town Grover’s Corners, told through three acts. Finally is ABBA-filled hit Mamma Mia. ■■ The 39 Steps, Sept. 13-28 ■■ A Christmas Carol, Nov. 15-Dec. 1 ■■ Fun Home, Jan. 17-25 ■■ Our Town, Feb. 14-29 ■■ Mamma Mia!, April 30-May 3

OPERA GRAND RAPIDS 1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids operagr.org, (616) 451-2741

There are two big productions coming to Opera Grand Rapids this season. First up is Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, the duo’s satire on Imperial British politics and institutions. Multiple people are in love with a schoolgirl named Yum-Yum, and it all really hits the fan when the Emperor informs them that if no one is executed, the town’s status will be reduced to a — gasp! — village. In the spring is Turandot, Giacomo Puccini’s final opera in mythical China. The title princess has renounced love and will only marry if her suitor can answer her three riddles. Will anyone get past her tests? ■■ The Mikado, Nov. 1-2 ■■ Turandot, May 1-2

QUEER THEATRE KALAMAZOO

315 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo qtkalamazoo.com, (269) 929-6781

Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood’s short play, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, begins as the

world ends. Five women — the last humans on Earth — of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are stuck in a shelter after an atomic explosion, but then realize they don’t have to live like widows, they can now live openly as lesbians in the campy comedy. After that, eLLe is a collaboration with Face Off Theatre. Man and Moon, Chicago playwright Siena Ledger’s newest work, centers around the conversations between a transgender man, Aaron, and a young girl, Luna, as they play Go Fish during their wait in an oncology unit waiting room. Then, in June, there’s She Kills Monsters, which follows Agnes, who goes on an adventure after discovering her late sister Tilly’s Dungeons and Dragons notebook. ■■ 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Oct. 18-27 ■■ eLLe, Nov. 7-17 ■■ Man and Moon, March 20-29 ■■ She Kills Monsters, June 19-28

WHARTON CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS 750 E. Shaw Ln., East Lansing whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982

Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Come From Away, will take audiences to Newfoundland when the season kicks off. The new musical tells the true story of 7,000 stranded passengers who ended up in the small town following the 9/11 attacks. Other Broadway touring productions coming to the Wharton are the updated versions of Les Misérables in November and My Fair Lady in February. In between is Disney’s Aladdin, where of course the Genie gets a few fabulous songs. A green witch named Elphaba will defy gravity when Wicked comes back to the Wharton stage in the spring. The last touring production of the season is Tony Award and Grammy Award winning-musical Dear Evan Hansen. Grab tissues for that one. ■■ Come From Away, Sept. 10-15 ■■ Dr. Fox and the Impossible Cure for Death, Sept. 21-22 ■■ Frankenstein, Oct. 11-20 ■■ Twelfth Night, Nov. 8-17 ■■ Les Misérables, Nov. 12-17 ■■ Reduced Shakespeare Company, Nov. 20-21 ■■ Freshman Showcase: The Power of Spontaneous Invention, Nov. 21-24 ■■ Aladdin, Dec. 4-15 ■■ Into the Woods, Feb. 14-23 ■■ My Fair Lady, Feb. 26-March 1 ■■ Bonnets: How Ladies of Good Breeding are Induced to Murder, March 13-22 ■■ Dogman: the Musical, March 14 ■■ Wicked, April 1-19 ■■ Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood, April 10-19 ■■ Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, April 25 ■■ Dear Evan Hansen, June 16-21 n

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T H E T FH ER FAR ANN KK E EC E CN TEE RN T E R

AUG. 10 SEPT. 12 SEPT. 21 SEPT. 21 OCT. 05 OCT. 05 OCT. 26 DEC. 28 OCT. 26 JAN. 11 NOV. 23

MORE EVENTS COMING SOON

MOVIE NIGHT MANDOLIN RAIDERS OFSUMMIT THE LOST ARK JAZZ/BLUES TONY MONACO TONY MONACO HEYWOOD BANKS COMEDY NIGHT HEYWOOD BANKS JIMMY THACKERY BLUES LAITH JIMMYAL-SAADI THACKERY FALL FOLK FESTIVAL KENNEDY’S KITCHEN

SUSAN WERNER & More events coming soon! Visit Frankecenterforthearts.org JOEL MABUS for more information

DEC. 28

BOX OFFICE

269.781.0001

JAN. 11 YOUR WEEKENDS JUST GOT A LITTLE MORE EXCITING No matter your age, find your inner explorer at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in downtown Kalamazoo. For your enjoyment, we have art hops, live musical performances, planetarium shows, exhibits and so much more. FREE GENERAL ADMISSION

Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday + Holidays 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day

Handicapped accessible. Sign language interpreters may be scheduled with a minimum of two weeks’ notice. Assisted listening devices are available in the Stryker Theater and planetarium.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees

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269.373.7990 | 800.772.3370 kalamazoomuseum.org

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019

FEB. 01

ROCK/BLUES

LAITH AL-SAADI

IRISH PUB NIGHT

KENNEDY’S KITCHEN

214FEST E. Mansion Street WINTER BLUES Marshall, Michigan

WAYNE BAKER BROOKS & THE FAT ANIMAL BAND BLUES

MARCH 28 JOE LOUIS WALKER VISIT: FRANKECENTERFORTHEARTS.ORG BOX OFFICE: 269.781.0001 : THE FRANKE CENTER FOR THE ARTS

214 E. MANSION STREET MARSHALL, MICHIGAN


[PREVIEWS]

Museums COMPILED BY ABI SAFAGO

GERALD R. FORD PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM 303 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids fordlibrarymuseum.gov

In remembrance of 9/11, take a step back and view it from the witnesses’ point of view in The Only Plane in the Sky. Award-winning journalist and historian Garrett Graff will be giving an oral history of the event, from the words of those who witnessed it themselves. It also includes a look into never-before-seen documents, transcripts and more. You can step further back in time to visit what it was like to live with and experience the presidency of Ford himself in the Extraordinary Circumstances exhibit. This exhibit dives in with photos taken by President Ford’s White House photographer, David Hume Kennerly. If you’re looking for something that might bring comfort close to home or a look into the future, 3D Expressions is perfect for you. With art quilts from 14 states and 10 countries, you might learn something new about textile and how it is fabricated into the world today. ■■ T ● he Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, Sept. 23 ■■ 3 ● D Expressions, Sept. 23-Nov. 3 ■■ E ● xtraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford, Through Nov. 3

GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC MUSEUM

272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids grmuseum.org

The rich history of Grand Rapids itself can be told through history books, but is much deeper when you see artifacts from our community in an exhibit up-close and personal. In Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963, take a glance at what it was like in those time periods and how history has changed from these events and how they affected America. In October, learn about Native Americans’ rich culture and traditions. Feel and move to the beat as dancers perform traditional dances. This event, including ancient storytelling

Toys. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC MUSEUM

and games, is followed by Anishinabek: The People of this Place, which looks at both current and past history of some of Michigan’s Native tribes. In November, the iconic Bodies Revealed returns, thanks to popular demand. Explore actual whole and partial bodies that have been preserved. The goal of this exhibit is not only to teach about the body, but to hopefully teach how to take better care of the body and make healthier decisions. Check the museum’s website regularly for new exhibitions throughout the season. ■■ Changing America, Through Oct. 13 ■■ Native American Culture Days, Oct. 23-24 ■■ Ethnic Heritage Celebration, Oct. 26 ■■ Bodies Revealed, Nov. 16

Continued on page 22 A

Bodies Revealed. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM AND PREMIER EXHIBITIONS

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Experience art that inspires.

[PREVIEWS]

Museums

Continued from page 21A

Mathias Alten in the Netherlands: Newly Acquired Works at Holland Museum. COURTESY PHOTO

HOLLAND MUSEUM 31 W. 10th St., Holland hollandmuseum.org

Never before exhibited pieces of art by the German-American artist Mathias Alten will be on the walls in the Holland Museum thanks to Anita M. Gilleo, one of Alten’s grandchildren. Alten was an active impressionist painter in Grand Rapids, but will keep the memory alive through landscape paintings in the Dutch museum. You can also get hands-on almost any day of the week here. The Spark!Lab inspires and encourages interaction and bringing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, history and math) to children and families in West Michigan. Test your skills or create new ones at this interactive lab. One permanent exhibit you can check out is all about the history of Holland. This highlights the transformation of Holland, including its agricultural beginnings, ships from the Great Lakes and much more. The Dutch Galleries are also a part of the permanent exhibits. Thanks to a community known for its Dutch identity and history, the gallery has made a mark. The museum has enough pieces of Dutch artwork to keep it all on a rotation, so every time you visit, you can see a new bit of international art. ■■ Mathias Alten in the Netherlands: Newly Acquired Works, Through Oct. 19 ■■ S ● park!Lab Smithsonian ■■ H ● istory of Holland ■■ D ● utch Galleries

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019

KALAMAZOO VALLEY MUSEUM 230 N. Rose St., Kalamazoo kalamazoomuseum.org

Kalamazoo’s museum is all about interactive exhibits that are fun for the whole family. Running now is The Secrets of Bees, where you can learn everything about our buzzy friends that Bee Movie didn’t teach you. Then, Mindbenders Mansion 2 comes to town, bringing puzzles, brainteasers and other interactive challenges to the museum to help you work out your brain muscles. Shortly after, the Willard Wigan Microsculptor exhibit features works of art so small, you have to look at them under a microscope. Many of them are created inside the eye of a needle, which seems much harder than simply threading it. Next year, Wicked Plants arrives, taking visitors through a big, creepy Victorian home full of villainous plants from around the world. It’s a botanical journey full of history, medicine and legends, such as the weed that killed Abe Lincoln’s mother. Finally, Patient No More shines a light on the stories of those overlooked in the fight for civil rights: people with disabilities. ■■ The Secrets of Bees, Through Sept. 30 ■■ A ● musement Park Science, Through Sept. 8 ■■ M ● indbenders Mansion 2, Sept. 21-Jan. 5 ■■ W ● illard Wigan Microsculptor, Oct. 12-Jan. 26 ■■ W ● icked Plants, Jan. 25-May 17 ■■ P ● atient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights, Feb. 9-June 7 n


