24 October 2010


Imagine having a party and being able to transform the venue anyway you wish because after the party, much of the venue is going to be demolished and reconstructed. That was pretty much the idea behind Site:Lab Friday evening. The former home to Network 180 Community Mental Health has been empty for a year or so. LaFontsee Galleries is going to make the site at 833 Lake Drive SE their new home come Spring 2011.

Before transforming the space into their new digs, LaFontsee and Site:Lab collaborators invited artists from all over to use the building for installation artwork. One. Night. Only. There were mad tweets and updates to the Site:Lab facebook leading up to Friday night, getting the word out. It worked. People (including yours truly) turned out in droves. We experienced Site:Lab and then, boom! What you see below disappears to make way for the new LaFontsee Galleries!

The art itself was interesting. Some of it really played with the history of the building as a mental health care facility, some had a definite deconstruction vibe - to the point of inviting people to participate in the demolition. Some seemed to have no real connection to the space, but I'm sure if there had been artist statements along with the art, it would have tied in on some level. I was fascinated by the show as a whole, spending nearly two hours roaming the two floors - 24,000 square feet of art!

I love that Grand Rapids has people who put on such events. All in the name of art and bringing people together to enjoy it! Bravo and well done!

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