Civic Studio is an annual applied experimental studio project organized as a course in the Art and Design Department. Established in 1999 by associate professor Paul Wittenbraker, it operates as an interactive public project. The current Civic Studio project, Showroom, at 428 Bridge Street N.W., Grand Rapids, opened in January and continues through April.
On Monday, February 17, Showroom will host two events with alumna Sara Alsum-Wassenaar, who was part of the Civic Studio project in the RAPID Central Station in 2006. She has received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hope College, a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley, and is currently completing an MFA in new media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Alsum-Wassenaar will begin with a public discussion at 2:40 p.m. on the nature of social, cultural, economic, and political space in terms of artificial limitations. Beginning at 4 p.m. her walkshop project “Here (M-cife)” will take participants on a physical exploration of Grand Rapids. The project will include making clay imprints of cracks, crevasses, architectural nuances and decor that is considered obtuse. The pieces created during the walkshop will be brought back to the studio where they will be later fired and placed on display for public viewing. Both events are free and open to the public. For more details on participating, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/722219624477662/.
Also under development at Showroom is the Office for Public Culture (http://opublicculture.org/), with support from Brooks College for Interdisciplinary Studies, which will host a public discussion, “Right to the City,” on Friday, February 21, at 4 p.m. Public hours for Showroom and the Office for Public Culture are Mondays and Wednesdays, from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Fridays from 3:30-5:30 p.m.