Parsons Dance February 22

Les Misérables November 12-17

My Fair Lady February 26 - March 1

Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, director and violin February 24

2019-2020 S E A S O N TICKETS ON SALE NOW! W H A RTO N C EN T ER .CO M • 1-80 0-W H A RTO N

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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Engagement is locally sponsored by MEIJER

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

SPENCER ELLIOT A MODEL TO FOLLOW BY MICHAELA STOCK Spencer Elliot of Grand Rapids is a model, photographer and videographer. He currently is modeling for Chaco, is a part of creative collaborative Michigan House, and is directing and shooting a documentary on NFL athlete Bronson Hill in Los Angeles through Grand Rapids-based film studio Carbon Stories. Elliot also is working on his own project called Absorb & Create, where he designs and directs photoshoots with his creative partner, Jesh Washington, to create a digital color wheel with a lens on social justice and general artistic experimentation.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 49 Spencer Elliot. Monochrome Chaco Shoot. Courtesy Photo

Absorb & Create. By Spencer Elliot

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Kalamazoo’s professional modern dance company! Live Performances Dance Academy

COMEDIAN PRIYANKA WALI

COMEDIAN SAMMY OBEID

Sept. 13, 8pm

Oct. 11, 8pm

FRANKIE COSMOS

BRUCE COCKBURN

w/ Lina Tullgren | Sept. 24, 8pm

Regional Alternative Dance Festival Special Events

269.342.4354 wellspringdance.org

Sept. 25, 8pm

Fridays & Saturdays 9/6 - 9/21 @ 8:00 PM All Seats $25 134 East Vine Street Kalamazoo, MI 49001

SIGRID

THOMPSON SQUARE

LUCY DACUS

WILD & SCENIC

w/ Raffaella | Sept. 27, 8pm

w/ Liza Anne | Nov. 6, 8pm

w/ a special guest | Nov. 1, 8pm

Film Festival | Nov. 9, 7pm

An evening with OVER THE RHINE Dec. 6, 8pm

Tickets on sale now:

calvin.edu/boxoffice calvinsao

/calvincollegesao

48 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 “…a band with no sign of fatigue, whose moment has finally arrived.” – ROLLING STONE

overtherhine.com

269-381-3328 www.thenewvictheatre.org


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 47

Spencer Elliot modeling for Chaco. Courtesy Photos

What kind of art do you create? I’m a visual artist. I model, I do a lot of video work, and I really enjoy photo work as well. The majority of the work I do is modeling and video, but I’m really into how visuals can convey things that words can’t.

be stagnant. You can’t be worrying about the last game or the last project. There’s no point in focusing on the past. You can’t live there.

How did you get into digital mediums, such as photos and videos? I grew up loving movies. They resonated with me on a really deep level — they weren’t just entertainment. They were teachers and friends, in a lot of instances. Once I was old enough to start working with cameras, I took to it like wildfire.

What’s it like walking into a modeling shoot? How do you embody someone else’s vision during this process? It’s really exciting, and it’s really nerve-wracking. When you’re a part of creating something original, you don’t know if it’s going to be cool. You hope it’s going to be awesome, and you do everything in your power to make sure that it turns out and works, but until you actually just do it, you don’t fully know.

You graduated from Michigan State University, where you were a Division I athlete on the football team. What was the transition from being an athlete to an artist like? Art and sports are both forms of expression, and they’re both ways to compete. Maybe art is not about competing with other artists, but it’s about competing with yourself. As an athlete, I was super competitive. I hated losing. I understand there are things to learn from losing, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it or want to get used to it. I think that’s what has propelled me as an artist — I don’t want to

Do you have an example of this type of experience? I recently helped Chaco launch their monochromatic line. Jamie Kirby (Chaco, Michigan House) and I went down to Chicago and went to a studio called Someoddpilot. They’re really experimental, and at one point they were hanging up a sheet and setting up a camera in front of it. They had all these colored gel screens to put over the lights, and I had to go behind this curtain with another model. They asked the model and I, ‘What song do you want us to put on? We need you to dance.’ The first thing that came to my head was, ‘What?!’ We were in this dark room with a blanket bed

sheet hanging from the ceiling in front of us, in some old third story Chicago studio, with lights flashing everywhere. It was almost like acting. You have trust it. But my favorite images from the monochromatic launch ended up coming from this shoot. How has the West Michigan community influenced your art? I cannot think about being in West Michigan and being in Grand Rapids and not think about being an extreme minority everywhere I go. I’m a black model for an outdoor brand in Grand Rapids, where the majority of people in that space do not look like me. When I’m on the set, I know that. I want to try and be inspiring. I want us to be on the same page, doing our best work together. I want to set a good tone, because I want there to be more people that look like me in these studios. There are a lot of talented, beautiful shades of brown in this city that are capable of being in here. I want a little black kid to see my photos and be like, ‘Damn. I’m in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That dude’s from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I can do≠ that! I can be a model too!’ That’s all I want to do: Inspire. Follow Elliot's work on Instagram at juice__mon. n

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BRAYLON EDWARDS WITH TOM VANHAAREN SEPTEMBER 26 · 7PM An in-store signing of Braylon’s autobiography, Doing It My Way.

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GRANDPARENTS DAY

SEPTEMBER 7 · 11AM Create memories with your grandkids with the classic stories, tasty treats and crafts.

KID’S STORY TIME

SATURDAYS + MONDAYS · 11AM Jump into the pages of our favorite books! We will sing songs, make a craft and go on a new adventure. Don’t forget our special story time on 9/17 with BRAINS Grand Rapids!

SchulerBooks.com 50 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

KRISTIN BRACE EXPLORATIONS AND PURGES BY JOHN KISSANE Kristin Brace’s poems are inspired by anything — headaches, personal grief, even nude paintings pilfered from a library book. A local poet, Brace is the author of two chapbooks (Fence, Patio, Blessed Virgin and Each Darkness Inside). Her latest book, the fulllength collection Toward the Wild Abundance, was released in July by the Michigan State University Press imprint Wheelbarrow Books. Her book launch is on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at LowellArts. You can find more information at kristinbrace.com. Meanwhile, we talked with Brace about where her inspiration comes from and how her words find their way onto the page. Kristin Brace. Courtesy Photo

When did you begin writing poetry? I began writing poems and stories when I was quite young, not long after I learned to write. Early on, I sensed the magic of language, how it’s a tool for discovery and also an invitation to play. I remember curling up with a notebook in an old rose-patterned chair, scribbling at top speed as the world faded away. What a gift to have been surrounded by paper, pencils and books. Previously, you served as executive director of Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center, cultivating kids’ writing. What effect did this have on your work? It drove home the point that all humans are creative beings — whether or not we know or acknowledge it — and that we each are agents of our own voices and stories, whether or not we are invited by our communities to express ourselves. So I was reminded on a regular basis of the power of writing in shaping both individuals and how we connect with one another. Writing creates and articulates realities. Writing matters. On another level, I’m reminded of kids’ very low tolerance for B.S. — whatever they write is True, with a capital T, even if it’s a made-up story. So looking at my own work through that lens helps me keep it real. How do you know when an idea deserves a poem? I think it comes down to listening, to paying attention, and then giving the spark some space and time, letting images and lines surface and lead the way. Sometimes subjects become an obsession, something that must be written through, explored from every angle, even purged. It’s a thought or image that won’t go away until words have shaped it and reshaped it. Memory is like this, and day to day life. … The poet William Stafford said that poetry is ‘a reckless encounter with whatever comes along,’ and I think there is truth in that, the idea of facing whatever comes head on, pen in hand. If you don’t put that ‘whatever’ on the page to begin with, it can never find its way into being a poem.

Poetry is sometimes seen as anachronistic, like gravestone rubbing or accordion playing. What value does it add today? That makes me laugh, because once upon a time I actually did gravestone rubbings, and I picked up accordion playing a few years ago. Maybe I was born in the wrong century? Seriously, though, I think that view of poetry is borne out of several contexts. For example, how we are taught poetry often colors our experience of it throughout life. If it’s presented solely as a historical thing to be ‘figured out,’ it’s bound to seem dry and disconnected from life today. Also, we live in an entertainment culture pervaded by the misconception that only the perceived experts should engage in a particular art form. So there’s an element of fear in even approaching poetry, as a reader or potential writer. Lastly, poetry asks something of us. It requires us to slow down, to breathe more slowly, and to be fully present. What do you get out of that process? The rewards of that are myriad. Poetry allows us to connect with ourselves, with the world, and with voices and ideas past and present. It offers a glimpse into other perspectives, giving us the opportunity to grow in awareness and empathy. It’s an invitation to enter more deeply into the present moment and to move into the next moment more thoughtfully, more awake than we were before. What should a reader expect of Toward the Wild Abundance? First, a gorgeous cover, thanks to the piece New Day by artist Jill Worm. Then, inside, poems that I hope will invite the reader to roam, wonder, be. What advice would you give someone interested in starting to write poetry? Read, read, read, widely and deeply. Write regularly. Be specific. Let yourself be surprised. Find a supportive online or in-person community where you can share and receive feedback. Don’t write to impress, but rather as if no one but

Courtesy image

you will ever read what you wrote. Write because you have to, because there’s something inside you that must find its own life on the page. This interview has been trimmed for clarity and length. To read the full Q&A, visit revuewm.com n

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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52 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

SING YOUR HEART OUT.

