Vol 33: Cultivate, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Submitted

“Site-specific installation through Cultivate art organization. “Feeble Barriers”, Nirmal Raja. Photo credit: Bud Kibby.

Established in 2022, Cultivate is an arts organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan that offers a contemporary art gallery, studio-based arts education for ages 3-adult, and an artist resource center. 

The Cultivate Curatorial board is composed of established curators and artists, and selects 6-8 exhibitions a year. Together they curate a rigorous exhibition program that features the work of emerging and midcareer contemporary artists. We firmly believe in using the creative process as an entry point for challenging conversations, whose work contributes to the cultural dialogue domestically and abroad, and leads to better understanding and empathy as a whole. Dedicated to cultivating collectors and working with artists from around the country, Cultivate will partner with a range of galleries and international art fairs across the Midwest region and the United States. 

Like everything at Cultivate, our exhibitions are built on a foundation of education. We work in tandem with our Education team to create programming that reflects the values at the core of Cultivate. Our monthly artist lectures, for example, will correspond with our current exhibitions and will reflect specific courses that were created to reflect the work and process being shown in the gallery space. 

Acrylic painting class, Cultivate.

The Education Program is our largest program and the most multifaceted; At the core of our program are the principles of respect, trust, direct communication, intentional language, independent thinking, and support of the individual and the community, like a cyclical system. Inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori and her work regarding empathy and respect as it relates to education. Within our curriculum is built on several key points that will challenge and change the existing structure of so much art education – teaching from living artists, highlighting BIPOC artists and decolonizing Art History, having both teaching and non-teaching artists as instructors, and always using the language of art and design. 

Some of the courses that we share include Art Foundations, Drawing 1, Collage Portraiture and Still Life, Film Photography, but also new media practices including utilizing Instagram and Tiktok for short film explorations, installation course work, and performance practice. In this work, we oer both in-person courses and online courses to serve and support both our local and national audiences. 

We are honored to share our artist resource center as well. Empowering artists with the professional practice tools to elevate their careers, we share year-round courses including, but not limited to: marketing for artists, website development, tax preparation and accounting, and portfolio reviews. This work also includes teaching and mentoring artists to learn how to lobby for greater arts funding in Michigan. 

It is a great honor to serve and support the West Michigan community, but also our regional and national audiences. We treasure all of this work – the ah-ha of the new learner or the advanced student, the community member and supporter in search of connection, or the artist advancing with professional practice and increased networks to galleries.

Visit www.cultivategrandrapids.org for more information.

Connect with Cultivate on Instagram at @cultivate.gr


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