Gregg Smith

(with photos)

ELK RAPIDS, MI – Experience Art Rapids,  a 15-day juried art show with $6,000 in cash awards, gets underway Saturday, June 10,t in this Grand Traverse Bayside community.

Over 270 artists from throughout the Midwest will be showing their work in scattered site venues across the historic village.

Offering juried prizes and a People’s Choice award totaling $6,000, the two-week long exhibit of sculpture and two and three dimensional visual art’s objective is to bring arts and the community together. This is a vision overwhelmingly supported by artists, businesses and residents of Elk Rapids, which over the years has earned a reputation for celebrating the very best in regional arts and artists.

“This is not just about the arts,” observes Art Rapids board chair Becky Lancaster, who along with event chair colleague Laura Andersen are among local arts activists responsible for the event.

“We’re well aware of the diversity and quality of the talent in the Northwest Michigan cultural community.  We have always attracted new artists to our events, bringing more exposure to our residents and visitors.  Experience Art Rapids! is a deliberate mix of business and artists collaborating to showcase peoples’ talents. Visitors, businesses, residents, artists…we all benefit.”


In 2006 a group of arts minded citizens launched a single day summer art fair, that over the years, and thanks to a dedicated core of volunteers and supportive businesses, has grown to this year’s two-week long Experience Art Rapids event.

“This is all about a mix of artists and businesses collaborating to bring people together to experience the richness of art and the talented artisans who create it,” notes Laura Andersen, Art Rapids board member and this year’s event chair.

Artwork will be viewed at various businesses and venues,  as well as the popular beachfront Walk of Art Park, where nine newly installed sculptures will be on display.

Since its inception, the Art Rapids organization has not only raised arts awareness, but they’ve provided higher education and scholarships to aspiring art students; given grants to teachers, schools and groups; organized art classes, and developed the Walk of Art outdoors sculpture park that is free to the public.

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