The Gravy train stops at GV
Last weekend, the Campus Activities Council hosted rapper Yung Gravy for the annual spring concert. It was the first spring concert since Blackbear performed at Grand Valley State University in 2019.
Yung Gravy took the stage at Fieldhouse Arena on April 2. The event sold 4,500 tickets, which was the Fieldhouse Arena’s maximum capacity. It comes after T-Pain’s performance was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Matthew Raymond Huri, also known as Yung Gravy, is a 26-year-old rapper from Minnesota. His career took off in 2017 with his song “Mr. Clean,” which samples The Cordettes’ “Mr. Sandman.” Since its release, Yung Gravy’s song has gone platinum.
The concert was opened by DJ EDERZ, also known as Matthew Ednie, an emerging DJ from the Detroit area. He opened the set by mixing in popular songs, giving them a house party twist. He played both classic pop hits and new favorites, sampling Labrinth’s “Still Don’t Know My Name,” which was popularized on “Euphoria.”
For more on Sabrina Edwards’ coverage of Yung Gravy’s Spring Concert, click here.
Professor GV overcomes mourning in a goldsmith’s exhibition
Grieving is a universal emotion. It is felt and experienced by every living person at some point in their life. Exploring this incredibly complex idea is the mission of Renee Zettle-Sterling, a professor at Grand Valley State University, and company with their upcoming metallurgist exhibit “Sorrow/Fullness: A Reflection on Mourning,” which opens Thursday at the Haas Center. for Performing Arts Gallery. .
With the help of Sue Amendalara, professor at the University of Edinboro in Pennsylvania, and studio artist Adrienne Grafton, “Sorrow/Fullness” will present works of goldsmithery intended to represent and celebrate the life of deceased loved ones.
This collaboration was born from a friendship of more than 20 years between the three artists.
The three artists have dealt with loss and grief over the past 20 years and have developed work around difficult emotion over the course of their careers. In order to come together to create something even more meaningful, the three blacksmiths decided to join forces for “Sorrow/Fullness”.
For more on Ayron Rutan’s coverage of the Grand Valley State University Metalworkers Expo, click here.
Butterflies bloom in the Frederik Meijer Gardens
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park opened its annual exhibition Fred and Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming. The exhibition attracts nearly 1,000 visitors each week, who come to witness the transformation of the butterflies.
“(Participants can) admire thousands of butterflies as they fly freely through the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory and experience the positive and powerful impact flowers have on the world,” said John Vanderhaagen, media representative for the park.
The garden is now home to over 7,000 tropical butterflies, which began hatching on March 1. The Butterfly Habitat in the Western Michigan Garden is the nation’s largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit.
There are now 60 species from regions around the world, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Philippines and Kenya. The exhibition will welcome the animals in a heated veranda. The conservatory will also feature a variety of colorful flowers, including plume flowers and blue algae, as butterflies are attracted to brightly colored flowers.
To read more about Colleen Garcia’s article on Butterflies in Frederik Meijer Gardens, click here.
MTD closes Black History Month with student concert
Black History Month is a time to celebrate, appreciate, and recognize the rich history and accomplishments of African Americans. Grand Valley State University’s Department of Music, Drama and Dance capped off the month-long celebration with a livestreamed concert that aired Feb. 25.
The show featured voice and piano students from GVSU performing 12 pieces by renowned African-American composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, “24 Negro Melodies, Op. 59.” Hosted by GVSU professors Dr. Sookyung Cho and Dr. Kathryn Stieler, the event celebrated the music of Coleridge-Taylor which features an interesting blend of sounds from South African and African American culture. Stieler was enthusiastic about the music and thought it offered something new for her and her voice students to learn.
“This event gave me and my students the opportunity to see how folk songs – songs that reflect both South African and African American culture – have been passed down through a tradition of vocals and expertly arranged for piano by a composer who, despite growing up in either culture, has effectively captured the cultures essence musically,” Stieler said.
For more on Ayron Rutan’s coverage of Black History Month student concerts, click here.
