Pulso: Opening Reception



Spanning between KCAD and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), Pulso is rooted in an exploration of the ways in which regional boundaries affect the perception of art. While the artists involved all have ties to Latin America, this collaborative exhibition frees itself from the confines of such labels by allowing the diversity of medium and subject matter to challenge cultural preconceptions of contemporary art and strengthen the dialogue among artists, both locally and globally.

The show features 28 national and international artists. “Pulso” is an exploration of the way which regional boundaries affect the perception of art.

Artists include Sergio Gomez, of Chicago, a participant in ArtPrize 2013 at Fountain Street Church, who contributed a large-scale drawing of a U.S. $1 bill, only with the word “dollar” replaced by the Spanish word “Dolor,” which means “pain.”

Local artists include Gretchen Minnhaar, a native of Argentina, and an architect who helped design the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel; and Mandy Cano Villalobos, an assistant professor of art at Calvin College.

All of the artists have ties to Latin America. Artist Juan Angel Chavez is a native of Mexico. Artist Gabriel Villa grew up in the United States on the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez.

The collaborative exhibition was organized to allow the diversity of medium and subject matter to challenge cultural preconceptions of contemporary art and strengthen the dialogue among artists, locally and globally.








The exhibition is evenly divided between Kendall College’s Woodbridge Ferris Building and the UICA‘s Gallery on Fulton.

Work by 14 artists will be on display in the Fed Galleries in the Ferris Building, the 1910 Beaux Arts building at 17 Pearl St., that originally was the U.S. Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office in downtown Grand Rapids.

Artist Esteban de Valle, originally from Chicago, now based in Brooklyn; and Edith García, from Los Angeles, now living in Minneapolis, will be in Grand Rapids for an Artist Talk at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20 at KCAD’s Fed Galleries.

Work by another 14 artists will be shown at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts which opened at the corner of Fulton Street and Division Avenue in 2011.

Artist Hugo Claudin, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, now living in Grand Rapids, will give a second Artist Talk at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27 at UICA.

For further information on lectures, workshops, demos, and other events, please visit our websites at kcad.edu/galleries and uica.org




For more information on Pulso, check out KCAD and UICA’s Pulso pages.

The Fed Gallery Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Special Extended Pulso/Pulse exhibition hours:

Thursdays: 10:00am – 9:00 pm


UICA Gallery Hours:

Tuesday -Thursday: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Friday – Saturday: 12:00pm – 9:00 pm

Sunday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm

GRCC Diversity Lecture Series looks at immigration and other key issues



Immigration, bullying and race are just three of the hot topics that will be tackled during Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series.

“The various perspectives we present in our Diversity Lecture Series is another way to strengthen our students understanding of local and global issues,” said Christina Arnold, director of the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, which organizes the lectures. “We are fortunate to have renowned experts willing to share their experiences with our students and community.”

“Our students who attend DLS presentations benefit from the inspiration and excitement they offer,” said Nora Neill, an assistant professor at GRCC. “Even if they don’t always agree with the speaker, the DLS is about getting us all to think. The series reminds us how big our world is and how much there is to learn, to respond to and to contribute.”

Neill makes it a point to work the lecture series’ topics and speakers into her English courses. In previous years, her classes have studied books by Kambri Crews and Jeannette Walls and were then able to hear and see the authors in person at the lectures.

“It is a special experience, and they share their awe after seeing an informed person present with personality and skill at their college as a part of their education,” Neill said of her students. “In class after one presentation, I watched as a quiet, shy student told his classmates about what it means to be an introvert — lessons he learned from Susan Cain. Not only did this topic become his research essay subject, but it expanded his understanding of himself and the world we live in.”

The free lectures begin at 7 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, and are ASL interpreted. GRCC encourages the entire campus community to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate a need for an accommodation or have questions about accessibility, please call Disability Support Services at (616) 234-4140 in advance of your visit or program participation.

