Cultivate Artists

A curated collection of artists who work with Cultivate, as well as local and regional artists.  The featured artist program at Cultivate serves to share the artist's work and process with the community, inviting them to understand how and why an artist creates the work they do, to market and promote artists, and to connect artists to each other and to our network of curators, artists, and gallery owners.  

 

These artists are curated together and represent the work that we exhibit at Cultivate.  The artists are selected in January and June, and scheduled out for the six-month period.  If you are interested in being one of Cultivate featured artists, please email hello@cultivategrandrapids.org.

Ryan Crawley
he/him
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Briefly describe your work or share your artist statement

My current body of work is all about reflection, duly titled “Therapy Conversations”. What I’ve learned from this series is that I communicate through line and color far better than with words. It’s a way for me to problem solve and deal with my emotions or feelings from that moment. Each layer is an opportunity to solve the problem and when that problem is solved the painting is completed. 

How do you go about beginning a new piece? Do you have it planned or is it more spontaneous? 

When I start a new piece it is completely spontaneous. I think the background speaks so much to the direction and overall energy of the paintings end. Since I try to allow my emotions to come out in the form of paintings I leave thinking out of it and rely on instincts. 

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What is a barrier that you, as an artist, overcame? 

To understand that I’m a contractor and not negotiate my price if I believe it is a fair price.

 

What is your go-to music when you're working on art?

 

Lofi, hip hop, any type of music that has a beat and speaks to me. Sometimes it’s hardcore rock haha.

 

What do you strive for as an artist? What form of recognition is important for you? 

Recognition is what you make it. I believe that recognizing that my work is worth what I put into  it is more important. I won’t lie though, having folks within the community know who I am is awesome!

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What advice would you share for artists? Share something that you have learned along the way. 

You’re a contractor. Believe in your work. Sell your work if that is meaningful to you. Find like minded people to surround yourself with and grow together. See if you can find a mentor or someone that motivates you to keep creating. This doesn’t need to be another artist. Business is business and seeing how others achieve their goals will make you hungrier if that’s what you want.  

What is a work of art that is an inspiration to you? 

“Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” is probably one of the most influential pieces I had growing up and a number of Monet’s paintings. Growing up in Kenosha, WI was awesome because we would go to the Art Institute in Chicago twice a year. So I was always seeing those paintings and a few modern pieces.


Who are three working artists that you love and would recommend? 

 

Three artists I have enjoyed for many years for the reason above are: 

Nick Nortier

Esan Sommersall

Shannon Mack

Chelsea Michal

Edwin Anderson

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