On the River Studio

September-December 2009
Gillet Bridge

On The River takes place in a portable studio on the Interurban (Gillette Walking) Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 1st to December 19th, 2009. We chose our location on the Gillett Walking Bridge because we wanted to be situated on the Grand River. The river is the longest in the State of Michigan and central to the city of Grand Rapids. As an object it simultaneously embodies multiple values that are natural, industrial, recreational, historical, social and cultural. Through the creation of visual art, members of the studio intend to mediate these different existing relationships with the river. The white shipping boxes on the bridge offer themselves as a temporary classroom, working space, gallery space and shelter for Civic Studio while the project is in place.

Open Studio Assignments On Display During ArtPrize:
We began our project by doing basic research on different aspects of the river and site. Open Studio Assignments were developed to structure and map activities and findings along the Grand River. These assignments explore various ways that rivers are incorporated into aspects of public life. Rivers are forms that are natural, cultural, experiential, social, recreational and industrial. Our use of rivers reflect social imagination and necessity.

Text And Image Projections:
Each night during Artprize, the studio presented text projections on the large screen over the river at dusk. The projections are visible to the north and south for several blocks. The public can view them from a distance or stop by and talk with studio members.

Video Projections:
Each Friday and Saturday of ArtPrize, Civic Studio presented video projects on the large screen. Videos deal with fish, early public transportation on the river and cycles of experiments in simple water cycles. Video projections will started at approximately 8:30.

*All projects are subject to good weather.

More about the On the River Studio can be found at our Blog, and the River Wiki we used for research, projects, and information about the River.

Studio Members
Amber Stout
Christie Westmaas
Dulcee Boehm
Jackie Jurgens
Jessica Pleyel
Kelly Junis
Lindsay Rose
Mary Miller
Mary Powell
Megan Oswalt
Meghan Kelly
Michael Wolf
Paul Wittenbraker
Stephanie McCarthy
Stephanie Voelck
Stephen Koller

Projects and events from On the River Studio

Project Archive includes an index of projects and exhibitions on this site.