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2019-2020 Season No. 73


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

JASMINE BRUCE

EMBRACING THE IMPERFECT BY KAYLA SOSA Jasmine Bruce is a mindful, multi-faceted artist. She paints what many call “psychedelic art,” working with vivid explosions of color and deconstructed forms. At age 23, Bruce recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in studio art and an emphasis on illustration from Grand Valley State University. Today, she’s painting live at festivals and working on commissions, among other projects. We talked with Bruce about what her art means to her and how it comes about.

Jasmine Bruce. Courtesy Photo

CONTINUED ON PAGE 55

Above: Russ. Below: Season 2 Episode 3. By Jasmine Bruce

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Harmony Hall 401 Stocking Ave NW

Harmony Eastown 1551 Lake Dr SE

HARMONY HALL EVENTS

9-1 River Rogues Jazz 2pm 9-3 So You Think You Can Drag Finale 7pm 9-4 Beer Tasting Class w/ Ben Darcy #1 7pm 9-10 Trivia Factory 7pm 9-11 Beer Tasting Class w/ Ben Darcy #2 7pm 9-11 West Side Game Night- CODENAMES 7-10pm 9-12 Music Trivia- 7:30 PM 9-13 Beer Lovers Looking For Love (singles event) 7pm 9-14 WEST SIDE STREET FAIR 11am-6pm

9-14 On Broadway! A drag benefit for the West Michigan GayMens Chorus 9-15 River Rogues Jazz 2pm 9-17 Trivia Facory 7pm 9-19 Game Night! with Vault of Midnight 6-9pm 9-22 HOPS AGAINST HUNGER fundraiser- all day 9-24 Trivia Factory 7pm 9-25 Beer Tasting Class w/ Ben Darcy #4 7pm 9-26 Movie Trivia 7:30pm

Harmony Eastown- Eastown Street Fair Beer Tent! 9-07 WWW.HARMONYBEER.COM 54 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 53

What is your earliest memory of being an artist? I’ve been doing art my whole life, since I was little. Me and my brother used to watch those PBS shows. I would always just do it for fun, and I never really sparked an interest until high school. Then I realized I was actually pretty decent and I just didn’t really see myself doing anything else. My favorite classes in school were art class and math class, surprisingly. In high school, I was always doing DIY projects and I was obsessed with painting my nails with really elaborate designs. What is your artistic process? I do a lot of journaling. It helps me process my thoughts. A lot of stuff that I draw comes from my writing. I’ve always been more of a writer than someone with a big sketchbook full of drawings. I’m not sure why, that’s just how my brain works. Everybody’s different. I also listen to a lot of podcasts that are based on mindfulness, because a lot of my work touches on inner struggles. I deal with a lot of depression and anxiety, so I try to research ways to deal with those emotions and be able to process. Now, I’m starting to learn how to use my art as a (form) of therapy and maybe let go of those feelings. How does that play out for you? I tend to stress myself out a lot, and sometimes the concept of making a piece or the pressure to have a certain style or way of doing things is actually a lot of pressure. When you’re getting out of school, it’s not like it comes from the professors or anything in particular, it’s just kind of this social pressure to have a certain way you draw so people recognize your work. I think for a long time it kind of stressed me out, creating a painting or drawing, and I am now finding — as I learn more about my process — that it’s an individual experience a lot of the time. It’s my own and I can make it my own, and it might be different from some other people. I’m finding therapy in that I don’t always have to like what I do, or maybe other people don’t have to like what I paint, and that relieves a lot of the pressure.

What kind of mediums do you use in your artwork? A lot of my works are hybrids, random things my brain puts together that I’m still trying to make sense of. Sometimes it’s a painting and I’ll use acrylic. I like painting on wood a lot, it’s very natural. There’s something really raw about painting on wood. You can work with the wood grain and that inspires my painting a lot of the time, too. A lot of times, I’ll start with a painting that’s traditional style and then I’ll scan it or take a picture, throw it on my computer. I’m super indecisive and I like to change colors a lot and when you’re painting, it’s exhausting to change the whole color. So I like to throw it in Photoshop and mess with the colors. What does your art mean to you? It’s a vehicle for translation. For me, it’s a way to connect inner turmoil and make sense of it and then being able to use that to maybe connect with other people and strangers and then help them connect to their own inner turmoils or passions and then be able to inspire or release what they want. It’s not just because it makes me feel better; it’s definitely for other people too. I’ve always had this quote in my head: One of the biggest things you can do in life is participate, and if we’re not participating then what are we doing? A lot of people like to just do their thing and live their life and don’t really want you to know all about it, but I think it’s really important for us to share our stories, inspire each other and connect. I think without that connection, you kind of get lost. What do you see in your future as an artist? I have so many ideas. One day, I want to have a clothing line. That’s kind of in the works right now. I am just building my name as an artist, building my brand as Jasmine Bruce. And then being able to run my own studio or gallery space one day.

Above: The Release Below: One Kinetic Mind. By Jasmine Bruce

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

HOLLY ANNE MCDERMOTT CRAFTING A CATHARSIS BY JOSH VEAL

For Holly Anne McDermott, a.k.a. HAM, art is a way to process, express and cope all at once. In McDermott’s recent thesis exhibition, Emotional Reflections, printmaking, etchings, metalsmithing and jewelry all come together to capture the cycles of life and nature. It’s a highly unique and eclectic collection of art that she used to explore emotions in a variety of ways. You can see a piece of it in the Michigan Emerging Graduate Artists show at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, running until Sept. 8. The Grand Valley State University graduate originally came to West Michigan from Detroit and found inspiration in her professors as well as Alexander Calder. We talked with McDermott about the meaning of her art and why she makes it.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 59

Above: Re Aligned. Below: Re Moved. By Holly Anne McDermott

Holly Anne McDermott. Courtesy Photo

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Mel Trotter Ministries

September 25, 2019 JW Marriott • 12 - 1 P.M.

...we all need mercy, we all need justice, and – perhaps – we all need some measure of unmerited grace. Bryan Stevenson

Welcoming

Bryan Stevenson

Purchase your ticket at meltrotter.org/seasonofhope

58 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 57

Your thesis employed a wide variety of art. How did those all come together? The process of printmaking felt more emotionally cathartic to me on a personal level as an artist. So, in my thesis work, I was trying to merge it with metalsmithing. I was challenging myself to push that personal and artistic boundary of what I consider metalsmithing, so I drew onto metal and made etchings out of them, and then I printed them on paper in a limited series. And then I took all the plates and I deconstructed them and turned them into a wearable jewelry series.

father passed and I was in this metals course, it was easy to create and have it feel cathartic.

Going forward, is that what you’re going to focus on, that combination of media? Yeah, I think so. It just kind of comes naturally to me. A lot of my work is conceptually about duality, in some sense. I think that the printmaking process and then the jewelry making process work to make a duality for metalsmithing. They feel like two sides of the same coin. The printmaking process is a little bit more romantic, if you will. I take that more quiet and reflective process, then I go into the metalsmithing and jewelry making process, which is a little bit more labored and hands-on and technical.

The jewelry you’re making now isn’t typical by any means. Is it intended to be functional? When I was working on my thesis exhibition, I thought a lot about that. The jewelry making program at Grand Valley was very well-rounded, so I had taken courses that were really concept heavy where you’re making one-off statement pieces that have a conceptual conversation about them. And then I was also well-versed in making just traditional jewelry and those kinds of skills. So, I was trying to find the medium where it’s something that’s wearable and is a statement piece, but could still look good not just on the body. It could look good on a gallery wall, like it was a painting or a work on paper.

You were originally working with photography and clay. What led you to metal and prints? I originally transferred to Grand Valley (from community college) looking to go into the ceramics program as my emphasis. But I felt like I couldn’t be creatively expressive in that medium in the way that my soul and my creative energy wanted to express itself. I actually lost my father, so I took a semester off and was very, ‘What the hell am I doing with my life? Am I really studying the thing I want to study?’ Then when I came back, I ended up taking a metalsmithing course. I was also in a poetry writing class and it got me really reflecting on a lot of my journey through art and I noticed that every time I was feeling depressive, I would gravitate toward art as this way to cope. After my

How did that play into jewelry making? I was making jewelry works that had a conceptual air to them and all my ideas just came out really fluid. I was really focused on memento mori, which is a tradition in jewelry work that goes back for centuries that’s really about mourning and encapsulating a memory and loving the person that you love who has died. It’s memorializing them through jewelry, something that you can wear every day.

What would you like the viewer to come away with when they see your art? As the process itself was, I think the concepts and the emotions that are being conveyed are also multi-layered. A lot of my artwork, it stems from emotions and our emotional conversations with ourselves and how we cope with things. That turned into me really observing cyclical patterns. I found my own emotions were working in a pattern that was seemingly cyclical. Like, action A produces emotion A, so I cope with this coping mechanism. I was allowing myself to really unearth and delve into my own mental and emotional cycles.

