Ricardo Gonzalez + Cook Arts Center

Con Ganas, 2015, paint. Gallery Parking Ramp.

Con Ganas, 2015, paint. Gallery Parking Ramp.

This mural was created by the Cook Arts Center Team Leaders, a program of Grandville Avenue Arts + Humanities, in partnership with Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Valley State University Kutsche Office of Local History, and SiteStudio. These images were chosen and created by teens living in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood on the SW side of Grand Rapids. With the help from the Kitsch Office staff and KCAD graduate student Ricardo Gonzalez, teens spent 7 weeks learning about the history of the SW side; studying images from street art and inner city murals and making sketches of things they saw in or around their neighborhood.

They chose to include images of Latin@ man and woman to represent the people of the neighborhood, along with images that represent the different styles of art and music that are so prevalent. The multi-racial hands holding a flower represent the different cultures living and working together peacefully in the neighborhood and other items like street signs, the iconic Virgin Mary, house, and pallets (Spanish for popsicle/ice cream), represent items from their every day experiences. The students hope to bring some of the vibrant colors and beautiful parts of their culture into downtown Grand Rapids and share with passersby. Cook Arts Center Teen Artists: Karla Aguilar-Delgado, Donny Hernandez, Antonio Jaimes, Dulce Loredo, Alejandro Ruiz, Noemi Gonzalez, Celeste Hicks, Ignacio Lopez, Avelycia Ortiz, and Miliani Sanchez. KCAD Art Mentor: Ricardo Gonzalez, in partnership with SiteStudio.

Loralee Grace + Cook Arts Center

Cultural Ancestry Celebration , 2016, Paint. Gallery Parking Ramp

Cultural Ancestry Celebration, 2016, Paint. Gallery Parking Ramp

Cultural Ancestry Celebration was created by Loralee Grace, a local artist, and the students from the Cook Arts Center. Students worked with Loralee to learn about the cultural traditions of textiles and pattern making while mixing color palettes inspired by X-Rite Pantone's Color of the Year for 2016.

The Cook Arts Center provides high-quality programs in the arts for children and adults in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood. Activities and classes include music, dance, theater, visual arts, and ceramic programs. Through these programs, participants celebrate their own culture and the cultures of others. They enrich their lives, develop skills, build relationships, enhance their self-esteem, and build community. 

Supporters: The Gallery Apartments