Avenue for the Arts | Free Radical


200 artists, 25 locations, one night.

What is Free Radical?

Before there was ArtPrize, before there was Site:LAB, or ArtPeers, there was Free Radical. The Free Radical Gallery started in 2002 by local artist Mark Rumsey. On November 1st and November 8th, Free Radical Gallery returns to the Avenue for the Arts for its 11th anniversary. Vacant storefront spaces will be transformed into temporary galleries to feature an eclectic mix of local artists. Additionally, many of the galleries and businesses on the Avenue such as Have Company, Sanctuary Folk Art and Vertigo Music will have extended hours, gallery openings and host local artists. The artist live/work spaces will also open their doors to show and sell original pieces of artwork.

This annual event is an energetic fall event featuring 100+ local artists and curators. It includes entertainment and performers and the focus on available commercial space increases public awareness of Heartside as a location for innovation and entrepreneurial commerce. This event attracts downtown residents, as well as friends and supporters from surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs into downtown Grand Rapids; creating and strengthening community and commerce.

Where: various locations South Division Avenue

Why: curated show celebrating 11 years of the Free Radical Gallery, dialogue and discussion about the artwork and impact of community exhibitions.

What is Radically different from previous years?

To celebrate 11 years of utilizing non traditional spaces to showcase art and the artists we are taking the event to the next level, with an emphasis on commentary, dialogue and critique. This year every venue’s curator will choose new work from at least two artists through our submitting process. There will also be a person asked to contribute documentation of each exhibition. The documenter will present their perspective of the show November 8th in a way that stimulates interaction between visitors, artists, curators and the creative community at large.

• Friday, November 1, 6pm-10 pm

Exhibitions at 20 + locations along South Division

• Friday, November 8th, 6pm- 10pm UICA, 2 West Fulton

A night of dialogue, discussion, documentation and critique

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