On-campus parking is available for $3 (with a discount pass).





The 2013-2013 Diversity Lecture Series lineup:

“Immigration: Not Legal, Not Leaving” on Oct. 2. A journalist for more than a decade, Jose Antonio Vargas learned his green card was a fake at age 16. His journalism career flourished, yet his fear of deportation never ceased. Vargas eventually exposed his story in an essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for New York Times Magazine. Today, he runs Define American, a nonprofit organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration.

“Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy” on Oct. 23. Emily Bazelon is a senior editor at Slate and a New York Times Magazine contributing writer. Her investigative journalism, compelling storytelling and extensive legal knowledge make her a leading authority on bullying in the cyber age. Her book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, has won widespread acclaim.

“Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s” on Nov. 13. John Elder Robison grew up with Asperger’s syndrome when few knew what to make of it. With no idea how to pass for normal — and undiagnosed until the age of 40 — he nevertheless lived a full life. Robison offers a darkly humorous glimpse of Asperger’s as a difference, not a disability. In his memoir, Robison recounts his idiosyncratic life with details of overcoming enormous odds: from an antisocial child to a successful father now running a multimillion-dollar car specialty shop and his own photography business. He is now an adjunct professor at Elms College in Massachusetts and is involved in autism research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre.

“Youth Revolt: The Future of the Middle East” on Feb. 12. Author and commentator Reza Aslan addresses the topics of Islam, the Middle East and Muslim Americans with authority, wit and optimism. He speaks for a young generation of Muslims — socially conscious, politically active and technologically savvy. Author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, Aslan reveals the nature of these historic societal changes. He unravels the complexities of the new Middle East and shows us what the future holds for this oft-misunderstood part of the world. He is president and CEO of Aslan Media Inc.


“Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation on Race” on March 12. Michele Norris is currently a host and special correspondent for NPR. She relates how she intended to write a book about America’s hidden conversations about race — but discovered that much had been hidden from her by her family. Her parents kept their stories of racial injustice and pain to themselves because they wanted their children to soar. She found that her father had been shot in the leg after returning from WWII service by white police officers. Her mother had worked for years as an itinerant “Aunt Jemima,” traveling to small towns demonstrating pancake mixes. Norris suggests that silence has had some rewards and many costs. She seeks to uncover and encourage real conversation around family and race.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

GRCC International Guitar Series presents Laurence Juber



A two-time Grammy winner kicked off Grand Rapids Community College’s 2013-14 International Guitar Series next month.

GRCC has been organizing the series of guitar performances for more than two decades.

“The GRCC International Guitar Series presents outstanding guitar performances by seasoned veterans as well as today’s rising stars in the international guitar performance world,” said music professor Brian Morris.

“Each year, the series features concerts by distinguished touring guitarists — including the yearly winner of the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Solo Competition, winners of other guitar competitions such as the U.S. National Fingerstyle Competition and Guitar Player Magazine’s Guitar Superstar Competition, as well as other internationally acclaimed performers and recording artists.”

On Thursday, Oct. 3, two-time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber, lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings (with whom he earned a Grammy), world-renowned virtuoso, composer and arranger played in Grand Rapids. Mr. Juber fuses folk, jazz and pop styles to create a multifaceted performance. He can be heard on recordings from artists as diverse as Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks, Seal, and Barry Manilow, plus he is featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows such as “Home Improvement” and on movies that include “Dirty Dancing” and “Pocahontas.” His music also is featured in the Ken Burns’ documentary “The Tenth Inning.”







Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. — The Cavatina Duo consists of flutist Eugenia Moliner from Spain and guitarist Denis Azabagic from Bosnia. Their repertoire includes music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and contemporary periods. They have electrified audiences at Ravinia in Chicago, the Aix-en-Provence Summer Festival in France, and National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, among many others.

