Rad American Women A—Z
May 03, 2019 09:00AM
by Moya Tobey | photo by Elyse Wild
Lions and Rabbits art gallery is partnering with the City of Grand Rapids, along with many others, to create a widespread art project on the mechanical boxes of Downtown Grand Rapids. Twenty-seven female artists will be paid to create these beautiful works of art commemorating influential American women.
This project is inspired by “Rad American Women A-Z,” a book written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl. The book is a New York Times bestseller and contains a list of great American women in alphabetical order. Some of those women include Angela Davis, a political activist; Billi Jean King, the former number 1 world tennis player; and Carol Burnett, a trailblazer
In a recent press release, Kin Van Driel, the Director of Public Space Management at Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI), said, “We’ll also paint these inspiring female role models all over Downtown and promote the fact idea-particularly for the young women all across our community — being smart and strong and brave is rad.”
Partnering on the project, DGRI and Lions and Rabbits have called on local artists to support the project. Those who participate will be paired with one of the 26 women from the book to create an original portrait of the “rad” woman. These portraits will be found on mechanical boxes in various places downtown, giving the typically unappealing fixtures a colorful social justice purpose.
Founder and Creative Director of Lions and Rabbits Hannah Berry stated in a press release, “This is so much more than just public artwork. We will create all these places and moments across our Downtown that celebrate women, bring women together and educate our community about America’s rich legacy of women leadership. This is humbling work for our entire project team, and we can’t wait to get started.”
The project has been in the works since October and painting finally began on April 4. Upon completion on May 1, DGRI plans to promote walking tours of the masterpieces. Tours will be available through partnerships with Grand Rapids Running Tours and GR Walks.
On May 7, Lions and Rabbits and DGRI will host Schatz at the Pyramid Scheme for Rad Women Happy Hour, where the public will get the chance to meet the her. On May 8, Schatz will be at the Grand Rapids Public Library from 6- 7:30 pm for Rad Kids, a special event in which she will lead art activities for little ones. Both events are free to the public.
What: Rad Women Happy Hour with Author Kate Schatz
When: May 7, 4-6 pm Where: The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave SW
What:Rad Kids with Author Kate Schatz When: May 8, 6- 7:30 pm
Where: Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE
Moya Tobey is a college student studying publishing at Cornerstone University. She dreams of traveling the world, fighting for victims of injustice and penning everything she sees.