Making the most of an art-filled weekend

By Lanthorn Editorial Board | 9/20/17 11:42pm

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These next few weeks, Grand Rapids and Allendale will be abuzz with art, culture and history. From ArtPrize to the Renaissance Festival to the Allendale Fall Festival to Family Weekend, the Grand Valley State University community will have more than enough opportunities to engage in local, family-friendly events celebrating the arts.

This will also be the perfect time for students to show their parents and siblings (many of whom will be visiting this weekend) what the west side of the state has to offer.

First, there's the biggest attraction: ArtPrize. This year, several GVSU community members will be participating in the annual competition (check out some of the artists' profiles on page 3 of this issue). As a campus community, we should rally around our fellow Lakers and head downtown to view the products of all their hard work. 

All of these artists have invested a lot time and effort into creating their unique entries. Some artists even dedicated more than 100 hours to perfecting their creations. This is all done with the intention of showing it off to the public, and who better to lend support than the GVSU community? We all have plenty of accessible ways to get downtown (the 50 bus comes readily to mind), so we have no excuse not to support these Laker artists as they contribute their time and talent to Grand Rapids.

During the weeks of ArtPrize, the entire vibe of Grand Rapids shifts. There is so much culture to partake in, from simply walking the streets downtown to visiting the nearly 200 different ArtPrize venues. Artists and art enthusiasts from all over the world fill the city, breathing new life into the air. 

So, GVSU community members, embrace the opportunity and take advantage of this fun (and free) chance to view local, national and international art.  

In addition, GVSU's three-day long celebration of Family Weekend, which is themed "Valley of Colors" this year in connection to ArtPrize, will offer additional family-friendly activities and events. There will be dueling pianos, various campus sporting events and Shakespeare plays. 

Another event that is taking place is Allendale's Fall Festival, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Allendale Community Park. This event will feature tons of opportunities for family engagement, including a car show, food trucks, live music, an arts and crafts fair and a scarecrow-building contest. For all the times students complain about Allendale not having much to offer, they should try to take advantage of it when it does.

So don't just stay at home and do homework this weekend. Get off the couch and head downtown or into Allendale to take in the art and culture and show your families why "West is Best."

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