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. — Gideon Whitehead, a GRCC alumnus, has earned prizes at the 2011 James Stroud Guitar Competition and at the 2010 and 2011 University of Louisville International Guitar Competition. During the 2012-13 concert season, he appeared in collaboration with world-renowned violinist and Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim. Mr. Whitehead is committed to serving the community through his music and often performs for residents at retirement living centers and nursing homes and to kids at schools.

Thursday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. — Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Rovshan Mamedkuliev won the 2012 Guitar Foundation of America’s International Concert Artist Competition and has been a top prizewinner in numerous competitions in Europe, as well.

“I am grateful for the honor to help present these awesome concerts and workshops for our students, faculty and community members,” Morris said.

All concerts will be held in the Recital Hall (room 200) of the Grand Rapids Community College Music Center at Ransom Avenue and Lyon Street. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Parking is available in the GRCC student parking ramp for $1 with a guest parking voucher sold at the door. Call 234-3940 for further information or email bmorris@grcc.edu.

Individuals who anticipate needing disability related accommodations, auxiliary aids, or who have questions about physical access are encouraged to call GRCC Disability Support Services at (616) 234-4140 in advance of the event.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

Captains and angels: How myTeam Triumph is changing the face of the marathon



When Matt Smith was 11 and hit the road for his first-ever marathon, all he cared about was going fast.

“That was the best,” he says.

But now that he’s almost 17, Matt, who has cerebral palsy, has a new wisdom that values more than speed.

“The people I meet — that’s the best part,” Matt says. “I have some great relationships. I still love the racing part. But it’s expanded into so much more.”

Matt is a veteran of myTeam Triumph, an athletic ride-along program created for children, teens and adults with disabilities who would normally not be able to take part in the challenge of a triathlon or a road race.






They sit in a sleek, sling-like chair on sport wheels while runners take turns pushing them through the race.

By the time he raced in the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon last Sunday, Matt had logged more than 20 races and become sort of a celebrity.

“He knows more people than my husband and I do,” says Matt’s mom, Anne Smith.

“We’re trying to change peoples’ lives, one step at a time,” says Terence Reuben, president and executive director of myTeam Triumph West Michigan.

“It’s providing them an opportunity to be part of events that we runners take for granted,” Reuben says. “So they can feel the buzz, the excitement, when they get up early to pick up their race packets. They’re treated like athletes, just like everybody else.”

Just like everybody else. That’s part of the appeal for Matt, who used to watch through his living room window while the neighborhood kids played outside.

“I was really searching for something to do — I was bored,” says Matt, a junior at Forest Hills Northern High School.

Now he participates in a few races each year, whizzing along in a road-hugging “stroller,” pushed by volunteer athletes.

“When Matt was first approached about doing this, the other boys his age were getting into sports, and he was having a hard time coming to terms with his cerebral palsy,” says Matt’s mom, Anne, who with husband Mike have four children. “Now, it’s a huge social thing for him. He used to love whoever could take him through the race the fastest. Now, he wants the race to last as long as possible so he can spend more time with the people pushing.”

An Ironman came up with the idea.


Reuben, 46, a physical therapist and director of sports medicine at Metro Health Sports Medicine, was training for an Ironman event in 2007 when the idea for myTeam Triumph first surfaced.

“I was 40, trying to show that I could still do this,” he says. “It was a self-centered goal.”

But once he was at the event, he saw people using it as a platform for good. Fundraising. Raising awareness. It hit him hard — this wasn’t all about him.

“I went home inspired,” Reuben says. What could he do in Grand Rapids to bring more heart to his races?

Reuben met with a few friends at a coffee shop and they talked of seeing the occasional runner pushing a family member with a disability in a stroller chair meant for racing.

“But not everybody in a wheelchair has a family member who’s an athlete,” he says.







myTeam Triumph started taking shape. They decided to call the person in the chair the “captain.”

“We wanted the race to be about them,” Reuben says. “They were in charge. We wanted them to feel like rock stars.”

