An Irregular Heartbeat: The Artists & History of Heartside Gallery & Studio is a new book recently released to showcase the diversity and culture from a wide range of artists working throughout the last 20 years at Heartside Gallery in downtown Grand Rapids MI.
If you aren’t familiar with Heartside Gallery, it is an all-inclusive, volunteer supported, community resource and asset ran by Heartside Ministries. They help people in the neighborhood heal themselves through art… help people to discover real value within themselves by means of creative expression, and to constructively build upon difficult, even sometimes traumatic life experiences.
“Heartside Gallery and Studio offers the downtown Grand Rapids Heartside community a supportive and safe environment to create self-taught and intuitive art. Our artists come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some have experienced the disadvantages and hardships of homelessness. Others suffer from various emotional, physical or mental disabilities.”– http://www.heartside.org
I recently attended the book signing party for the book, An Irregular Heartbeat: The Artists & History of Heartside Gallery & Studio, which featured the design work of Lydia VanHoven and photography by Michael Cook. Many of the artists featured in the book were on hand to meet the public, discuss their experiences at Heartside, and sign autographs.
Mayor George Heartwell (who was a longtime pastor for Heartside Ministries) was on hand to dedicate the book, gave a great impromptu speech. Michael and Lydia were presented with portraits as a sign of appreciation for their hard work in making the book a reality. The arts coordinator Sarah Scott also spoke briefly about the last few years at Heartside Gallery before having a gigantic tropical plant bestowed upon her by some of the featured artists.
Art by many of the artists, in a surprising umber of different media, was hung prominently throughout the gallery. Photographs of some of the artists featured in the book were also on display. In addition to tons of great food supplied from local businesses, copies of the book, as well as screen-printed t-shirts were available.