Is there a duality at play here too? I found that the outside world also went through cycles, like the seasons and the Earth revolving around the sun and all the cosmic cycles. I found them a bit synonymous, in that my cycles were reflections of cycles within the natural world. But we get consumed by our own emotional and mental cycles. I think in the content it comes across maybe a little somber, a little serious. Who or what else are your artistic influences? I think in terms of other artists, Dellas Henke has been a really big inspiration for me. He’s a professor at Grand Valley and leads the printmaking department. The way that he draws figures is just really emotive and he conveys a lot of emotions in his prints that I really resonate with. Alexander Calder is another one. He was so crazy. He did so much. He was drawing all the time. He did these crazy sculptures. He was also making jewelry. Another professor of mine in the metals department, Renee Zettle-Sterling, also conveys a lot of mourning emotion through her artwork, which was a big inspiration to me. She showed me this Alexander Calder book and it was just of his jewelry and it blew my mind. What about going beyond people? I think something that artistically inspires me is just emotion. I read a lot of poetry, which is very raw and emotional, and I think that my own emotions creatively inspire me. After I’ve gone through something that was triggering or emotional, I always find myself falling back into creating and making, and that brings its own catharsis. I get to process and get all that emotional energy out through creative energy, which fuels the artwork and fuels the content. Find HAM’s work at hammade.org and on Instagram at worksbyham. n

From left to right: Re Moved, Re Fractured, Re Created. By Holly Anne McDermott

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

KYLE DEGROFF

GOING BIG AND BREAKING FREE BY MARLA R. MILLER Graphic artist and muralist Kyle DeGroff dabbles in a variety of artistic projects: colorful murals, business brands, wedding invitations and photography. He is the guy behind Grand Rapids Brewing Co.’s Rosalynn Bliss Mango Blonde, Fish Ladder, Flow and other beer bottle designs, plus menus, T-shirts and more. DeGroff went from working as a food runner at Grand Rapids Brewing Co. to serving as interior design manager for BarFly Ventures until recently deciding to step out on his own. He made the decision to go full-time freelance while working on the huge new mural on Graydon’s Crossing. “I was essentially working around the clock, working full-time, then going to the mural and working until midnight daily,” he said. “So, it was a perfect time to take the leap and pursue something new.” The native Tennessean spent his childhood living in both Michigan and Tennessee until his senior year, when his family finally settled in Holland. At a young age, his mom taught him to draw, and he entertained himself with LEGOs and building creek dams. However, “the arts” weren’t necessarily appreciated in the small Friday Night Lights town of Lawrenceburg, Tenn. DeGroff attended Grand Valley State University planning to pursue entrepreneurship, but soon realized it wasn’t for him. After trying a 2-D design class, he found where he fit: “I couldn’t go through life without fulfilling the need to create.” DeGroff studied graphic design that would tie two enticing worlds together: business and art. His new focus is as a full-service, one-stop shop creative freelancer, providing a variety of artistic services for anyone who needs it. His colorful murals around Grand Rapids are also attracting attention. Check them out at Graydon’s Crossing, HopCat East Beltline, Mudpenny and Lions & Rabbits.

Kyle DeGroff. Photo By Leandro Lara (@zmbiephrsh) Instagram Top: Lions & Rabbits Mural. Middle: HopCat Knapps Corner Mural. Bottom: Show Love Spread Love. Courtesy Photos

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

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What interested you in making murals? Graffiti, street art and murals have always been alluring to me, but for a long time I believed they weren’t applicable to me. It wasn’t until I began working for HopCat that I was exposed to the amazing artists that worked freely and creatively at our earlier locations. They worked in large scales, and more importantly, created art that could live forever. That was enticing to me — creating something with longevity. My first mural opportunity was redesigning the interior of McFadden’s into the Waldron. My life went from zero mural work to painting four throughout the space. That project gave me the experience, tools and motivation to continue pursuing mural work.

Graydon’s Crossing: This was my largest mural that I have executed independently. Three weeks of blood, sweat and tears were poured into this piece. This mural brought a lot of challenges and understanding to my life, but especially brought to life the amazing, supportive community around me in Creston and in Grand Rapids as a whole. HopCat East Beltline: I like to refer to this piece as my ‘labor of love.’ This piece took approximately 400-plus hours, including installation, procuring and managing. To say it was labor intensive is an extreme understatement. That being said, this piece is significant because it’s a reminder that I have this kind of work in me.

How did the mural on Graydon’s Crossing come about? How did you decide on the specific design? Creston After Dark was a beautification project that aimed to bring several murals, a trash program and additional place-making elements to the neighborhood. It was a great success and I’m thankful to have been a part of it. As for the design, the lion is relevant to the European Premier Soccer League and Graydon’s Crossing is the second football/ soccer pub in the city. Needless to say, it felt like a good fit.

Lions & Rabbits: This piece played a significant role in my creativity exploration. I was given free rein on direction and creativity, so I took the opportunity and ran with it. To this day, I feel like this piece symbolizes the love and energy of Lions & Rabbits. It’s bright, robust and bold — precisely embodying the brand, the owner and the city.

What have you done recently that you’re proud of? That’s one difficult question — each piece is so special to me, as they all come with their individually unique challenges, impact and insights. However, I can highlight my three most impactful pieces that I’m proud of.

It looks like you dabble in a variety of artistic projects. Can you talk a little bit about that? It comes from being overly curious and opportunistic. Since college, I’ve always done freelance work on the side to feed that hunger, so to speak. So, the wedding invitation game was great because it allowed me the freedom to experiment with styles and techniques. Also, I really appreciated

the idea of being able to contribute to such a milestone in people’s lives. Weddings provide the challenge of creating something that encapsulates the bride and groom, while being uniquely and eloquently done. Branding provides the challenge of longevity – how can I design something that others would cherish for a while? Can I create a design so compelling that someone would want to save a beer bottle? Every project consists of its own unique variables, making my work an exciting and rewarding process. Do you have any specific goals for the future? What is your dream project? Primarily, I’d love to remain self-sustainable and continue to foster the creative community around me. A dream project of mine is to team up with a developer and create a ‘utopia’ that is 100-percent self-sustainable, with little to no environmental impact. I’d love to have the opportunity to lead the creative executions of architecture, interior design, branding, city planning, etc. Think of the consistent look and feel of a theme park, but more along the lines of a city or community. What advice do you have to give? Work your ass off. Don’t be entitled and understand that nothing is promised, and you gain what you work for. Create daily, and play a role in inspiring others to create daily too. And as my mother would say: ‘Can’t never did anything.’ Check out more of DeGroff’s work on at degroffdesign.com or on Instagram at degroffdesign. n

Creston After Dark Mural at Graydon's Crossing. Photo By Leandro Lara (@zmbiephrsh) Instagram

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

ANDREW KLINE MAN OF STEEL BY JOSH VEAL

Given that Grand Rapids’ iconic symbol, La Grand Vitesse, is a sculpture, it should come as no surprise that a sculptor can thrive here. That’s especially true if you’re Andrew Kline and you get to work at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. As preparator and assistant conservator, Kline helps install and maintain the sculptures at what he calls a “gem of the U.S.” He also maintains the downtown LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana. Kline said he “can’t emphasize enough” how lucky he is to be where he is, meeting his idols that come through and doing something he’s passionate about at “the place for outdoor sculpture” in Michigan. There is some serendipitous timing involved, with Kline originally taking an internship at the sculpture park that happened to line up with a fulltime position opening, but he’s more than proven himself then and now. He’s now had his own sculptures installed in Elk Rapids, Crystal Mountain, Grand Rapids and more. Cedar Springs just bought one of his pieces, Springs Eternal, as a permanent installation near its amphitheater. While walking around the gardens, Revue talked with Kline about how his sculptures come to life and what inspires him.

Andrew Kline. COURTESY PHOTO

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Left: Captives. Right: Tendonite. BY ANDREW KLINE

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

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How did you get started with sculpture, a fairly unique art form? In the summers, I always worked at a gravel pit in Kalamazoo. That’s where I learned how to use a torch and how to weld. On a whim, I took my first sculpture class at Western Michigan University and they said, ‘Here are the tools we’re going to use’ and it was a torch and a welder. It was the first time I was ahead of the rest of the class. I could really relate to the professor, Al Lavergne. He had a passion for sculpture and he didn’t look like any of my former art teachers — he had steel-toe boots and wore leather and worked with fire and electricity. I really credit him for saving my life and giving me a purpose again, giving me the passion for sculpture. Now that you’re in it, what do you like about the process of sculpture? The materials that I choose, steel is my numberone choice. It’s created to stay true and stay strong. If I can manipulate that, I find that really empowering. I can take an I-beam that’s not meant to be manipulated and harness that and make it my own. So I like to use industrious material. It’s not easy at all. It’s hot, it’s smelly, it’s dangerous. Working with all those heavy metals, do you listen to a lot of heavy metal? I do! Do you have any favorites? Anything fast and loud. I like extreme things — you know, fast cars. I like stuff that gets my blood pumping. How does your creative process work? The majority of sculptures that I make have no preliminary vision or inspiration. It’s an intimate dialogue that I have with the material. So I go in the garage, I sit down with the material and I sort of put my hands on it and let it speak to me. More times than not, it tells me what it wants to be. It’s really spur of the moment. Sometimes I feel like I’m along for the ride, like it’s the sculpture creating itself.