They would call the runners who pushed the captains “angels.”

“They’re in the background,” he says, “but this couldn’t happen without them.”

They would match three angels to a captain, they decided, to lessen the fatigue and allow more people to be involved.

“They could take turns pushing,” Reuben says. “Maybe one person can’t run a 26 mile marathon. But as a team, you can.”

Their first year of four races went so well they decided to create a West Michigan chapter, in hopes the nonprofit would go national.

Today there are 25 chapters in 19 states and Canada.

“We’ve been in Runners World and on NBC,’” Reuben says proudly. “But a lot of people don’t realize it all started right here in Grand Rapids.”

The first year, the West Michigan group involved eight or 10 captains and a handful of angels. This year will involve close to 60 captains, Reuben says, and 200 angels.







When you think about it, he says, it’s not surprising the mission has caught on.

“It’s good for the captains, the angels, the other racers, the families,” Reuben says. “There’s this whole buzz surrounding all of them, a buzz of something less selfish.

“People get very caught up in themselves,” he says. “They’re often too busy to pay attention to the good around them. We want to influence the next generation. A lot of young athletes are just focused on winning races. We want them to aspire to more.”

Last year Reuben ran the entire Grand Rapids Marathon pushing Matt. He picked him up every Saturday morning and every Tuesday afternoon so they could train together.

“When I race as an individual, and cross the finish line, I say ‘I did it,’” Reuben says. “When I race as an angel, I say, ‘We made this happen. Captain Matt has completed the race.’

“If Captain Matt is in the chair, everybody’s yelling, ‘Go, Captain Matt!’ Nobody’s yelling ‘Go, Terence!’” Reuben says.

He loves that. So does Matt.

“This has changed me so much, the way I look at things,” Matt says. “I never say, ‘Poor me — I have this disability.’ I cheer on the people who are worse off than me.”

Ask Matt to describe the feeling of a race day and he says he can’t really put it into words.

But then he does. Perfectly.

“I get up early, and there’s definitely adrenaline going,” Matt says. “Once I hear the horn that starts the race, I think, ‘All right — it’s time to go.’ Then, it’s just amazing. I think, ‘I’m doing this!’ Yeah, I need some help to do it, from some really great people.

“But I’m doing it.”


For more information on myTeam Triumph West Michigan, including how to sign up as a captain or angel, visit mttwestmichigan.org. Also, be sure to check them out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MyTeam-Triumph-West-Michigan-Chapter

In addition to captains and angels, the organization needs volunteers to help at events, donors to contribute financially and sponsors willing to support the mission with $5,000 or more. A goal for 2014: spreading the word about the organization to the African American and Latino communities.

Ribbon of Hope: A Betty Ford Breast Care Services Event


Ah-Nab-Awen Park

Downtown Grand Rapids

October 14, 2013


I raised a pink umbrella for my friend Beth today. It has been almost a year since her breast cancer diagnosis, which she faced with incredible strength and a phenomenal attitude, and had the support of many friends and family. All of that combined with great doctors led to her not only beating the cancer, but completely kicking its ass. Today I was proud to honor her at a very special event sponsored by Betty Ford Breast Care Services at Spectrum Health.






On a perfectly sunny October afternoon, nearly 2,000 people gathered in Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids for the Ribbon of Hope. As everyone arrived, they were given a hot pink umbrella and were entertained by DJ Internio from 104.5 FM. It was a sea of pink, from pink clothes to pink shoes to a particularly sparkly pair of pink socks that I spotted while waiting for the event to begin.

As the group gathered on the lawn in the shape of a pink ribbon, Susan Ford Bales—daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford—took the stage to welcome everyone and ask them to raise their umbrellas in honor of her mom and the special people in their life who had survived breast cancer. First Lady Betty Ford was a pioneer in raising awareness about breast cancer when she announced her diagnosis in 1974, and because of her openness, women across the United States saw the importance of the self-exam, and it was no longer a taboo topic.




