Applications being accepted for the Festival of the Arts Regional Arts Exhibiton

Entries being accepted for the 2012 Regional Arts Exhibition.
Entries being accepted for the 2012 Regional Arts Exhibition.

There have been a few changes to this year’s Regional Arts Exhibition, which is part of the annual Festival of the Arts, a celebration of the arts community that runs the first full weekend in June in downtown Grand Rapids.


This year, organizers have announced they would only be accepting online registration from those interested in participating in the event. Artists may go to to preregister. Printed entry forms will not be provided this year.


Entries will still have to be brought to the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, 2 W. Fulton St., May 12 – 14. According to Fred Bivins, the chair for the Regional Arts Exhibition, the change gives artists several options. Artists can  go to the website and print the labels that go on the back and pay online if they wish. If an artist does do that, the bar codes that are included for each work will minimize handling of works and reduce the number of hours volunteers have to put in to track every entry, Bivins said.


Artists can enter one, two, or three pieces through the online system and when he/she complete the simple form he/she will receive an email with the labels included as a pdf. Just print the sheet and affix the labels. Bivins did note that if an artist does bring in his/her works and has not preregistered, volunteers will go through the same process and print out the labels at that time, which will take a little more time than those who preregister.


Parking will be limited this year as the city of Grand Rapids has informed organizers it has leased most of the parking spaces in the gallery ramp located next to the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, where the exhibition will be this year. For that reason, Bivins said Festival will not be using the fourth floor ramp. Take in will be from UICA’s Commerce Avenue entrance. Meters will be hooded and there will be signs to direct people.


Because artwork will have to be transported through several doors and hallways this year, the size allowed has changed. Artists are encouraged to visit the website to check on what sizes are being accepted.


This year’s jurors are: 2-D, Matt Schenk, who was the Regional Arts recipient of the UICA’s annual solo award; 3-D, potter Rita Shields; and photography, Filippo Tagliati, an associate professor of photography and video at Grand Rapids Community College.


Here are the important dates.

Take In of Entries:

  • Thursday, May 12, noon – 5 p.m.
  • Friday, May 13, 4  – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Jurying, Saturday, May 14

Give back of non-selected Entries: 

  • Thursday, May 19, Noon – 5 pm
  • Friday, May 20, 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Saturday, May 21, 10 am – 2 pm


Hanging  Schedule – May 19 – May 27


Awards Selection – May 23 – May 26


Purchase Awards – May 25


Opening Reception – May 27


Closing Reception – June 26


Pick Up Selected entries after the show ends:

  • Sunday, June 26, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. (after the Opening Reception)
  • Monday, June 27, noon – 5 p.m.

Festival of the Arts will take place June 3 – 5 in downtown Grand Rapids and along with the Regional Arts Exhibition, includes an array of activities with performances, a youth art exhibition, children and adult art activities and much more. Visit for more information.