Grand Traverse Art Bomb Ignites Our Awesome Mitten

Grand Traverse Art Bomb Ignites Our Awesome Mitten
Courtesy Ryan Walsh.
Courtesy Ryan Walsh.
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Courtesy Ryan Walsh.

Looking to add some color to our Awesome Mitten’s snowy and blowy winter season? Grand Traverse Art Bomb is sure to offer a cultural respite from the cold throughout the next few months.

Friends and co-founders Ryan Walsh and Jennifer Haase created the now-popular Grand Traverse Art Bomb in 2011. Being creative individuals and versed in the arts themselves, the two discovered their shared desire to get involved in the development of an art show. They soon realized monetary constraints could quickly put a kibosh on the entire concept. Instead of giving up, Ryan and Jennifer contacted fellow artists and established a network of sponsors and interested participants via facebook. Enter Steve Cattin (Poster/Logo Design and Event Organizer), Chien Nowland (Music Coordinator) and Jason Lawrence (Blogger/Social Media). Traverse City seemed an ideal locale to the event’s creators, considering the lengthy—and sometimes dull and dreary—winters, as well as an encouraging arts and culture scene.

band
Courtesy Ryan Walsh.

The first GT Art Bomb was held in 2011 as a one-day event. Unfortunately, a 2012 Art Bomb was unable to be executed while Ryan completed his education outside of the Grand Traverse region.  However, upon returning to his hometown of Traverse City this last year, Ryan was inundated with questions regarding the next GT Art Bomb. That positive response allowed the team to collaborate with Right Brain Brewery and utilize their new location: an ideal venue for the now expanded event.

Based on providing a gallery or stage for regional artists and musicians, GT Art Bomb is commission-free and non-traditional in nature. In his own words, Ryan wants to offer opportunities to artists and musicians who may not be able to hang their work in other galleries or perform in conventional locations and states that the participants should view the show as a “stepping stone to further their artistic endeavors.”

feb 7th promo event
Courtesy Ryan Walsh.

The future of Grand Traverse Art Bomb looks bright! Ryan intends to continue fostering the growth of the event; 2013 Art Bomb saw an increase in the number of venues, days and participants. Sponsors include Right Brain Brewery, Nauti-Cat Cruises, Studio Anatomy, Poppycock’s, Grand Traverse Tours, and TC Music Markit—a musician-specific press kit business that recently became involved with Art Bomb and is designed to encourage up-and-coming musicians and artists to collaborate in their endeavors.

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Courtesy Ryan Walsh.

GT Art Bomb will feature work from 40 area artists, such as Scott Perry, Savannah Burke, Jennifer Culberson, Chase Hunt, and more, as well as musical guests including Madison Douglas, The Matthew Mansfield Band, Zachary Watson, Bennett Band, The Accidentals, Jimmy Olson, The Claudettes, Levi Britton, and Lief Kolt. The Opening Reception occured on January 3 but an Encore Reception is scheduled for February 8, with a Closing Reception taking place on March 22. All art will be displayed from January 4 through March 30, during Right Brain Brewery’s operating hours.

Courtesy Ryan Walsh.
Courtesy Ryan Walsh.

Several months prior to the GT Art Bomb, artists and musicians may apply for entrance into the show for a $50 fee which goes directly to covering the numerous costs of the show. Applications are available on the GTAB facebook page or at Right Brain Brewery. The submission is closed at this time, but any artists looking to get involved can stay connected to GT Art Bomb via their Facebook page. Traditional artists can also email GTAB at gtartbomb@gmail, while musicians can email them at gtartbomb.music@gmail.com. Interested sponsors can contact Ryan, Jessica and the whole gang at gtartbomb.sponsors@gmail.com.

Grand Traverse Art Bomb brings together the community and the immensely talented artists and musicians who bring color to the seemingly never-ending days of winter.

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Born, bred, and here to stay, I can proudly say I've lived all over our Awesome Mitten--and on three of the five Great Lakes, at that. My imagination has always been my greatest strength and in cooperation with the Awesome Mitten, I can excitedly implement my creativity in a way to promote all that is wonderful about Michigan. Contact me at claire@awesomemitten.com.