Experience Art Rapids Gives New Outlook On Art, Elk Rapids Community

Elk Rapids is making a name for itself after the opening weekend of their new community-wide art exhibition, Experience Art Rapids.

With around 275 different art pieces spread throughout businesses in the town, it gives people a new way to experience art and Elk Rapids.

Megan Woods found out how this is benefiting the entire community.

“We wanted to do something fresh and new.”

Inspired by Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Experience Art Rapids transforms the town into an art showcase.

Chairperson for the event, Laura Andersen says, “We wanted something that would benefit the whole community all the businesses in town so we wanted it spread throughout the town. We took into consideration the look of the venue, the type of business they were, what art that would be consistent with the business or in some cases contrasted.”

Bringing a lot of artists and admirers into businesses they wouldn’t normally notice.

Owner of Cone Corral and Pizzeria, Joe Watt says, “Saturday was the opening day and I saw a lot of traffic that I had never seen before and I talked to a few of them, I tried to find out where people come from and most of them came from Traverse City.”

One of the 100 artists featured, Ruth Kitchen, says her and her husband also wandered into businesses. “We went into that business to look at the art and ended up purchasing their crab cakes and we went to another business to look at artwork and my husband cannot leave a bakery without at least two or three items.”

Creating more than your typical outdoor art scene but a worthwhile experience.

Laura Savoie, Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Coordinator says, “It’s amazing how many people come by and don’t even know that we have a downtown, wonderful shops, venues, restaurants to see so this gives us an opportunity to show off our town, see what we have to offer and visit all the different shops.”

Artist Ruth Kitchen says, “I think there will be more artists who want to participate in the future and I also think that once businesses see an advantage to participating that you’ll have more venues.”

Experience Art Rapids ends June 24. For more information click here.

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