“Our mission is to build relationships with the community youth in various neighborhood locations while providing exploration and application of the arts to nurture creativity and self-confidence through artistic expression"
artlink.gr is an initiative created by Founding Director, Professor Margaret Vega. In the summer of 2013, Vega became aware through a mother who lived in the Grandville neighborhood, of the need to provide quality experiences in art and design to children in their own community. The focus of artlink.gr is on forming relationships in Grand Rapids neighborhoods through art. Currently, artlink.gr consists of SiteStudio, the Children Designing for Children, and Pop Up Sessions. These programs are made possible through partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools and Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University (KCAD). SiteStudio began in the fall of 2013 at Cesar E. Chavez elementary school, as a long held vision by Vega to diversify and form relationships through art. In 2014, the SiteStudio programs began its current location at Cook Arts Center and involves students from Cesar Chavez and Southwest Community campus. SiteStudio added the relationship with the GRPS schools in 2015 in our proposed plan of study. All of our projects involve history, creative thinking and a project that encourages the children to find solutions through experimentation and play. SiteStudio is not a craft orientated program, but touches on all aspects of making and discovering art. The identity of SiteStudio is to be mobile, allowing it to move from location to location, encouraging relationships while teaching children about problem solving through art within the culture of the neighborhoods where students live. Each year SiteStudio has a team of volunteers to assist in teaching the projects to the students. An exchange of neighborhoods is done by bringing students to KCAD, with a final exhibition in the galleries and festivities for the families of the students at the college. Tours of the college are offered in an effort to let parents know the career options in the arts.
“The concept for artlink.gr comes from my passion for implementing the experience of sharing a common creative voice, bringing our neighborhoods together; and in that diversity all of our lives are enriched” Margaret Vega, Director