The Rapidian

Curating vacancy

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Artist turned curator creates a professional show in a nontraditional space
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April 11,  6-11 p.m.

8 Jefferson Avenue

Attend Art.Downtown. for a fun night surrounded by the artwork created and displayed for you by the artists who live and work in our city.

/Kimberly Wood

/Mark Schentzel

/Rachael Mars

The vacant space at 8 Jefferson Ave SE will be brought to life the night of April 11 with a variety of artworks for the exhibition, Rooted. This space joins many others in celebrating the fifth year of Art.Downtown. The walls of the space will be filled with large-scale oil paintings from Kimberly Wood, worship inspired paintings from Nora Faber, and a vast collection of photography from Dianne Carroll-Burdick. As visitors move through the room, they will find themselves among inspiring ceramic pieces by Rachel Mars, as well as a large sculpture created by Mark Schentzel.

Sarah Bullion is a first time participant of Art.Downtown. and the curator of Rooted. With a degree in K-12 Art Education from Western Michigan University, Sarah has been very active in the Kalamazoo art community, volunteering in organizations such as the Edison Elementary after school art program and tutoring private art lessons to local residents.  She also spent time teaching at the Kalamazoo Creative Art Camp.  Since then, her creative outlet has been illustrating a series of children's books. Bullion has lived in Grand Rapids for eight months and is excited to be involved with the Avenue for the Arts. Her curatorial theme explores the relationship between our technological lives and our natural environment. Speaking about her show, Sarah says,

“In a world where we are so comfortable communicating through a collection of websites, apps, text messages and E-mails, we still have no choice but to live in and interact with our natural world. Rooted takes a look at how we coexist with organic life and social, technological demands.  Finding a beautiful balance between our relationships with each other and those with our devices, Rooted presents a collection of work that visually expresses these concepts.”

Artist, Kimberly Wood has a BFA in oil painting and K-12 Art Education from Grand Valley State University, as well as a Masters in Career and Technical Education from Western Michigan University.  She currently resides in St. Joseph, Michigan, where she teaches at the Van Buren Technology Center. When asked about her work featured in the show, Wood relates her painting to the curatorial theme,

“My work ties into the show by representing the more organic side of our natural world and how we interact with and experience it throughout our lives. It helps the viewers to step back and see how small we are in comparison to this natural aspect of our lives that is being consumed with technology.”

Addressing to Bullion’s question about the origin of her painting, Wood responds,

“The painting actually began as something completely different and there is a whole first painting underneath! It began in a more personal/spiritual walk and exploration throughout the process of beginning this painting while analyzing life and death, hot and cold.... The extremes in life. Which then led to pushing my thoughts further out, literally, to examining the universe, the cosmos, the relativity of time and space in this context.”

To see Wood’s paintings, among other talented works from local artists, be sure not to miss out on Rooted while experiencing Art.Downtown. 2014. Rooted will show at 8 Jefferson Ave SE on April 11th, 2014 from 6:00 - 11:00 PM and is open to the general public, free of admission.  For more information about Art.Downtown. visit   


The Avenue for the Arts is a neighborhood title for the South Division commercial corridor. We are residential, commercial and nonprofit groups working together in a creative community. We are residents in Heartside, and active participants in shaping change in our neighborhood. In 2005, we choose the Avenue for the Arts as a title to represent our commercial corridor and the projects and events that we create. Because the Avenue is powered by volunteers guest writers create our Rapidian content. Special thanks to Sarah Bullion, Avenue member and writer for her coverage of "Rooted"  

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