Above: Springs Eternal. Below: Bouquet. BY ANDREW KLINE

If you make an artistic decision, how long does it take to execute that? One of the things about steel that I like is that it’s immediate. You weld a piece of steel to another and it’s done. You can grind it, you can paint it, but as far as the building process, it’s done. Something that differs greatly from steel is bronze. You either do it first in wax or clay, and then you have to make a mold, and then you have to pour the bronze, and then you have to break the mold apart, and then you have to remove all the screws, and then you worry about the finish, and then the patina — it’s just

a never-ending process. But with steel, bzzt, it’s done. You can keep up good momentum working with it. What are some of your artistic inspirations? The number one is God and his nature. Basically anything that any artist can come up with, you can probably find it already done in nature. Any form, any symmetry, it’s all been done before. There’s nothing new, you can just show new ways of it being done. The idea of the heavy metal sculptures in some ways feels so different from nature. It does, but if I’m able to take an I-beam and make it feel light, I consider that a successful sculpture. That’s what makes it so hard. We’ve mentioned the Cedar Springs sculpture. Do you have any recent projects that you’re proud of? I have a sculpture that I just installed in the Elk Rapids Walk of Art, right on the lake. It’s bent I-beams all bound together in the middle with rebar. It’s called Bouquet, so it’s like a bouquet of flowers. There’s also an upcoming exhibition in Lowell that’s called the International Society of Experimental Artists. Every year, they pick one spot in the country and this year it’s in Lowell. I’ve got a piece there (Captivates) that’s actually a concrete block made out of wood. Then I took that carving and placed it on sun-sensitive paper and left it out in the sun for a bit and then you develop that in water and it seals the image, so it’s a shadow of that. You look at the carving and your brain says ‘concrete block,’ then you get closer and realize it’s made out of wood. It’s an echo of that shape, then I took it one step further and there’s the shadow of the shape captured on paper. It’s like an echo of an echo. Is there anything you have your eyes on for the future? I’m just loving being in Grand Rapids. It’s an awesome place for art, especially if you think about sculpture. Two of my favorite artists are Alexander Calder and Mark di Suvero, the tire swing sculpture (Motu Viget) creator. So to be in a town that embraces the arts, I’m very lucky to be here. What do you want people to see in your art? I’d much rather raise questions than give an answer. I’d much rather the viewer find themselves in what they’re looking at than me tell them what they’re looking at. I don’t want to tell them, ‘This is what it is.’ There are no wrong answers. Find Kline’s work at heavymetalsculpture.com or on Instagram at heavymetalsculpture. n

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

RANDI FORD

GOING WITH THE FLOW BY JOSH VEAL Inspired by the beauty and movement of nature, Randi Ford has made a career of her “flow” paintings. Growing up in southern Michigan, Ford went to Grand Valley State University for college, where she discovered the majestic power of Lake Michigan. Inspiration struck, and she began working hard to capture the feeling of being outdoors with her semi-impressionistic landscapes. Between visiting arts festivals and teaching at Grand Valley, Ford is now able to paint full-time, living the dream of every artist. She even creates custom pieces for clients looking for a specific image for their home or summer getaway. We talked with Ford about how she connects to painting, music and people.

Randi Ford. COURTESY PHOTO

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Top: The Beautiful Journey. Middle: Forever Evolving Adventure. BY RANDI FORD Bottom: Randi Ford painting in her studio. COURTESY PHOTO

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THE ARTS ISSUE | PROFILE

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How did you get started on the path of being a full-time artist? I started showing my work at Fulton Street Farmers Market in like 2013. People started being really attracted to my work, and then I started meeting new people, connecting with new people, and learning about different art markets. So I started showing my work at the fine art festivals along the lakeshore. I’ve been doing that for about eight years now. Do you have a festival that really stands out to you? I really like doing the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts festival. It’s a really big art festival that’s put together really well, and they have music and a lot of people come to that. And I do one in Saugatuck, it’s called the Saugatuck Waterfront Art Fair. That one’s nice. And then also I do the Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair.

traveling more throughout the years, taking a few trips out west, like Colorado, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Do you have your eye on anything out west in specific? In Colorado, there’s an art fair there in Sedona. So after I make some work from those places, I want to continue to make connections with people throughout the country and throughout our state. That was important for my work, just making connections with people. When people come into my booth, they open up and tell me a bit about themselves, and I tell them about myself. That’s what it’s about, making these connections with people and bringing happiness and beauty into their lives. What do you feel you’re trying to evoke in your own art? I want the viewer to feel a sense of love, beauty, inspiration and happiness. So, a peace and calm sense. Basically what they would feel when they’re out in nature, I’m bringing into my work, that feeling that you get when you’re outside.

What’s your process like in the studio? When I’m working in my studio, I like to listen to music. I’m really involved in the live music scene here in Grand Rapids. I really like going to The Intersection, and music and dance are a big part of my life. That’s incorporated into my work as well. I’m kind of creating a visual dance with my paintings that are filled with beauty and movement and life, just like nature is — very beautiful and peaceful. I’m giving a visual representation and a feeling in my work that’s based off of the colors and patterns in nature. Whatever the landscape, I’m painting the feeling that it brings when you’re there.

You have a unique style, the ‘flow’ painting. How did that develop for you? It slowly developed over time. The more I painted, the more abstract I became. And I started on flow paintings because when I paint I get into that flow state of mind. You know that creative state of mind, where you’re really present in the moment, like really connected to your spirit or heart space. So when I’m painting, I get in that moment and flow space, and my paintings also have that visual flow to them. It just was natural for me to call it a flow painting.

Which spots in nature really inspire you? I’ve painted Lake Michigan a lot, but I’ve also turned toward a lot of forest scenes. I did an artist residency up in Porcupine Mountain State Park for a few weeks. That was really cool. The park there allows artists to donate a piece to them, and then you get to stay in this little cabin that’s kind of secluded on a river. Then Pictured Rocks is another beautiful place in Michigan that I like to paint. I’ve been

What kind of music do you use to enter that space? I like to listen to electronic dance music, but not super crazy intense. I really like CloZee. She’s an artist that comes through Grand Rapids at The Intersection often. That’s just really a lot of rhythmical, deep and beautiful melodies, and incorporates a lot of sounds from different genres of music or different cultures. So I like a lot of down-tempo, atmospheric, bass-y, beautiful music that you can get lost

in. STS9 would be another band that I like. A few other musicians I like are Odesza, Sunsquabi and Griz. Local artist eRoy would be someone to mention who is a part of the music scene I’m in. His stuff is really good! I am thinking to ask him to play at the art show I want to plan for either next spring or the year after. Outside of music, who or what else would you say inspires and motivates you? An art group that really influenced me when I first started to paint was the Group of Seven. They’re Canadian painters that painted just north of Michigan, actually. They were producing work at the same time that Vincent Van Gogh was, so they were also impressionist painters. What advice would you give an artist starting out? Instead of trying to copy other people’s art, just be true to yourself and create what you want to create. The best way to have your work bloom or grow is to just start showing your work wherever you’re able to have the opportunity to connect with others, because I know a lot of artists are kind of afraid to show their work or think that it might not be good to show their work. But we’re making art and it’s not just for us. It should be shared with other people, and you can make a lot of great connections with other people by just showing your work and sharing what you have to say. That’s interesting, because we only have so many full-time artists in West Michigan. It seems like that willingness to put yourself out there is important. Yeah, and I’ve just gone full-time within the last few years, but I’ve been actively showing my work since like 2012. I’ve definitely learned over time the most important thing if you want to be a full-time artist is to make connections with people and follow through, and just be honest too. See Ford’s work at randifordart.com n

Left: Let’s Not Think About Age. Middle: Cliff’s Edge. Right: Pictured Rocks Edge. BY RANDI FORD

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THE ARTS ISSUE | FEATURE

GIRL POWERED GRAND RAPIDS CELEBRATES RAD AMERICAN WOMEN WITH ELECTRICAL BOXES BY ELMA TALUNDZIC

You might have noticed some familiar faces floating around Grand Rapids this summer. Back in March, The Rad Women Art Initiative took over electrical boxes across the city, launching in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. contracted with Lions & Rabbits art gallery-boutique on the project. Twenty-seven local femaleidentifying artists worked over the course of three weeks to paint portraits of important women from history on electrical boxes throughout Downtown Grand Rapids. DGRI not only worked with local artists, but also teamed up with numerous rad women-owned businesses, as well as Kate Schatz, who wrote the book Rad American Women A-Z that inspired the public art piece. Revue sat down with project lead for the Rad Women Art Initiative, Kimberly Van Driel, to chat more about all the work, collaboration and passion that went into the project. How were the artists chosen? We put out a casting call about the project and laid out the guidelines of what we were looking for and then anyone could put in a proposal, which just required them to do a rough sketch and submit their three top rad women from the book. We had tons of applications submitted. We weren’t able to

pick every single artist that submitted, but we made sure that we chose artists that had something significant tied to their top three choices and picked them that way. What was the painting process like for the artists? Beforehand, our team went and primed and painted all the background colors so the artists just had to focus on their portrait. After they were complete with the portrait, we went back and added final details. We gave them a three-week timeline of when they could go, so everyone was on their own schedule. It was great because it created so much buzz when people were sitting there painting these mechanical boxes. There were so many people that would come up to the artists asking for information. Was there a specific reason for doing the project downtown and on electrical boxes? It’s part of a place-making initiative. We’re always focused on walkability and public art, but we thought that this is a great way to make sure that it’s accessible for everyone. When you’re looking at the boxes, the mural itself is focused in toward the sidewalk for people that are walking and using the streets, as opposed to cars and them facing the street. That was super intentional. We worked with the city of Grand Rapids to identify a footprint and the mechanical boxes that we were able to use.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 75

Top: Hazel Scott, painted by Kim Nguyen. Above: Kate Bornstein, painted by Maddie Jackson. COURTESY PHOTOS

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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THE ARTS ISSUE | FEATURE

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 73 What’s the best way for viewers to experience this completed project? We teamed up with the community media center at GR Walks to create a free mobile app so you could take the tour on your own. We were fortunate enough to be able to do that in English and Spanish. We teamed up with two different local female artists to do all of the voiceovers for the walking tour. It’s about a two-and-a-half hour long walk if you were to do it straight, but the best thing is when you’re doing the mobile app, you can take it at any pace that you want and make a full day of it downtown.