As we continue along through Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and throughout the rest of the year, let’s continue the conversations that were had today. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will face invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Thanks to increased education, earlier detection, and improved treatment, there are now 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. If you have questions about breast health, Spectrum Health’s Betty Ford Breast Care Services (link: http://www.spectrumhealth.org/bettyford) offers a full range of services.

To all those who are fighting the good fight, and to those who are survivors, Stellafly salutes you.



Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Annual Donor Party



Each autumn, Grand Rapids Community Foundation celebrates its donor with a special party. This year it was held at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, which is a Community Foundation grantee. The highlight of the evening is the Chaille Award for Community Philanthropy which was given to Kate Wolters.

Wolters has become the sixteenth recipient of the Jack Chaille Community Philanthropy Award, given annually to donors who not only support the Community Foundation but also serve as volunteers or donors to other community efforts.











Kate is a tireless visionary and we honor her with equal enthusiasm,” said Community Foundation President Diana Sieger. “Her support of this community and our Community Foundation has been long-standing and outstanding. She has big ideas backed by a big heart, and we’re honored to recognize her as a leader in our donor family.”

The Community Foundation established the award in 1997 to commemorate the illustrious contributions of its namesake, William Jackson Chaille, who himself became the award’s first recipient. Since that time, the Community Foundation has honored 14 more leaders sharing his infectious spirit for giving and passion for people. Each recipient has demonstrated consistent financial support and a long-term commitment to the Community Foundation, as well as advocacy for its projects and leadership.

Wolters exemplifies all of these stellar qualities and then some. Among her contributions to the Community Foundation are creating the Kate Pew Wolters Fund, a dynamic donor advised fund; co-chairing the life-altering Challenge Scholars education campaign; and blazing the trail in the Metz Society for planned giving. These shining examples prove her commitment to community, and have inspired other philanthropists and volunteers to follow her compelling example.

Banned book, soon to be a film, inspires youth to read: see The Giver at the Civic



Imagine a world where everyone is universally polite and civil. All adults are gainfully employed in a position that suits their abilities and interests. The entire society is orderly and serene, and its people are free from pain and suffering.

Dreamy, right?

Or could this dream come at an uncomfortably high emotional price?

This is the world you’ll enter when you see The Giver at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. The production runs from October 18-27, 2013. I attended the Civic’s Inside Dish program on October 1 to learn more about this production.




Try to understand my mindset as I entered the theatre. If you recall, October 1, 2013 was something of a hot mess. The Federal Government shut down. People began exploring health insurance options online as the sign-up for the Affordable Care Act went live. People all around me participated in overwrought shrieking about these two historic circumstances almost all day.

To top it off, ArtPrize was still going down. As I walked from my car to the theatre, I saw hordes of phone-gazing adults stumble on the sidewalks and into the streets, ignoring traffic signals, their children, and other pedestrians.

“Welp, I’m living in the dystopian future I was promised as child,” I thought cheerfully as I broke through one phone-gazing herd only to narrowly avoid colliding with a lone phone-zombie careening through Veteran’s Park.

Given our chaotic social, economic, and political climate — how could you not want to escape into the tranquil and organized world of The Giver?

And how is it that this not a utopian play but a dystopian one? How can a world where everyone gets along so perfectly go so horribly wrong?






A 1994 Newbery Medal winner, The Giver was often assigned reading for many middle school children in the late 1990’s and 2000’s. Both cerebral and emotional, the story pressures you to explore how you feel about balancing individual desires with the needs of the community.

The subject matter is decidedly timely and relevant. What else might you need to know to enhance your experience of this dark play? As it turned out, I learned three key things at The Inside Dish that might make you love this production a little more.

One of the first shocking things I learned is that The Giver is often a banned book in many communities. This blew my already weary mind.

