Enriching Your Life with Small Town Culture
Have you ever looked at a beautiful piece of art and wondered what had inspired the artist to create something so lovely? Where did they spend their formative years and what influenced their vision? And why were they so inspired, they took the time to create and share their vision with others in the form of art? You now have that opportunity to ask those questions and more when you meet the artists who have so kindly donated their talents to the LowellArts Auction.
Lowell may be a small bedroom community of Grand Rapids, but we are home to many inspiring and talented artists as well as some of the most dedicated volunteers one might meet. Put them together and the results are nothing short of awe inspiring.
An old brick building, brimming with character was the final piece needed to make a new home for LowellArts a reality. When the opportunity presented itself to obtain two buildings, side by side on Main Street, it couldn’t be passed up. Having outgrown their current home, the new site would allow them to expand by twice their size, if only using the main level. The vision was within reach.
The Art of Setting Goals
A daunting price tag of 1.2 million dollars was placed on the project. The price tag would include the buildings, extensive repairs to the crumbling brick exterior, new windows, doors and a complete interior renovation. Certainly, it would be no small feat for a such a small community to achieve such a lofty goal. One might consider, however, that this small community has never shied away from a challenge.
Applications for grants and foundation money would have to be completed, fundraising events planned and additional volunteers rounded up. The to do list was long, the project worthy.
With the exciting prospect of an expanded gallery and performance space, exceptional parking and heightened visibility on Main Street, the project started taking shape. Volunteers worked tiresome hours gutting the inside of the building that held the cherished ‘‘Cousins Hallmark” store for so many years. These dedicated workers saved the project over $10,000 out of the gate.
In order to preserve resources and give the community the opportunity to own a piece of history, LowellArts held a salvage sale after the volunteers had completed the interior demolition. Speaking to those that attended, many of the buyers expressed their appreciation for being able to own, and repurpose a part of history into their own piece of art.
Fundraising began immediately. Time was short and the goal was to be open for the 25th annual Christmas through Lowell in November, where local artists could showcase their pieces.
The End is Near
Summer sunsets have left us and the crisp fall mornings have arrived, but the work continues on the new home for the LowellArts. Fundraising continues in the final push to ensure the financial target has been met. Local contractors were chosen to lend their talents to the gallery. Faces we know and trust, plying their trade as any artist would. Flat River Electric, Beachum Flooring, Canfield Plumbing and Arctic, Inc, Heating & Cooling. working together and mindful of the goal, keeping long hours during their busiest season. Other local businesses donating much needed items to ease the fundraising task. Windows from All Weather Seal and office and classroom tables from Enwork.
The Final Push
It’s down to the wire and LowellArts has raised $895,000, with an additional $200,000 in pending grant applications. The goal within reach, the public phase of the Moving to Main Capital Campaign has arrived.
Sunday, September 25 from 2 to 4pm, join local artists at the current LowellArts location on 149 S. Hudson Street to view their pieces. These select artist have donated stunning works to be bid upon for the purpose of reaching the final goal. Choose the piece you can’t live without and place a bid. Become a part of the continuing effort to keep Lowell’s Downtown vibrant. A community coming together to add beauty to Main Street and showcase diverse culture in the best possible light. Truly a gallery where the arts will thrive, this charming town will have a place to showcase all that the community has to offer.