Events designed for you, by you ---> Open Studio Night ----> Building a Better Creative Business in 2017 -----> 

This year’s Break it Down | Make it Better was designed for you, by you.  We have listened to your feedback and are putting together a day of captivating conversation about being an artist in 2017. From Getting Shows in Galleries to Forming Artists Collectives, conversation topics are being submitted by West Michigan artists, curators, art educators, venue coordinators and creative professionals. Have an idea? Submit it here. 

Our day will include:

  • A Keynote Panel- Engaging Communities, Collaborative Dialogues around Art

  • 40 Roundtable Discussions and Workshops
  • Light Breakfast and Lunch

Break it Down | Make it Better. is a series of events aimed at producing educational programming, discussions and professional development opportunities for artists, curators and venue coordinators in our community and region. These programs are presented through an ongoing partnership with the Avenue for the Arts, ArtPrize and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.

  • Date: February 25, 2017
  • Time: 9-3pm
  • Location: UICA, 2 Fulton West, Grand Rapids Michigan 49503
Reserve your tickets today and get the early bird rate! 
Stay up to date on event announcements on Facebook.

First Friday, January 6th

There is a handful of great shows opening on Friday night along with some sales and shop events along the Avenue. Find up to date details on Facebook, or check out our digital event map! 


The Brand New Testament: Jan 6 – Jan 19, 2017 - UICA, 2 Fulton St W.
Check out the new film directed by the award winning writer, producer, and director of Mr. Nobody, follow the link for showing times and synopsis.

Head Shot: New Works by Damian Goidich Spiral, 44 Division Ave S.
Solo art show at Spiral Gallery by Damian Goidich.

Live mural painting at Heartside Ministry GR, 54 Division Ave S.
Come by Heartside Gallery for live mural painting and the amazing artwork by Heartside neighbors.

January First Fridays - Light Gallery + Studio, 317 Division Ave S.
Stop by for fantastic art by local artists and drop off any gently used winter jackets (and other items, check link for full list) and get a 15% off any item in the gallery!

Soothsayer/Souvenir - 337 project space - 337 project space, 337 Division Ave S. Minimalist exhibition by Ohio artists Ian Breidenbach and Jim Fultz. Opening will include a modern dance performance by Amy Wilson and Hannah Sullivan of DITA fame, accompanied by guitarist Jeremy Verwys.

Secrets from Friends - Avenue for the Arts, 307 Division Ave S.
A group show highlighting old, new, and unseen works from local artists. Come see playful experiments and secrets these artists have been keeping in their studios. 

SJA Art Sale - Pop-Up Shop GR 315 Division Ave S. 

Archive Antiques and Repurposed Goods will be having a 20% off sale during First Fridays!

Keep checking back, more shows and sales will be added leading up to January 6th!

Final Call: Sign Up For Doing Business Class 2017

Was one of your New Years resolutions to grow your creative business in 2017?  Join us for a 6 week Doing Business Class starting January 19th. Classes only $50 for current Avenue for the Arts members and will only be offered once in 2017. Sign up here. 

NEW! Open Studio Night

We are excited to be adding a monthly Open Studio Night sponsored by the Calvin College Department of Art and Art History. Open to any artist, curator or maker we encourage you to attend to discuss, explore and participate in art-making together. Bring a current project, handcraft or artwork. Snacks and conversation provided. First Wednesday each month 6-9pm, 307 South Division. 

OPEN: Figure Drawing

Figure drawing anyone? We supply two clothed models for a two hour block. Bring your own supplies, tables and chairs available. RSVP, space is limited $10. 

Avenue for the Arts Business Owners and Nonprofit Managers Luncheon

Meet neighbors and find out more about South Division and Heartside at this quarterly business owner meeting. Have questions about the cooridor or neighbrohood? This is a great time to ask! Please RSVP to save your seat! 

Community Calendar of Events: 

Jan 02 - Community Gift Yoga Class / Iyengar Yoga / 327 S. Division 

Jan 04 Open Studio Night Sponsored by the Calvin College Art Department  / 307 S. Division 

Jan 06 First Friday / Various Locations  /  6-9pm 

Jan 06 The Brand New Testament  /  UICA  / 2 Fulton West

Jan 10  Monthly Meeting Makers in Safe Spaces / Cerasus Studio  /120 S. Division, #126

Jan 11 Avenue for the Arts Advisory Committee  /  307 S. Division 

Jan 18 OPEN: Figure Drawing  / 307 S. Division 

Jan 19 Doing Business Class 2017  / 307 S. Division 

Jan 25 Avenue for the Arts Business Owners and Nonprofit Manager Luncheon  / TBA

Jan 26 Member Mornings: Us is Them  /  UICA  /  2 Fulton West 

Jan 27 Exchange / Spiral Gallery / 44 S. Division

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. The Avenue for the Arts cooridor is supported by the Dwelling Place’s Neighborhood Revitalization Department. The Avenue for the Arts program builds community while connecting the creative culture of Heartside.

 Address: 307 South Division, Open hours from 12-5pm Friday afternoons 
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