Current Location:
Kirkhof Center -> 1st Floor (KC)
Location Notes:
KC; 1st Floor; Suite 1240; Behind Front Desk

Emerge with Us

Victoria Crouse
GVSU Collection
Latex paint on particle board
Artworks - Height: 6' Width: 6'
Note: 6ft x 6ft (two boards)
Two plywood panels with a bright blue background and orange, pink and black rainbow shape near the bottom with words "Emerge with us and fight for justice everyday." Pairs of hands in black and white float around the background and main image.
Historical Context:
On May 30th, 2020, a peaceful protest in support of Black Lives Matter was held in downtown Grand Rapids in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Following the protest, a late night riot caused damage to vehicles and buildings. In the following days, the Grand Rapids community worked together to clean up the damage, including many businesses who had to cover up broken windows with plywood. Seeing the plywood as blank canvases, graffiti artist Guillermo Soleto reached out to Hannah Berry of Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts who brought together local business owners and property managers to support the pivotal community artist project that became "Windows GR". An artist liaison group of Jasmine Bruce ('18), Leandro Lara, Adrian Butler and Kendall Redmon with Asia Horne ('13) of Free Alchemy Studio as the catalyst helped advocate for the amplification of local Black artists and artists of color to express themselves using the project as a platform. The art addresses systemic racism and injustice while cultivating messages of equality and freedom of speech directly from the creative perspectives of Grand Rapids artists. Since then, pieces from the project have been acquired by local institutions such as Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Aquinas College and now proudly at Grand Valley State University. On their work artist Victoria Crouse states, "I am a local Grand Rapids Artist. Participating in the Windows project was very important to me, it really made me continue to wake up to my privilege and question what I really want to stand for in this life. I hope to continue emerging as an artist. I want to create art that causes people to feel seen where they are at but also encourages them towards bettering themselves."