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Sep. 4, 2018

The Art of Places with Soul

Art in our community is, simply stated, inspiring. We’re already seeing the positive impact from the newest addition to the West Side, Palate/Palette. On the side of Bridge Street Market, it illustrates the beauty of diversity by highlighting the unique textures, colors, and shapes of different produce within individual honeycombs. This mural, along with numerous other public works across Grand Rapids and Detroit tell the essential story of the beautiful outcomes that diversity and inclusion can bring to a community. But what are we adding to the spaces we inhabit? We often spend more time in the workplace than in our own homes, so how are we promoting vibrant, inspired workplaces?

In our Grand Rapids’ headquarters, we’re using this thinking to bring fresh energy to our space. Artist Roger Bruinekool’s artwork lines our walls, illustrating the movement of the Grand River. The brightness these pieces bring correlates to the new energy in the West Side. In a space that is simple and open, it adds a sense of vibrancy and connection to our city.

Rockford understands the vital role the environment plays on the productivity, creativity, and wellness of a company. In the same way an open workspace encourages collaboration, artwork in the workplace can engage and inspire its team members. It is this kind of inspiration that transforms a blank wall into a beautiful mural and a building into a place with soul.

Public murals and workplace artwork are signs of art becoming more accessible to the public. Across the Grand River, NOMAD gallery offers the chance to experience art and architecture outside of a traditional museum. Similar to ArtPrize, when thousands of artworks are hosted in temporary locations across West Michigan, NOMAD Gallery is an innovative concept from Richard App. Launched earlier this year in The Morton, this traveling gallery will set up shop temporarily in vacant spaces across West Michigan area to showcase art and host community events.

"We are encouraging art and architecture fans to experience the art, the space and the event immediately," App said. "The space is designed for temporary setups that will remain in a state for only a short period of time before we move on."

As we look forward to the excitement ArtPrize brings later this month, we are thankful for the role art plays in our lives – in our office and in the field.