What was Kate Shatz’ reaction to seeing her book come to life in Downtown GR? She was such a pleasure to work with and she was so great. She said that there had been other people that were interested in doing some stuff with her book before, but nothing to this scale. She was just blown away by the participation level and the turnout when we were hosting events through her being here. (The events) were super busy and there was so much involvement and empowerment, which she said was extremely meaningful to her. What has been your favorite part of this whole experience? Watching the artists. I’m a big supporter of public art and highlighting local talent here and watching these women out there painting and bringing such life to a lifeless piece of real estate downtown. It’s usually graffitied and poorly painted and them really taking ownership and transforming it into something significant was definitely my favorite part. n

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Why do you think this project was important to do? I don’t think that women get the recognition for doing really important things, particularly locally. One of the things that I think is super important that the author had mentioned is that you can travel all over the world and most all buildings or parks or streets are named after men, let alone mostly white men. It’s very rare that you come across streets or parks, or anything like that, that are named after women. It’s very important to highlight some rad American women that you wouldn’t normally think of. There are awesome people out there that have made strides for us females. Some of these women that are highlighted in the book, you wouldn’t normally know, but they did amazing things. Not only are

we highlighting these famous women of history, but now we’re able to highlight local women that have some amazing talents here and create public art that’s out for everyone to see and participate in. That’s permanent.

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THE ARTS ISSUE | FEATURE

Left: Rendering of Oracle of Lacuna by Heather Heart. Right: Rendering of Voice Bridge by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. COURTESY IMAGES

PIONEERING THE PROJECT PROJECT 1 REINVENTS THE ARTPRIZE MODEL BY JOHN KISSANE

For its 10th anniversary, ArtPrize is reinventing itself. The Grand Rapids-based art festival, if not moldering, had started to show its age. Last year, MLive reported that registration for public voting numbered only 32,613 people, the lowest total in the festival’s history. Beginning this year, large-scale projects will alternate with traditional ArtPrize events. Debuting Sept. 7 is Project 1: Crossed Lines, which presents five works of art, each a meditation on lines of division and community. Narrowing down from more than 1,200 artworks to five obviously represents a significant shift in focus. “The main reason we made the change is that we wanted to find a way to better support the kinds of public

art projects that people like at ArtPrize, and have the most lasting impact,” said Kevin Buist, artistic director of ArtPrize. “For the past few years of ArtPrize, we’ve been giving out grants to fund large outdoor projects, and this has been really successful. We wondered what would happen if we doubled down on that approach by offering more resources to artists, as well as more time and installation coordination from our team.” Asked if any venues or artists had expressed concern about the change in format, he said a few had, but more had mentioned appreciation for the extra preparation time for next year’s event. One familiar venue to ArtPrize visitors is the Blue Bridge. This year, it will house Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Voice Bridge, a piece that will feature speakers and 400 lights. Visitors will be able to record messages, the volume of which will determine how brightly the associated lights will shine. The end result will be a literal representation of the ways in which residents’ voices can change Grand Rapids. Heather Hart’s Oracle of Lacuna, split between Rosa Parks Circle and MLK Park, will consist of the tops of homes,

as if most of the structures had been swallowed by sinkholes or had melted into the ground. They will serve as venues for exploration — visitors are encouraged to enter the attics — and of live performances. Olalekan Jeyifous’ Crown Ether will recreate his sculpture The Boom and the Bust at the corner of Monroe Ave. and Louis St. An abstract piece, its ambition is to represent the gulf between how some of us get to live and how others are forced to. A rendering shows a man with a cell phone standing beside a skyscraper, its center hollowed out to allow for red buildings reminiscent of Monopoly game pieces. Tanglefoot Building will host Paul Amenta and Ted Lott’s Radio Station (Miami Folly II). The Project 1 site describes it as a work that “will create an environment that addresses issues of accessibility in both form and function.” It will feature ramps and landings, making the site accessible to all visitors, and promises “performances and interventions.” Finally, Amanda Browder’s Spectral Locus will be a large, brightly colored installation of fabric in several locations: a community building in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, four skyCONTINUED ON PAGE 79

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DeVos Performance Hall

OCTOBER 30TH

Tickets available at Ticketmaster.com & the venue box office. 78 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


THE ARTS ISSUE | FEATURE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 77

Left: Rendering of Spectral Locus by Amanda Browder. Middle: Rendering of Crown Ether by Olalekan Jeyifous. Right: Rendering of Radio Station (Miami Folly II) by Paul Amenta & Ted Lott. COURTESY IMAGES

PROJECT 1: CROSSED LINES Grand Rapids Sept. 7-Oct. 27

Sept. 7 Opening Day Celebration ft. BANDALOOP & Grand Rapids Ballet Rosa Parks Circle, 12-2 p.m. MLK Community Celebration ft. Cellist Jordan Hamilton and Lady Ace Boogie Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 2-5 p.m. Tanglefoot Opening Night, Presented by DisArt ft. Drag Syndrome Tanglefoot, 6-8 p.m.

Sept. 14 Blue Bridge Amplified ft. Dan Deacon Blue Bridge, 8-10 p.m.

Sept. 21 Pedal Project 1 (guided bike tour) Rosa Parks Circle, 9:30 a.m.

Sept. 28 DisArt presents Voices (multimedia project) Tanglefoot, 12-10 p.m.

walks, and a building at Tanglewood. Katherine Hagman, the volunteer and visitor engagement manager for ArtPrize, spoke of the more than 300 local volunteers who had committed time to sewing fabric for Browder’s pieces. “The volunteers are as young as two years old,” she said. “It’s been a really incredible community effort.” Fabric was donated by businesses and local citizens. Some of the pieces have storied pasts — fabric from shirts and jackets retrieved from the closets of lost parents or siblings have been weaved into the greater whole. The challenge of any large new event is explaining to the public what it is. Margaret Paxton, communications assistant, compared it to the first year of ArtPrize, when people knew something was going to happen but may not have been sure exactly what. Her goal is to contribute to the ways in which Project 1 hopes to strengthen community ties and engage people who may not have participated in ArtPrize before. Becca Guyette, director of learning and engagement, is ensuring that ArtPrize continues to educate as broadly as possible. To that end, she works to help secure transportation funding for local schools so students will be able to see the art up close. “These days, face-to-face is hard to find,” she said, referring to the way screens have changed the way we live. Her team has created lesson plans to help ensure students and educators are able to make the most out of the experience. The Sept. 7 launch will be a spectacle, or several spectacles. BANDALOOP, a group of performers who use climbing devices to secure them as they dance on the sides of buildings, describe their work as not deathdefying but life-affirming — it may be both. Various musicians and groups will perform, including the Grand Rapids Ballet, and artists will converse.

Opening night will feature a performance by Drag Syndrome, a London-based group of people with Down syndrome who perform in drag, providing a venue for joyful expression by people often willfully ignored by the larger society. Asked what would define a successful Project 1, Buist said that it may be difficult

to know for some time. “Project 1 is a turning point. Of course we would like to see big crowds,” he said. But the event, while narrower than ArtPrize, may prove to be richer. “These artworks are geared toward a deeper dive, repeat visits, and forms of interaction and participation that are often more intimate and harder to see.” n

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THE ARTS ISSUE | FEATURE

ART IN ACTION

EXPERIENCE LIVE ART TEACHES PEOPLE EVERYTHING THAT GOES INTO CREATING BY KAYLA SOSA

At Experience Live Art, two individuals are bringing the appreciation and education of art to West Michigan residents and students.

Steve Tibbe and Kevin Huver are using Experience Live Art to bring the artistic process to kids and adults alike. COURTESY PHOTOS

80 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

Steve Tibbe and Kevin Huver are the two behind the nonprofit. They started the work in 2017. “Experience Live Art was founded to use the power of the arts to create positive change in our community,” Huver said. The work the organization does is multi-faceted, starting with the art events that are put on every few months. The ticketed events are affordable — not gala-level prices — and allow attendees to get some food and drinks and watch local artists create their work live. “We give local artists an opportunity to promote their brand,” Huver said. “And by local artists, we mean everything from culinary to painters, sculptors, musicians, spirits, everything.” All of the profits go into creating artistic opportunities for local kids. Specifically, Tibbe and Huver call the workshops the Young Artist’s Experience. With all supplies provided, a group of kids are able to learn from a local artist how to create art in a specific medium, then are given an opportunity to make a piece of their own. On a later date, the kids are able to see their work showcased in a local gallery for all of their friends and family to admire. “You see the process from blank canvas to on the wall, and stand next to your piece and see people look at it,” Huver said. “Through that, they’re learning what start-tofinish work looks like.” Outreach for the events is done through Facebook, sharing the Eventbrite link and word of mouth, as well as partnerships with the West Side Collaborative and Grand Rapids Public Schools, which means more children have been able to participate than just those that Huver and Tibbe could reach on their own.