Sarah McCarville, the Branch and Youth Services Coordinator at the Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL), was on the 1994 Newbery Medal Committee. She helped select the book for the prestigious annual award. In her Inside Dish presentation, McCarville told us that The Giver is currently number 23 on the list of frequently banned books.

The Giver was written specifically for young adults. At the Civic, it will star 16 year old Jake Goldberg as 12 year Jonas. Most of the cast are children. There’s absolutely no foul language. No nudity. No violence. No sex. What could possibly make anyone want to ban this story?

A 25 year old Civic volunteer told me her class had read the book when she was in middle school. She went to Calvin Christian. If they didn’t ban it there, I reasoned, why would anyone ban it anywhere?

“They always ban the best books,” I overheard someone at the theatre murmur. I grinned at this bit of truth. Forbidding something can make it even more delicious.

The second fascinating tidbit I learned is that the book actually has sequels. To me, this seemed unlikely. The story ends ambiguously, which is a huge part of its allure. The ending creates an internal “what happened?” dialog. Viewed as a play, I suspect that this internal dialog is likely to spring into a lively discussion among family and friends. Now knowing there are sequels, I’ll want to get my hands on these books before Hollywood makes popular films out of them. The Giver is already slated to become a film starring Jeff Bridges. Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift have also signed on as cast members. If you move fast, you can probably get your hands on the sequels at your local library now, before the books become a craze.

This leads me to the third heartwarming fact I learned at Inside Dish: inspiring young people to read is a driving force behind this particular production. The Civic Theatre, Grand Rapids Public Library, and the Student Advancement Foundation are partnering with Pooh’s Corner, American Seating, and Mercantile Bank to collect new copies of The Giver (as well as new copies of Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells-Batman Smells, a Civic Theatre production slated for April 2014.)

“Our goal to is to have 150 new copies of The Giver to distribute to Grand Rapids Public School Middle and High School libraries. Students will be able to read the book, and attend a special viewing of the play,” stated Nancy Brozek, Civic Theatre Director of Community Relations. “We also want to have this book drive generate 1,200 new copies of Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells- Batman Smells, so all Grand Rapids Public School Second Grade students can receive a copy prior to their visit to the stage in April”.





The Bring a Book To Life Book Drive begins October 1, 2013 through March 21, 2014. You can drop off new book donations of The Giver at the Civic Theatre box office, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, American Seating, Pooh’s Corner, and Mercantile Bank. You can also make a direct donation or get more information by visiting: http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/16696.

A provocative banned book, poised to be a popular film, inspiring children to read: those are three factors beyond our current dystopian climate that make me feel even more excited to see The Giver at the Civic this October. You can get your tickets at the box office online or at grct.org.

Artprize: Can Art Save Cities? — The Juried Grand Prize Panel Discussion


ArtPrize is entering its second weekend (already!) and in just one week, the ArtPrize Awards will be handed out to the winners of the public vote as well as the juried prizes. On Thursday evening in an ArtPrize event being held for the first time ever in five years, the Juried Grand Prize Committee held a panel discussion to discuss their feelings on the question, Can Art Save Cities?




This year’s Grand Juried Prize jurors are:

Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time, NYC. Creative Time is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that commissions artists to create art that pushes the envelope, art that is truly an experiment. As she says, they believe that, “there is no door that an artist shouldn’t kick open.”




Mel Chin, Artist. Chin is a conceptual artist and an activist. His work includes everything from clay pottery to video games. He has reclaimed abandoned houses and helped a neighborhood feel safer.


Manon Slome, Co-founder and Chief Curator, No Longer Empty. No Longer Empty is an organization in NYC that creates very site-specific exhibits in very nontraditional (empty) spaces. From banks to fishing tackle shops, Slome’s organization has created 14 exhibitions since it began in 2009.




Sam Cummings, managing partner at CWD Real Estate, kicked off the evening with a few comments about his perspectives on ArtPrize and public art. Cummings talked of his firm’s work on the restoration of more than 30 buildings in Grand Rapids and the huge sense of pride he feels about our city during ArtPrize. He said the art competition, “challenges the perception that art is exclusive to a few select cities.”

