Top Artsy Things to See in Grand Rapids When It’s Not ArtPrize

Looking for artsy things to see in Grand Rapids? Explore the artistic city of Grand Rapids any time of year at one of these local galleries and attractions.

The Grand Rapids art scene is booming, especially during the fall when ArtPrize is in town.

But what if you’re planning a trip at another time of year, or just want to enjoy an artistic date night or outing with the family? Not to worry. In addition to murals and sculptures all around town, you’ll find plenty of cool places to see and explore art. We’ve compiled this list to show you some of the coolest local sites to check out in the area.

Art Gallery and Studio at Heartside Ministry

  • Address: 54 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-235-7211
  • Admission: Free

Heartside Ministry, a Grand Rapids social service agency, offers an art gallery and studio as part of its programming. Neighbors have the chance to make art and sell it in the gallery.

Artist’s Studio

  • Address: 40 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-454-6650
  • Admission: Free (art for purchase)

This gallery also serves as the working studio of artists Jim Starkey and Rose Ellis. Here you’ll find original oil paintings, both in progress and ready for purchase.

Center Art Gallery

  • Address: Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center, 1795 Knollcrest Circle, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-526-6000
  • Admission: Free

Located on the campus of Calvin College at the Covenant Fine Arts Center, this gallery features work by students, faculty and alumni in addition to notable artists.

Fed Galleries

  • Address: 17 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-451-2787
  • Admission: Free

Located at the Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University, these galleries aim to “deeper awareness of contemporary creation” by showcasing regional, national and international art.

Fish Ladder Park

  • Address: 560 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Admission: Free

Enjoy the scenery at this park, where you’ll find a Dennis Kinnebrew sculpture that’s also a ladder for fish migrating to their spawning areas.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

  • Address: 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-957-1580
  • Admission: $14.50/adults, $11/seniors and students, $7/ages 5-13, $4/ages 3-4, free/age 2 and younger

Explore this 158-acre campus where you’ll find a wide range of art and plants, including many interesting sculptures nestled in the natural beauty of the gardens.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

  • Address: 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-831-1000
  • Admission: $10/adults, $8/seniors and students, $6/ages 6-17, free/ages 5 and under

Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, this museum was established in 1910 and includes more than 5,000 works of art. There’s also a drop-in studio, summer art camp and special programs just for kids.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

  • Address: 11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-235-4726
  • Admission: $8.50/ages 1-64, $7.50/seniors, free/under age 1, $1.75/EBT cardholders, $1.75/Thursday Family Night

This hands-on museum offers endless fun for kids, along with artsy activities including Open Paint workshops on Tuesdays, classes on STEM-based art and events with the Artist in Residence.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

  • Address: 272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-929-1700
  • Admission: $8/adults, $7/seniors, $3/students and children

This museum has a focus on science, culture and history. It’s also the venue for local artists during its Concerts Under the Stars series. Don’t forget to take a ride on the carousel!

LaFontsee Galleries

  • Address: 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-451-9820
  • Admission: Free

View works by a variety of regional and national artists at this local gallery. Also offers custom framing, a gift boutique, printing services and more.

La Grande Vitesse

  • Address: Near City Hall, 300 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids
  • Admission: Free (public sculpture)

This steel sculpture by American artist Alexander Calder was the first public work funded by the Art in Public Places program of the National Endowment for the Arts. Checking it out is ranked 18th on TripAdvisor for things to do in Grand Rapids.

Meyer May House

  • Address: 450 Madison Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-246-4821
  • Admission: Free/house tours

This house, built in 1908 and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, features galleries detailing its history through photos. Tour the house and check out the History Gallery, Post-Restoration Gallery and Light Screen Gallery.

Richard App Gallery

  • Address: 910 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-458-4226
  • Admission: Contact for details

This fine art gallery, which also offers custom framing and private events, features the works of more than 20 local and national artists.

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

  • Address: 2 Fulton West, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-454-7000
  • Admission: $5/admission, free/ages 5 and under

This popular destination features contemporary art exhibits, along with events such as concerts, community programs and more. There’s also a 195-seat film theater showing independent films and documentaries six days per week.

Van Singel Fine Arts Center

  • Address: 8500 Burlingame Ave. SW, Byron Center
  • Phone: 616-878-6800
  • Admission: Varies; contact for details

This center offers various attractions, including live performances, film festivals and more. You’ll also find an art gallery, which displays works from local artists and temporary exhibitions.

Have another place to add? Tell us in the comments!

This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.

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