Rethink, Reshape, Revitalize: KCAD Partners with Goodwill Industries of GR for ArtPrize Eight

Posted August 29, 2016 in Public, ArtPrize

From West Michigan to the world, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) has been working to create transformational art and design since 1928. Likewise, for the past 50 years, Goodwill Industries has been working to transform lives and communities. Together, the organizations are looking to expand their vision for a more sustainable future.

For ArtPrize Eight, Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids (Goodwill) and KCAD have teamed up to engage visitors in a conversation about the opportunities for more sustainable living that exist all around us.

“Goodwill is very excited about the partnership with KCAD and the focus of this exhibition. It aligns with our efforts to have a positive impact on our environment through reusing, reducing, and recycling. Revenue from our stores funds free job training and placement services, helping to sustain the local workforce,” said Jill Wallace, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids.

RE·, the ArtPrize Eight exhibition inside The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, features both local and global artists who consider the timely and critical issues of environmental and social responsibility within their work. Many of the included artists use reclaimed materials to create work that confronts the ways in which humanity produces and consumes, so Goodwill stepped up and provided free access to donated materials from area stores. Instead of potentially entering the waste stream, these materials will now take on a new life as components of original works of art. Other artists in RE·grapple with sustainability in more conceptual ways, exploring themes of connection, rebirth, preservation, cultural equity, or social justice in their work.

Beyond RE·, KCAD and Goodwill have coordinated a number of additional sustainability-focused activities and events during ArtPrize Eight. ArtPrize viewers can shop a special pop-up marketplace on campus featuring one-off custom pieces created by KCAD student groups using items donated to Goodwill stores, as well as other repurposed Goodwill items and a special ArtPrize-branded t-shirt commemorating the KCAD/Goodwill partnership. The marketplace will feature exclusive merchandise that will only be available during the first week of ArtPrize.

“ArtPrize creates an environment where critical thinking, internal reflection, and human interaction are organically encouraged. Partnering with Goodwill has created an exciting opportunity for KCAD to help further expand that discourse. We hope to inspire visitors to critique not only what we create, but how we create, and to explore what the work of artists, curators, and art institutions says about humanity’s will to sustain both our world and our place in it,” said KCAD President Leslie Bellavance.

“Goodwill was in the sustainability business decades before sustainability was top of mind. Their work in converting otherwise discarded objects into resources that they’re investing back into the communities – and the simplicity and effectiveness of their model – is an inspiration for ArtPrize and for any organization,” noted Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. "Their partnership with KCAD, which has been recognized for its sustainability work as well as art and design, is a natural extension of the efforts of both organizations.”

RE·opens August 30, 2016 and will run through October 15, 2016. For more information on the exhibition and gallery operating hours, visit