GRAM presents a new exhibition highlighting the creators
The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) now features two new exhibits that celebrate and raise awareness of black culture. These first exhibitions highlight the work of Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems in “Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue”. The second, “Seen and Not Seen,” features works by local Grand Rapids artists. Both exhibitions opened on January 29 and will be at GRAM until April 30.
“GRAM Chief Curator Ron Platt conceptualized ‘Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue’ when he met with the artists in 2018, whose questions and contributions significantly informed the setting and outcome of this exhibition,” said Alaina Taylor, communications assistant at GRAM. . “Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems are two of the most important and influential photographic artists of our time.”
Bey and Weems present a focused selection of over 40 years of work. Both were born in 1953, at a time of social change in America. Both Bey and Weems have addressed the same topics, race, class, representation and systems of power in the work surrounding African American events. Both focus on the human condition and how real people have been affected by these situations.
To read more about Sabrina Edwards’ piece on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, click here.
The Pyramid Scheme celebrates and reflects on a decade of success
The Pyramid Scheme is a bar, live music venue, and pinball venue all rolled into one hotspot in the Heartside neighborhood of downtown Grand Rapids.
As The Pyramid Scheme was unable to celebrate its 10th anniversary in April 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, the venue will now raise its glass to its sold-out show on October 20 with performances by The Menzingers, The Dirty Nile, and worried.
With their cheers at 10 came time for reflection for co-owner Tami VandenBerg.
She and her brother, Jeff VandenBerg, originally opened a neighborhood pub called The Meanwhile on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids.
Both were very interested in live music, but Tami VandenBerg said the pub was a bit too small and the neighbors weren’t too keen on the idea.
For more on Mary Dupuis’ coverage of the Pyramid Scheme Bar, click here.
ArtPrize 2021 features strong Laker presence
The Grand Rapids ArtPrize is back with a lineup of artists from around the world after a two-year hiatus.
There is a strong Laker presence at ArtPrize this year. Three faculty members, a current student and numerous former competition entrants are among the hundreds of artists taking part in this year’s ArtPrize.
Since 2009, ArtPrize has provided an opportunity for the Grand Rapids community to engage with art in all mediums. The art is made available to the public at various venues around the city from September 16 to October 3.
During these 18 days, the public gives the floor to support their favorite plays by voting online.
Some of these GVSU artists have their work exhibited at the same location, The Water Colors Aquarium Gallery.
To read more about Mary Racette’s in-depth look at ArtPrize, click here.
Color Guard hosts a powerful freshman class
The transition from high school to college can be daunting as many start with a blank slate and have to make new friends. For the eight freshmen of this year’s Laker Marching Band Color Guard, a second family welcomed them with open arms when they began training this summer.
“The Color Guard is just a family and we are there for each other and help each other out when needed,” said Grand Valley State University freshman Anthony Gilchrist.
Each year, the color guard holds two-day competitive auditions. Having the ability to quickly memorize the exercises is a central point of the auditions. Students are required to show that they are capable and quick learners.
“All freshmen really wanted to make new friends,” said GVSU freshman Jenna Martin. “There were eight freshmen this year, so we all bonded because we all had this one thing in common that we could talk about.”
To explore more of Mary Racette’s coverage of the freshman class for color guard, click here.
GV spotlights Donna Ferrato’s activism photography
The second event in Grand Valley State University’s “On The Wall Artist Talk Series” featured award-winning photojournalist and activist, Donna Ferrato.
On October 5 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Ferrato spoke with students via Zoom about his creative process, how his work is influenced, and his anti-violence advocacy efforts.
This specific conference was supported in part by GVSU’s Center for Women and Gender Equity as one of many events held during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
For over 30 years, Ferrato has documented domestic violence and its impact through photography. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Time Magazine, Life Magazine, People Magazine and The New York Times.
In 1991 Ferrato published a book of her work called “Living with the Enemy” which sparked a national conversation about women’s rights and sexual violence.
For more on Allison Rafferty’s coverage of Donna Ferrato’s work, click here.