DreamWheels!: Rev up for Metro Cruise by taking in some local art

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By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma


It seems logical that an artist like David Reinbold would be interested in participating in Wyoming’s Art Cruise. After all Reinbold has built a reputation out of creating stained glass sculpture replicas of peoples’ cars and Art Cruise is part of West Michigan’s biggest car event, Metro Cruise.


Art Cruise is an annual art event similar to Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize in that several Wyoming businesses feature the work of various local artists during August, the same month as Metro Cruise, which is Aug. 26 and 27. In a way, Art Cruise helps people get revved up for the big event, said Art Cruise Coordinator Donna Kuba, who runs Instant Cash Advance and is part of the West End Business Group that founded Art Cruise.


This year, more than 25 artists will display their work in 17 Wyoming businesses with a list of business locations available at 28thstreetmetrocruise.com.


“It’s really just a way to support the community,” said Jerry DeGood, who owns Auto Finance/J’s Motor Sales, at 2939 Division Ave. DeGood said his place has a nice open space for an artist and is excited about featuring the work of former General Motors employee David Townsend.


“I’ve always painted as a hobby,” Townsend said. After the 36th Street GM plant shutdown, Townsend said he decided to paint on a more regular basis. This is Townsend’s first year participating with his work showing at two locations, Auto Finance/J’s Motor Sales and The Chiropractic Doctors at 4415 Byron Center Ave. SW.


Outsider Artist Dirk W. Hughes said he loves the grassroots feel of the event. “It’s just people coming together with no alternative motive other than to support each other,” said Hughes, whose work will be at Edward Jones, 185 44th St. SW.


This also is why artist and Grand Rapids Public Schools fourth-grade teacher Holly Peterman decided to participate as well.


“I grew up in Grandville and I saw the flyer for Art Cruise where you could display for a whole month and thought, ‘I want to do that,’” said Peterman who’s prints and etchings will be at El Informador, 2000 28th St. SW and Maya Mexican Grill, 1020 28th St. SW.


“It’s an opportunity where people can see a lot of art,” Peterman said. “It’s a great opportunity for both the artist and the business owner. The business owner has people coming in to view the work and the artist is able to get the word out about what they do.”


And that is the main reason Reinbold has been participating in Art Cruise since almost its inception.


“I really got to know and meet a lot of different people last year,” Reinbold said. During the event, “I pretty much show what I can do. People can give me a picture of their car or motorcycle – I can even do an airplane – and I create 3-D sculpture out of glass.”


It’s also not about making money either, but about the experience as Hopkins High School student Madalyn Hatfield can attest. Three years ago, Art Cruise gave her the opportunity to get her “feet wet” in the art world and now she is looking to pursue a career in animation. She once again will be showing at Marge’s Donut Den, 1751 28th St. SW.


For details about the artists and businesses participating in this year’s Art Cruise, visit 28thstreetmetrocruise.com.


Make sure to check out the “DreamWheels” show which will be broadcasting live Saturday, Aug. 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pal’s Diner, 6503 28th St. SE, and Rogers Plaza, 972 28th St. SW. The show will air Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on WKTV Channel 25.