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Art

art@fountainstreet.org

ArtPrize at Fountain Street Church

September 16 through October 3 Fountain Street Church will host the eleventh edition of an ArtPrize exhibit dedicated to "Art to Change the World". As in years past, the Art Committee has selected artwork that addresses issues of social justice. The exhibit includes artists from Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and four other countries: Belgium, Chile, China, and Myanmar.

 

Click to see a press release about the awards received by pieces in this year's exhibit.

The gallery is open daily from noon to 6:00pm during ArtPrize, Thursday, September 16, through Sunday, October 3.

To minimize risk of COVIC-19 transmission, all visitors must wear face masks covering nose and mouth and follow the marked path through the exhibit area.

Gallery Exhibits

 

The Art Committee of FSC typically mounts six or seven art exhibits each year in the Keeler Gallery. Works by artists in a variety of media enlighten the spirits of our diverse congregation and serve as an outreach to the greater West Michigan community. Artists, friends, and congregants are invited to opening receptions for each exhibit, typically held on the first Sunday after installation.


A gallery exhibition schedule will be available when the church building is reopened for gatherings.

 

Visiting

Visitors to the church will not only see a carefully curated exhibit in the Keeler Lounge but also have an opportunity to see the stunning art and architecture of the church sanctuary and narthex. Make sure to plan enough time to do both. You may spend a quiet moment in the sanctuary or rest on a bench in the lobby and make use of the public WiFi. Our building is ADA-accessible. Bicycle parking is available. A Route #6 Bus Stop is just steps from the entrance at 24 Fountain Street NE.​

Featured Work from the Collection

Periodically we draw attention to a single piece of artwork that reflects some aspect of our church community. Information of about the current featured work will be available here when the church building has reopened.

 

Special Projects

The Art Committee is engaged in a long-term project to document and restore, when needed, works of art owned by the church.

History of ArtPrize at FSC


The Art Committee presented ten ArtPrize exhibitions from the first in 2009 to the most recent in 2018. Over that period more than 150,000 visitors to FSC saw work by more than 250 artists from Grand Rapids, across the state of Michigan, states across the country, as well as Europe and India. Eight of the ten exhibits presented art on the theme, Art to Change the World – Inspiring Social Justice. Presenting work on a theme was unique among ArtPrize venues as was the Art Committee’s collaboration with the FSC Social Action Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union. Those collaborations resulted in two $1000 cash prizes given each year to artists whose work best expressed the theme of the show. These prizes were awarded by two independent jurors. This aspect of ArtPrize at FSC was also unique among ArtPrize venues. Over the years several exhibitions and artists received critical acclaim and juror recognition:

  • 2012 – Two artists were on the 2-dimensional juror’s short list: “Identity Process: Kings & Queens” by Lora Robertson; and “Disabilities and Sexuality” by Robert Coombs.

  • 2012 – FSC was on juror’s short list for Outstanding Venue.

  • 2014 – “Artistic Witness of Chelsea Manning’s Trial” by Debra Van Poolen was on the 2-dimensional juror’s short list.

  • 2014 – FSC was on juror’s short list for Outstanding Venue.

  • 2015 – ArtPrize selected "The Helmet Project" by Cindy Kane for a documentary film produced by Side Car Studios. Watch an excerpt from the film here.

  • 2017 – Ti-Rock Moore won the juror’s prize for two-dimensional work with “Flint”.

  • 2018 – Two artists were on the installation juror’s short list: Lora Robertson for “By Her Own Hand” and Eva Rocha for “Silent Chorus”.

Art Committee

Fountain Street Church respects the religious and spiritual teachings of many traditions and offers a rich history of art and architecture to the congregation and the greater community. Decades ago, a group of congregants gathered to help incorporate art into the daily life of the church. The group became the Art Committee and its work grew to include:

 

  • Selecting artists and mounting gallery exhibits

  • Exhibiting and maintaining the church art collection

  • Providing occasional support to worship services

  • Managing acquisitions through, gifts, commissions, and purchases

  • Initiating special projects to enhance display and maintenance of artwork

  • Maintaining records of artwork in the church collection


The Art Committee operates under the authority and guidance of the Governing Board and coordinates its activities with the ministerial and administrative staff of the church. The committee provides regular reports of its activities to the board and staff. Funds supporting the committee’s work come from three sources:

  • Annual distributions from the McCall-Earle Art Fund managed by the Fountain Street Church Foundation

  • Commissions on sales of artwork shown in exhibitions

  • Appeals to the congregation for support of special projects


The church has benefited from the work of many congregants serving many years on the Art Committee. Currently there are six members who meet at least monthly, September through May.