The work of a legendary American artist, stage performances of a classic tale, live music, and much more – the Festival of the Arts has returned for another February, bringing with it art of every sort.
The festival will run from Feb. 1 – 28, with events and art workshops at multiple locations around Big Rapids. Artworks of Big Rapids has teamed up with Ferris to host many of these events for students and community members.
Heading up the Festival of Arts is a month-long, out-of-the-box exhibit called “Silver Clouds” by Andy Warhol.
Warhol is most famously known for his technicolor images of Campbell’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, in addition to his work with seminal rock band The Velvet Underground.
With large metallic bags floating freely around the exhibit, “Silver Clouds” will dazzle viewers. The audience is invited to interact with the exhibit, to touch and play with the “clouds,” walk through them, and even sit on the ground and watch them float by. Ferris has rented these fun installments from The Andy Warhol Museum and is very excited to share the experience with the community.
Carrie Weis, Ferris Fine Art Gallery Director, first saw “Silver Clouds” at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. She remembers seeing the exhibit for the first time in all of its glory, retelling how she lay on the ground and watched the clouds pass by overhead.
“This is pretty neat… When I walked in, it was like a kid’s thing, with sparkles, colors, and just totally a kid’s thing, not a grown up thing at all,” said Different by Design Graphics owner Denise Aho.
For students and community members looking for something different, the music industry management program is hosting a pair of independent artist showcases at The Gate this month.
The first is a performance by double neck guitar player Mark Kroos on Thursday, February 6. The second is a performance by Jon Walker, former bassist of Panic! At The Disco, on Thursday, February 27.
Both performances will take place at The Gate at 7 p.m. Tickets for the shows are $3 pre-show or at the door, with a pre-sale bundle of both tickets available for $5.
The diversity of the Festival’s offerings provides entertainment for many different tastes. This month-long celebration will not only have art exhibits and art labs for learning, but also literature, dancing, music and many more events that will make the creative juices flow.
Artworks will also host a skateboard design contest in their lower gallery during the Festival of the Arts.
“I think [the skateboard design contest] is cool because it’s bringing in a different audience and it’s bringing in a different artist,” Executive Director of Artworks Jennifer Locke said. “Some of the artists we have around maybe haven’t thought of adding that pop culture aspect to it.”
In addition to the skateboard designing, there will also be interactive video games on display throughout Big Rapids. Students and faculty in the Digital Animation and Game Design Program have refurbished vintage arcade games with new graphics and gaming. Before the games are displayed throughout the community, there will be a presentation of the games and the engineering behind them on Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. in IRC 120. Students can see them now in the IRC as they wait in line for their latte from Starbucks.
“There are so many interesting [events] happening all over town, but one of the best things is they are spread out and each event is happening on a different day,” Locke said.
For information on these and many other events, visit brfota.org or pick up a schedule of events in downtown Big Rapids at Artworks.