When the two founders met in March 2017, Tibbe was going through a career transition. “In high school I was told, ‘You have to pick a career, a profession, what you want to go to college for.’ I was 15,” he said. “I went 12 years in the medical field, and I was just lost, floundering, didn’t feel fulfilled.” Tibbe happened to be attending a wedding that his girlfriend was in, where Huver was the photographer. Tibbe was inspired to see someone fulfilling their creative passions and talent as a career. It was there that they became friends, and later when Huver pitched the idea for ELA, Tibbe quickly agreed and they got to work, hosting their first event just months later. “With funding getting cut from the arts programs and people pushing kids into something … you don’t allow them to find their passion,” Tibbe said. “I had a great job and I was able to help people, but I know I don’t want to do that for the rest of my life.” The two have now made it their mission to bring more arts to the community for people of all ages. “For the people, the public, to connect with the artists, we feel like that’s a bridge that we want to be able to cross over and allow people to talk to a painter and talk about their process and what makes them do what they do,” Huver said. By paying every artist for their contribution, Huver and Tibbe hope to empower as many local artists as they can and strengthen the community even more. “We try to have multiple artists from multiple mediums,” Tibbe said. “Our first event had five painters that didn’t know each other and a few of them since have collaborated, became friends. So we’re also trying to build a community, a sense of belonging within the artistic community.” As they partner with more organizations and raise more funds, ELA also hopes to provide kids with take-home art kits after the workshops. “I really align with trying to give kids the opportunity to express themselves in a healthy way,” Tibbe said. To learn more about Experience Live Art, visit experienceliveart.com or the group’s facebook page.n


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THE ARTS ISSUE | FEATURE

Left: Kevin the Kiteman by Jordan Casteel. Right: House Boy by Otobong Nkanga. COURTESY IMAGES

REFRACTIONS, RESIDENTS, RESILIENCE THREE POWERFUL EXHIBITIONS COME TO THE KIA BY DANA CASADEI

After finding out you had secured a landmark exhibition for your museum, simply displaying it would’ve been enough for some. Not for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, though. The museum saw opportunity. The big show — Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, making its only Midwest stop at

the KIA — became the perfect chance to also showcase the KIA’s collection and Kalamazoo community artists. “Our executive director, Belinda Tate, came to the idea that this would be a time when it would be beneficial for our collection to also be out … and wanted to highlight the wonderful community that we’ve been working in,” said Rehema Barber, the KIA’s chief curator. All three exhibitions — which also include Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan and Resilience: African American Artists As Agents of Change — run from Sept. 14 through Dec. 8, and will fill nearly the entire museum with art by black artists from around the world. The landmark exhibition Black Refractions reflects

nearly 100 years of art history in America with 91 works by artists of African descent. It will fill all four galleries on the KIA’s main floor. The Studio Museum broke ground for a new building to mark its 50th anniversary, which led to the traveling exhibition. As for the other two exhibitions, the KIA is essentially uninstalling its current permanent collection galleries to fit them. Where We Stand features Michigan artists who work in sculpture, photography, painting, ceramics, and printmaking. “They should definitely come see it so that they can know who is in their community, who are their neighbors,” CONTINUED ON PAGE 85

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DeVos Per formance Hall | Tickets at Ticketmaster.com 84 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


THE ARTS ISSUE | FEATURE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 83 said Fari Nzinga, curatorial fellow at the KIA who curated the exhibit with Denise Liseicki, director of the Kirk Newman Art School. “We want them to come away thinking, ‘Wow, we have some really amazing talented artists right here in our neighborhood and I can’t wait to see where they go.’” Artists include Grand Rapids native Darien Burress, the exhibit’s youngest artist at 23, and James Palmore, who has a long presence in the Kalamazoo area. Palmore even works out of a studio in his childhood home on East Michigan Ave. Then there’s photographer Tanisha Pyron, who is also an actor, dancer, singer, filmmaker, playwright, poet, and educator; Al Harris, Jr., who teaches drawing to fourth through sixth grades at Kirk Newman Art School; and Chakila Hoskins, who won first prize in the 2019 West Michigan Area Show. Some of the artists in Where We Stand not only have a community connection, but one with the works of Resilience, an exhibition that features 60 pieces by African American artists spanning 150 years. “Those artists who are working today locally and regionally have been inspired and actually mentored by some of the artists whose works are in our collection that will be in the other exhibition,” Nzinga said. “The strong personal relationships are really important, and they carry over.” One example is Reginald Gammon, who passed away in 2005. Gammon was a Western Michigan University professor for 21 years who was in the middle of many dynamic things in the art world, like Spiral, and helped form the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition. Other artists in Resilience — all of whom were selected from the KIA’s permanent collection — include Henry O. Tanner, an African American painter who focused on religious subjects during the mid-19th century, and newly acquired pieces by Frank Bowling, Julie Mehretu and Kerry James Marshall. Barber said they wanted to focus on the fact that even though there were few who reached the acclaim of Tanner, there clearly were still plenty of artists of African descent who have been creating for centuries. “You have a whole group of people that never really got any sort of recognition for the work that they were doing in the field,” Barber said. At its heart though, Barber said Resilience is about common humanity and the threads that connect and bind us, showing that our histories are interwoven. “We’re in a pivotal moment in history where people are really focusing on our differences and our individuality and that’s fine, but we should also have a collective sense of what our history is and that has to be communicated in institutions like the KIA,” she said. “I think we’re working toward showing how we are demonstrating equity, access, inclusion and diversity in our collection … making sure

everyone’s stories are represented in the work we do here.” But these exhibitions aren’t just about the art, they’re about literally bringing the community together too. The KIA worked with community partners like the Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, and Western Michigan University to create an extensive list of activities for guests to participate in over the course of three months. The programming is as diverse as the artwork itself, ranging from lectures to plays to a quilt exhibition. The list also includes an Opening Day After Party at the Black Arts & Cultural Center on Sept. 14. “We understand that art exhibits may not be everybody’s thing — we hope they will be, and we hope these will be three exhibitions everyone will enjoy — but we also understand that people come to things from a variety of ways,” said Michelle Stempien, the KIA’s director of museum education. “So, somebody might be really interested in the play that’s happening (at BCAC) and then hear about the exhibit because they went to that play.” Stempien hopes these activities will lead to bigger audiences for everyone involved and build stronger community ties, like the Kalamazoo Public Library branches, which are hosting five of the artists from Where We Stand at different branches. The program is called Local Artists in Action and will have artists set up in libraries to create pieces during their designated week. Four of the five artists will also be creating special programming. Kevin King, head of the branch and circulation services for the Kalamazoo Public Library, said they wanted individuals to be able to come see art being made live and bring art to the neighborhoods. “I think it’s important in a lot of ways,” King said. “The primary one for me is this opportunity to see art being created in front of them, and see it’s a possibility in their life … and possible to see individuals who look like them create art.” ■

BLACK REFRACTIONS: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM WHERE WE STAND: BLACK ARTISTS IN SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN RESILIENCE: AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE Sept. 14-Dec. 8 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org

Above: Conspicuous Fraud Series #1 (Eminence) by Kehinde Wiley. Below: Singing Their Songs by Elizabeth Catlett. COURTESY IMAGES

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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STYLE NOTES

by Missy Black

Lee & Birch:

ON THE MOVE

L

ee & Birch was just voted Best Women’s Clothing store in Revue’s Best of the West, as well as another local publication. Two major wins means you’ve got to give the people what they want: More Lee & Birch. Founding owner/president Nikki Gillette and co-owner Kristin Nipke are doing just that, adding another location to their already bustling businesses. “We came up with a goal to bring Lee & Birch across West Michigan — not really thinking it would become reality,” Gillette said. “However, we are in a great position now to expand as we have amazing customers who have helped build an awesome business and following.” Kalamazoo is the next landing spot, and everything feels right. “Kalamazoo has been growing at a rapid pace. The demographics are similar to what we look for and there is a void in the boutique marketplace that we fill perfectly,” Gillette said. The new store will be located next to businesses with similar clientele: Pink Lemonade and the Cheese Lady.  Plus, they’ll be located directly across the street from the farmers market.

Big wins and big moves are the theme here, and the new location will have a bigger footprint than the other three stores. With that extra space comes a plan for more events and fashion shows, both a hit among clients. Get your Instagrams ready too, as the Rockford store manager and artist Paige Rochefort will be painting a mural on the Kalamazoo building, making a great backdrop for photos. Despite some of the changes, all four locations will carry the same merchandise apart from a few pieces and accessory lines. “We are known for the quality of our pieces and the lush feel of the fabrics,” Gillette said. “We touch pretty much every piece before we decide to carry it in the store, and this will not change with the expansion into a fourth store.” Seeing (or feeling) is believing, so put Lee & Birch to the test at the grand opening celebration on Saturday, Sept. 28, featuring swag bags, giveaways, discounts, drinks and more. In the Kalamazoo area? Head to the shop’s new location at 7047 W Q Ave. in Kalamazoo and greet the newbie in town. n

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

COURTESY PHOTOS

86 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

Nikki’s Fall Notes: • Faux fur is BIG. • Animal prints run wild on sweaters, pants and shoes! • The Sorel selection will be LIT (per usual). • Colors to watch include earth tones, mustard yellow and blush pink. • Coin necklaces are a must-have.


REVUE’S 9TH ANNUAL

BeeR Issue HITS STANDS OCTOBER 1ST

Every year, West Michigan’s beer scene gets bigger and bigger, and every year, Revue covers it all in our annual Beer Issue. We take a look at the new guys in town, check in on upcoming projects, examine the latest drinking trends, and taste some new beers — just for you! Plus, check out our sprawling brewery guide.

E

VERY YEAR, WEST MICHIGAN’S BEER SCENE GETS BIGGER AND BIGGER, AND EVERY YEAR, REVUE COVERS IT ALL IN OUR ANNUAL BEER ISSUE. WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEW GUYS IN TOWN, CHECK IN ON UPCOMING PROJECTS, EXAMINE THE LATEST DRINKING TRENDS, AND TASTE SOME NEW BEERS — JUST FOR YOU! PLUS, CHECK OUT OUR SPRAWLING BREWERY GUIDE.

REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019 |

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BEER

BEER BEYOND BOUNDARIES

Revue visits some breweries in Grand Rapids’ perimeter

T

he hype surrounding Grand Rapids casts a length that stretches counties long. It is the Cool City. It has the Hot Eats. And have you heard? It has Beer. I read so on a billboard. While there’s reason to celebrate the city’s continued growth, the endless foisting of Grand Rapids as “Beer City USA” does slip into selfcongratulation. In our navel-gazing, it’s easy to lose sight of those on the perimeter brewing amazing stuff. The operations are more humble than the Founders or Knickerbocker megaplexes, but there’s something welcomingly old-school about a brewery whose ambitions don’t extend beyond the taproom. Instead, there’s focus on building community and creating an environment that locals can embrace. Revue gathered a panel to give some unsung breweries in Ada and Lowell a fair shake. Just a hop skip down I-96 or Fulton and you’ll find a whole trove of new breweries to discover.

since dropped the supply portion but the homebrewing spirit remains in tact. The first beer I dove into was the Great John, a boozy 10-percent ABV Imperial Red IPA and an overwhelming malt bomb. It’s the sort of Imperial brewers made before they got busy chasing the hazy train. Rich caramel balanced by bitter and sweet, I wish this style of IPA was still en vogue. When it comes to trendier styles though, they’re no slouch either. The MI Blu, a fruited sour with lactose and graham cracker, tasted like a campground smackdown between PB&J and S’more.

