In Focus: Artists Show Off Their Work At Grand Rapids First Friday
No matter which day you visit Grand Rapids, you’re sure to see art and color everywhere you turn. But on the first Friday of every month, you can multiply that by ten.
“It’s really nice that there are a lot of these and they’re very colorful, so really I think it brings some life and vibrance to this new addition of The Reif,” says Aaron Squadroni, an artist who was visiting the Reif Center.
If you were at the MacRostie Art Center this evening, you were introduced to two different artists. Aaron Olson-Reiners is an abstract artist. He says hopes his work will make the audience ask questions.
Olson-Reiners says, “A lot of what they’re about has to do with ambiguity. So in my own life, trying to draw from my own experiences and make work that kind of encapsulates part of who I am and what I know.”
Nicole Havekost created her pieces with unique materials such as sewing pattern paper and industrial felt. She hopes people will see that there’s beauty in things that are a little grotesque.
“I think with my art I like to ride this line of, like, beautiful and creepy, so I would love it if people came up and thought it was really lovely but at the same time really strange,” says Havekost.
Over at the Reif Center, there was another gallery going on. The murals in the main lobby were created by the 4th graders of Independent School District 318 last spring. All the pieces are different animals that are native to Minnesota.
“I basically made the light purple and a darker purple and then we just did random colors,” says Murphy, one of the 4th grade artists, who is now a 5th grader.
The kids created the murals with the help of a professional artist. Squadroni did not help with this project, but he has worked with the kids before.
“Whenever I get a chance to work with younger students, it’s really exciting to sort of see new ideas and see the openness that they have,” says Squadroni.
Both of the galleries will be up until the end of the month, so there’s still time to see the artists’ work for yourself.
When asked how she feels about her mural, Murphy says, “I liked how it turned out.”