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Grand Rapids kicks off summer with First Friday Arts events

 An image of felted purple and red flowers with green leaves was created by members of the Duluth Fiber Guild
MacRostie Art Center
Art of the Duluth Fiber Guild

MacRostie Art Center Executive Director Katie Marshall stopped by the KAXE/KBXE Morning Show to discuss the June First Friday Arts events around Grand Rapids, happening 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 2.

GRAND RAPIDS — Every first Friday of the month, we hear from the MacRostie Art Center’s Katie Marshall.

She joined the Friday KAXE/KBXE Morning Show to talk about the bevy of arts activities happening in Grand Rapids to kick off summer.

A full listing can be found at, but below are some highlights!

Minnesota author Anthony Anselmo will be on hand at Benders Shoes signing copies of his novel, The Spirit of the North Wind, a ghost story centered around Northern Minnesota.

MacRostie Art Center continues “The Little Big Show” of miniature art in the Minnesota Gallery and “Waiting for Beds” in the Giinawind Creative Space, while debuting the collaborative, fiber art exhibit “50 years and Beyond” in the MacRostie Gallery showcasing the work of the Duluth Fiber Guild. A reception for the guild will be 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 2.

Stained Glass with Class hosts artists Tricia Wahlstrom with Rustic Willow Designs during First Friday hours.

Old Central School hosts jeweler and beading artist Kyleigh Gullickson. In the attic of Old Central School artists-in-residence Chelsey Jo Johnson, Eleanor Tillmans and Joann Knase will be working. Johnson will share a project she calls “Plaguechess,” which is a chess set she’s created that will be available for play. Johnson will also have linocut prints of plague doctors for sale.

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation features work from the students of watercolor artist Diane Levar. Dozens of artists’ works are on display and music is provided for the event by Ditty Wish.

The Itasca Economic Development Corp. hosts Samsoche Sampson tonight. Sampson is a painter and musician who will share his acrylic paintings and prints. Dragonfly Coffee will be on hand at the IEDC with sweet treats.

And the Northern Cruisers and Itasca Vintage Car Club will meet at the Kremers parking lot Friday. Bobcats Lunchbox will be on site with hamburgers and all the fixings.

And for people craving music, Grand Rapids First Friday has options:

  • LaPlant Road will perform on the Old Central School lawn from 5-7 p.m., while Rapids Brewing Co. will host Sam Miltich and friends from 4-6:30 p.m. featuring Leah Lemm, Tony Balluff, Nathan Norman and Matthew Miltich. Landscapes Band takes the stage at Rapids Brewing from 7-10 pm.  
  • Visit a First Friday event or simply enjoy the many murals around Grand Rapids while you buzz around town, either way, we hope you enjoy and are inspired by your first Friday of summer! 
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