Celebrating the Creative Space for Artists of Color in Grand Rapids

Thursday, Jun 17, 2021
6:00 pm — 7:00 pm

Join us for the June Virtual Visionnaire Series on Thursday, June 17. In anticipation of Juneteenth, tune into a conversation with local art advocates Stephen Smith from Muse Gallery, Steven Reynolds from ArtXchangeGR, and artist Lowell Reynolds. The speakers will discuss the importance of art in Grand Rapids and the challenges and future opportunities for artists of color in our community. Registration is required to access the Zoom link.


For more information, email membership@artmuseumgr.org.


About the Speakers

    Stephen is the owner of Muse GR, an interactive art gallery on the Westside of Grand Rapids. Through Muse, Stephen and his wife Taylor connect with the community through art to encourage positive transformation and discovery of one’s purpose and passion. Stephen is a graduate of Fisk University and has also earned a Masters in education leadership from Grand Valley State University. Stephen also serves nationally through various boards and committees. For the past 10 years Stephen has operated a successful photography business and served as an educator for Grand Rapids Public Schools. His purpose is serving the youth of Grand Rapids and he aims to inspire others through artistic collaboration.

    Steven Reynolds, a Grand Rapids based artist and artrepreneur, has been creating visual works of art for over 20years. His typical mediums of choice are graphite and acrylic paint . With those mediums, Steven explores the idea of solitude by usually painting just one lone subject with ample negative space. He attempts to express ideas and comment on the social realities of the day through the contorted body language of the subject. He employs a realis tic style of art to render the subject, their seclusion, and their emotions as truthfully as possible. Steven’s recent evolution as an artist has also led him to create dramatic geometric paintings. He uses the shapes and lines in his geometric visuals to push our own perspective and to consider the perspective of others. Steven has a Md. E in Curriculum & Instruction, Bachelor of Science Degree in Management, and an Associate Degree in Language Arts. He is also the Co-Founder of ArtXchangeGR.

    Lowell Reynolds has been creating amazing works of art for more than 40 years. He is best known for always asking the question what if?” with each of his works of art as the nature of the question forces imagination, the unexpected, and eventually originality. Lowell’s work is important because that question of what iF’ keeps creativity and expression open to the possibilities, making the potential of a fine work of art infinite. Lowell has participated in exhibitions with the Greater Flints Arts Council (Flint, Mi), Avenue of the Arts (Grand Rapids, Ml), ArtPrize Project 1 African American Art and Music Celebration, and the Black Art Matters Contemporary Art Exhibit (Grand Rapids, Ml). He has also exhibited in venues overseas while serving in the U.S. Air Force.

About Juneteenth

Juneteenth (short for June Nineteenth”) commemorates the day federal troops arrived in Galveston Texas in 1865 to announce that all enslaved people were freed, a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Although Juneteenth acknowledges the last freeing of enslaved Black people, slavery remained legal and was practiced in states like Kentucky and Delaware until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865. Recent events have brought this known day of remembrance within the Black community to the forefront of the nation and have opened the door for learning opportunities.

Learn more about Juneteenth here.

Visionnaires Series

This event is organized by the Visionnaire Executive Committee. The Visionnaire Executive Committee is a group of creative young adults, ages 21 – 40, committed to introducing new audiences to the Grand Rapids Art Museum and encouraging lifelong engagement. Through a variety of events and programs, the Executive Committee furthers GRAM’s mission to connect people through art, creativity, and design, and promote the Museum’s world-class collection and special exhibitions.