ArtPrize Exhibitions Director Kevin Buist then introduced the jurors who each had seven minutes to talk about what they do, their organizations, and their art. They shared their personal experiences with public art and the impact it has had on their lives and their careers. After their brief presentations, all three sat down with Buist to discuss the question of the evening: can art save cities?



Chin’s response to the question was, “obviously no” but he then suggested that “maybe art can be saved by the city.” He did say that maybe ArtPrize would change the city, eventually, and he believes that cities should nurture creativity. Chin has enjoyed his time at ArtPrize so far, saying it really inspired him and as he appreciated the opportunities it brought to artists and the community.

Slome posed the question—is the art really engaging with the city? —and she said that while ArtPrize is a great contributor to the economy, whether or not art is saving the city depends on what the art is doing. Pasternak noted the class and racial divide with art that exists in cities and said that it was true of art everywhere. She said it was important that we look at who we are engaging, but more importantly—who are not engaging. (Interesting statistic from Pasternak—97.8 percent of curators identify themselves as Caucasian)

As they talked about their personal strategies for encouraging art in public places, the impact art can have on a community, and their experiences here in Grand Rapids, the three jurors had a great synergy. It was easy to see why these three were selected as this year’s jurors. Be sure and get your ticket to the ArtPrize Awards event that takes place next Friday, October 4 so you can see who they select for the $100,000 Grand Jury Award!





The Chef Mark Noseda Scholarship Fund Charity Brunch & Auction



Chef Mark Noseda II passed away unexpectedly on the evening of August 16th. He was the Executive Chef for Twisted Rooster, Crooked Goose and the new Freighters in Port Huron, MI.

As a close friend to Heather Halligan, Mark’s girlfriend of many years, I reached out to see what I could do to help. Her wish was to see a culinary scholarship set up in Mark’s name. I took the idea and ran with it.

All the pieces quickly came together. I started by contacting Rod GlupkerFlavor616 Magazine, to solicit his help in setting up a scholarship fund at GRCC’s Secchia Culinary Institute. Then I spoke with Jenna Arcidiacono, chef and owner at Amore Trattoria Italiana. The event started to come together as we used ideas of reaching out to other well known chefs like, Ice Guru Randy Finch, Tommy Fitzgerald and Sawako Cline. The concept was to create a fundraising brunch at Amore Trattoria Italiana — all done in jusa little over a month after Chef Mark’s passing.

Donations were solicited from all over West Michigan to help supply the brunch with food and to have auction items to help in the fundraising effort. We had over 50 auction items/packages to offer, some very unique items, like a 2 hour ice carving class with Randy Finch or a chef’s pasta battle with Chefs Jenna Arcidiacono and Tommy Fitzgerald.






The brunch and silent auction was held on Sunday, September 22nd from 12 – 3pm. Over 200 guests and volunteers from all over West Michigan were in attendance including Chef Mark’s family, who came from the east side of the state.

Culinary help came in from all over West Michigan. Besides the aforementioned chefs, Chef O Hale, Chef Len Towne from New Holland Brewing Co., Chef Steve Brechting, Chef Chad Allen Idema from the Speak EZ lounge, plus volunteers from Amore, the Secchia Culinary Institute, and Kitchen Sage.

$12,800 was raised between ticket and auction sales. All time and food was donated and every dime went in the ‘Chef Mark Noseda Culinary Scholarship Fund‘ at Grand Rapids Community College.




Further donations can be made online at: http://cms.grcc.edu/grccfoundation/donatetograndrapidscommunitycollegefoundation

Like the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChefMarkNosedaScholarshipFund

Further annual fundraising will take place to fund the scholarship so it can be endowed and continue to help aspiring young culinarians attending the institute for generations to come.