GRAVEL BOTTOM CRAFT BREWERY

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The most logical place to start is the bottom. Thankfully at Gravel Bottom, the beers are the tops. Opening in 2013 as equal parts craft brewery and supply shop, Gravel Bottom provided Adanites with both a watering hole and a platform for aspiring homebrewers to test their mettle. I remember brewing a smoked porter out of a soup pot that ended up on their draft lines a couple months later. I should stick to writing, but many homebrews they’ve showcased could’ve gone pro. Following the great Ada boom, Gravel Bottom outgrew the shanty and upgraded into modern digs. The taproom is rustic with a sheen. They’ve

The advent of craft beer may seem like a modern phenomenon, but brewers were busting out quality recipes back in the days of horse and buggy too. New Union pays homage in name to its forebearer, Union Brewing, a Grand Rapids original formed in 1862. In those days, there were three beers to pick: lager beer, cream ale and stock ale. Fortunately, New Union has more for our palates now. And by more, we mean more. The draft list is sectioned between beer, radlers, beermosas, wine, ciders (from Painted Turtle), and hand-crafted root beer. They even have a birch beer made from birch bark for you tree sap fans out there.

GO THERE FOR: IPAs for days. During our visit, half the lines were filled with hop-forward offerings. Hardly monotonous though. Each example highlights a different shade on the hop color wheel. Also, the quesadilla on naan was the Indian/ Mexican fusion I never knew I needed, and now can’t live without.

LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: SNEAKER'S, GRAVEL BOTTOM BREWERY, NEW UNION BREWERY, BIG BOILER BREWING. PHOTOS BY REVUE STAFF

88 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019


by Jack Raymond

LEFT:THE BIG BOILER ITSELF. RIGHT: BIG BOILER'S BEER CHEESE. PHOTOS BY REVUE STAFF

In spite of these alternatives, we’re here to judge beer. The Supremo Bean Imperial Dark Roast Porter sounded KBS-esque, so I ordered one to see how it stacked up. Supremely well — more mellow and smooth than some other barrel-aged tongue-coaters. The barrel-aged tripel more than impressed too, with a 13.4-percent ABV that would pair nicely with a cigar and a nap. The bar itself is luxe, with a backsplash covered in gold panels that made me think high-end bank. The fermenters are front and center too. It’s not hard to understand why New Union was recognized as Lowell’s most promising new business in 2017. They came out the gates swinging.

GO THERE FOR: A cold one. They have a separate ice-frosted tap tower that dispenses beer so cold, it’ll wash away your 9 to 5 anguish in a couple sips.

BIG BOILER BREWING 318 E Main St., Lowell

GO THERE FOR: A killer happy hour. $5 for the best chips and beer cheese, plus deep discounts on drafts.

SNEAKER’S 211 E Main St., Lowell When we asked our Big Boiler waitress for a bar recommendation she tried steering us back to New Union. Nuh-uh. We may be city slickers but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the comforts of a good hole in the wall. Kindly, she pointed us across the street to Sneaker’s. Sneaker’s is the sort of bar where everybody knows your name. Sneaker’s soup of the day was “hobo.” Sneaker’s smelled a little bit like a sneaker. That said, being all beer’d out, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere better. The gin pours were strong and the bartender was sweet. No Rumple Minze in stock but after barrelling through an afternoon of flights, that was probably for the best. Thank you for having us Lowell.

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING

A literal stone’s throw from New Union, Big Boiler Brewing was an obvious next stop on the tour. As Lowell’s second craft beer destination, one begins to wonder how much longer the town can remain a secret. I got a flight of four — a kolsch, a pale, an IPA and a stout — and I’m pleased to report each was super solid. Maybe that’s the takeaway from this tour. Maybe we’re getting to the point where we can appreciate beer again for its nuance, not its novelty. Maybe I just need another beer. This brewery’s history is present too, with the big boiler itself watching over the tap-

room like an ancient guardian alongside the new gods: huge stainless steel brew tanks. The juxtaposition continues with framed photos of historical Lowell opposite big-screen TVs showing sports at the bar. More and more, Lowell is a town of old and new, and Big Boiler is the incarnation of that.

GO THERE FOR: Anonymity. What happens in Lowell, stays in Lowell. n

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by Josh Veal

DINING

QUITE THE CATCH

Kingfisher Restaurant and Deli is a welcome addition to the neighborhood

B

E I NG E NTRUSTE D WITH A LEGACY IS NO SMALL WEIGHT. When Joel Wabeke and Sarah Wepman bought Marie Catrib’s from the late owner’s son, they knew they were entering a sacred space. Offering many vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free offerings simply because of the nature of Lebanese cuisine, Marie Catrib’s became a neighborhood icon in Grand Rapids’ East Hills. It was a place where patrons were on a first-name basis with staff and vice versa. In fact, Catrib herself knew Wabeke, Wepman and their son from visits to the deli. With the Catrib family out of the business, Wabeke knew he couldn’t keep running the same restaurant. And so, after about eight months, Kingfisher Restaurant and Deli was born.

THE ATMOSPHERE

KINGFISHER. PHOTOS BY ALYSON CAILLAUD-JONES / KAYO LLC

90 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2019

When you walk in, you’ll notice something is different, but it’s not like someone took a wrecking ball to the place. There’s new paint, new chairs, refinished tabletops and a polished floor — that’s about it. The colors are welcoming and comfortable, with robin egg blue walls and soft wooden furniture setting the mood. “It feels warm, but also nice. It’s not arrogant, it’s thoughtful,” Wabeke said. “I think people come and they feel like they can enjoy themselves in this kind of space. There’s some activity, there are lots of big windows, and the colors are soothing with the blue.” Of course, Wabeke and Wepman have experience creating spaces, previously opening That Early Bird Cafe in Eastown and Little Bird in Downtown. When it comes to filling shoes, Early Bird was the couple’s first experience, taking over what was previously Kava House — Little Bird replaced Fat Johnny’s Cheesesteak, which maybe didn’t carry the same onus. Both spots seem to be thriving however, setting Kingfisher up for success. Creating an approachable neighborhood restaurant comes easy to Wabeke. “Gaia Cafe was my first love of cooking,” he said. “Even after working at fine dining restaurants, I still love making those — I say ‘healthy-ish,’ everyday food that’s for everyone. We’ve got a menu tailored for vegan, vegetarian

and gluten-free people. We’ve done it in a way that doesn’t just include substitutes for meat.”

THE FOOD It’s true, Kingfisher draws from the Mediterranean inspiration of Marie Catrib’s, which means going in on the vegetables, hummus and naturally gluten-free ingredients rather than fake “meats” or synthesized substitutes. Though the influence is clear, the menu is more than just Mediterranean. Wabeke said they didn’t want to “pigeonhole ourselves into something that would limit us.” Choices span from breakfast dishes like an herbed frittata ($10) with spinach, kale, chickpea, mint, parsley, chermoula, tahini sweet potato puree, and toast — to lunch options like the chicken salad sandwich ($10) with tumeric-garlic mayonnaise, pickled golden raisins, pine nuts, lettuce and celery on focaccia. Wabeke is a chef by trade, and together with Head Chef Rich Van Eck, the menu has become somewhat eclectic yet approachable. Or, in other words: The food is interesting and delicious.

MY MEAL Personally, I tried the lamb ragu ($13), which perfectly encapsulates the “healthy-ish” mentality. To start with, the warm hummus is a revelation. I’m not saying to pop your Sabra container in the microwave, but this stuff should be in far more dishes across far more restaurants. It’s comforting, light and hearty all at once. Then you top that with yogurt-braised lamb and the ragu sauce, which is a fusion of Italian and Mediterranean that’s both delightful and initially mystifying. I’m not great at geography, so my brain wondered: What is this? Why does this work so well? Then I remembered that Italy — despite having its own unique cuisine — is largely in the Mediterranean Sea, and it all made sense. Throughout the dish are chopped greens and charred eggplant (that’s the “healthy”) which lift the dish texturally, giving small bursts of new flavor with every few bites. That’s all brought together with sofrito, a sunny egg for when you need that yolk-splosion, and mint

LAMB RAGU. PHOTO BY JOSH VEAL

and pine nuts to top it all off. Then you have this incredible fluffy, crusty bread (that’s the “ish”) to mop it all up and make sure there’s no way you go home hungry. By the end of the meal, I can tell Kingfisher is already creating its own legacy.

WHAT’S NEXT Kingfisher wanted to start serving the area as fast as it could, so the deli isn’t quite open yet, but it shouldn’t be long now. The goal is to create a place where people can swing by and grab some lunch to go. The deli likely will offer various wraps, rolls, soups and salads, “things of that nature,” Wabeke said. There also may be some bowls and sandwiches that are easy to assemble and warm up quickly, but aren’t lacking any flavor. Of course, Wabeke and Wepman’s other ventures also have become well-known for their amazing pastry selection, and the deli will be no different. Drinks are coming soon too, but at both the deli and the restaurant side, everyone is welcome, including families and children. When managing his eateries, Wabeke takes a simple, “What’s right, what’s not?” approach. The goal is to make people happy and comfortable while making memories and connections. Kingfisher is no exception. “We’re just really trying to curate spaces that people enjoy being in,” Wabeke said. n


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