Artworks serves artists and Big Rapids

Students have plenty of opportunity to volunteer and intern at Artworks Cultural Center

Artworks Cultural Center is a hidden gem to students of Ferris State University, and it offers plenty of artistic and volunteer opportunities to the entire community.

Located in downtown Big Rapids on Michigan Avenue, Artworks celebrated their “sweet 16” birthday earlier this year by featuring art in their gallery made by community members, Ferris State faculty and students.

Internships are available during the summer and fall semesters at Artworks. This past summer Morgan Payne, a Ferris public relations senior, completed her summer internship there. Payne found out about the internship and applied after job-shadowing for a day in the spring.

“One of my favorite parts was being able to host some events,” Payne said. “One of them was Evening of Harmony. Being a musician myself, it was really cool to do that.”

Payne enjoyed a variety of other activities during her internship including touring other art galleries and participating in different art classes. The highlight of these examples were being able to tour Midland’s Center for the Arts and a pottery class designed for kids to make whatever they could imagine.

“Students should check out Artworks because a lot of people on campus have no clue what it is they do there,” said Payne. “It’s amazing to meet all of these people and talk with them and share all of things Artworks does in the Big Rapids community.”

Artworks also is heavily involved in the performing arts, music and teaching workshops. It has recently sponsored performances such as “Mary Poppins” and “God of Carnage,” involved with Music in Pocket Park and teaches classes to people interested in learning pottery, basket weaving, painting, acting and dancing.

“If artists want to get involved, we have a jury process, and students would be as welcome as anyone else to have their art juried into our gift shop, and we would sell it for them,” said Lynne Scheible, executive director of Artworks Cultural Center.

Opportunities to get involved in Artworks abound for those who appreciate the arts and have talents that lie in other areas.

“The way that many students connect with Artworks is by volunteering,” Scheible said. “We end up with a lot of students who do anything from face painting to cleaning and organizing to hosting events for us.”

According to Scheible, Artworks is always looking for instructors—those with artistic talents who also have the desire to teach.

“In September, there will be an industrial arts exhibit, and 13 manufacturing companies in our area are going to show the thing they produce. It’s called ‘What’s in the Truck?’” Scheible said. “We’ll have a reception, and students are always welcome. There will be trucks on the street and a chainsaw artist, so that’ll be a fun event.”