The Rapidian

Artists Creating Together and Keller Williams Realty To Host Artist Series

The Happenings reception to be hosted on June 11 by Artists Creating Together and Keller Williams
Underwriting support from:

About ACT

Artists Creating Together serves individuals with disabilities from Western Michigan, empowering all abilities with all arts - offering opportunities to celebrate, succeed, and grow with art. Learn more: artistscreatingtogether.org

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich- Keller Williams Realty and Artists Creating Together are collaborating on an upcoming art series in Grand Rapids. These events will feature local artists that will fill the lobby of the Business Complex at 4301 Canal as a gallery to display and sell their art. The first artist in this series, Wes DeVries, has been showcasing his work at the Business Complex for the past two months and a reception will take place on Thursday, June 11. 

Keller Williams Realty recently remodeled the Business Complex, where their offices are located. They wanted to do something different to decorate their lobby that would stand out and benefit the community. Jeremy Mullens from the realty company explained, “We knew right away that we didn't want to be the ‘normal’ business and just hang artwork that was going to be around for a long time; we believe that if we have the space that we should use it for bettering the community and we believe ACT is the perfect fit.”

Artists Creating Together is a non-profit in Grand Rapids that focuses on “All Arts. All Abilities.” Each year ACT helps over 5,000 children, youth and adults with disabilities express themselves through the arts. They do this by offering school, hospital, adult programs, as well as community partnership programs. “The arts are a fundamental tool in helping all people to reach their potential and we empower every person to be active, positive and contributing members of our community,” said ACT Executive Director Angela Steele. Learn more about ACT: bit.ly/1PNcFCK 

The first event will feature Wes DeVries, a local artist from Grand Rapids, Michigan. DeVries has a condition called spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative disease that limits muscle movement. DeVries paints his canvases with credit cards and focuses on shapes and movement, “I am looking for pictures with movement. I see it almost immediately and draw it on canvas then begin to throw the paint on.”  DeVries used credit cards instead of paintbrushes because he feels a better range of control and artistry with the cards. At some point, the cards become art themselves – pieces DeVries calls “Happenings” – the inspired theme for the current installment and penned name of the June 11 reception.

DeVries has been involved with ACT for several years and has donated his art pieces to ACT’s Annual Art Auction and Fundraiser. He was also selected as one of the ArtPize artists in ACTs 2014 ACTion Art Exhibit. “ACT offers, not just me, but everybody, an opportunity to do something that is very free. I could not think of a better organization to give to,” noted DeVries. 

This event will take place in the lobby of the Business Complex at 4301 Canal on June 11th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The event is free to the public and light refreshments will be provided. Wes’s art will be on display and available for sale in the lobby through June 19th. For more information on the event and to RSVP, please visit the Facebook event page. Be sure to follow this ongoing event series, with new ACT artists featured every three months.

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