Save this date! The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) will celebrate the grand opening of its new location inside the historic Woodbridge N. Ferris building on the campus of Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University (KCAD) on Thursday 9 September 2021, 5 pm-7pm. UICA invites visitors to explore the refreshed lobby and decorative arts corridor, the all-new UICA boutique, and four opening exhibitions: The art of living together, the other world, the location and the way forward.

UICA + Amos Kennedy JR typographic prints will be distributed to all participants. These prints were original drawings created with UICA that cite local businesses and organizations that are making a concerted effort to serve marginalized and underrepresented groups.

5:15 p.m. Opening remarks + ribbon cutting
UICA Executive Director Miranda Krajniak
KCAD President Tara McCrackin
FSU President David Eisler

5.30 p.m.-6.30 p.m. Performance by Ritsu Katsumata, electric violin

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Love’s Ice Cream Cart + Cakabakery Biscuits

7:00 p.m. The evening ends

Note: Face masks are mandatory for all visitors, staff and students of the UICA gallery and indoor store, regardless of their immunization status.

Admission to the gallery and UICA’s membership program are now free, reinforcing its mission of creating equitable and inclusive cultural and community experiences.

Members will always receive perks such as member-only discount days in the store, invitations to member mornings, access to the lounge area and other special opportunities and events throughout the year. . All former card-holders within the past two years will automatically transfer to this free card-less membership program.

The new UICA home extends through the 111-year-old architecture of the Woodbridge N. Ferris building, activating the exterior grounds and ancillary spaces outside the traditional galleries. The Decorative Arts Hallway now serves as a lounge-style area with comfortable gathering places to sit, meet, read, or work while surrounded by art.

As a collaboration between UICA and KCAD, shopUICA is designed to serve as both a gallery shop and an academic bookstore. Committed to supporting local and regional artists and designers, shopUICA will offer a range of unique gifts and items as well as a selection of art supplies and opportunities for KCAD students to sell their work.

Led by Curatorial Director Michele Bosak, UICA’s opening exhibitions respond to the building’s unique spaces in a way that emphasizes the interdependence of space, identity and experience. human.

The Art of Living Together is a large-scale outdoor installation designed by architect Brian Petrone of Evanston, Illinois. The work, which activates the exterior of the building with bold orange-colored spheres, focuses on community engagement, celebrating new beginnings and welcoming passers-by to the new space. The Art of Living Together is UICA’s only ArtPrize installation this year. On view to the public until May 7, 2023.

Other World, a jury-paneled group show, features a mix of works by invitation and submitted by 13 local and national artists. The exhibition seeks to reframe what is possible for queer, trans and BIPOC people through stories of futures and alternative worlds created on their own terms. To see in the galleries until December 11, 2021. Artists presented:

  • Alejandro Acierto – Nashville, Tennessee
  • Isaac Aoki – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Rachel Britton – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Antonius-Tin Bui – New Haven, Connecticut
  • Gabriel Garcia – Roman New York, NY
  • Gabriella Grimes – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Emily Oliveira – Brooklyn, NY
  • Lydia Ramos – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Zachary Trebellas – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Sin Wai Kin – London, United Kingdom
  • Kali Spitzer and Bubzee – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Carolina Vélez Muñiz – Mexico City, Mexico
  • Daniel Walker – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Whereabouts presents three site-specific installations intended to recontextualize the space in the building’s lobby, decorative arts corridors and decorative arts display cases. The exhibition considers a nuanced understanding of art, design and craftsmanship while pushing conceptual or material boundaries. On view until July 30, 2022. Artists presented:

  • Jenny Roberts – Grand Haven, MI
  • Emily Oliveira – Brooklyn, NY

The Way Forward presents three artists who take the time to process and experience how they operate in this world, offering an in-depth view of their creative practices. The invitation-only exhibition aims to provide artists with support and platforms to amplify their voices as they intentionally construct spaces that alter perceptions and implement social change. To see in the galleries until November 25, 2021. Artists presented:

  • Eliza Fernand – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Elisa Harkins – Tulsa, OK
  • Edra Soto and Dan Sullivan – Chicago, Illinois

About UICA
As part of the Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts presents innovative arts and education programs representing our world today. Our programs foster belonging by sharing perspectives that develop an equitable and prosperous culture and community. For more information, please visit

About KCAD
As a college within Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design prepares students for leadership in the fields of design, visual arts, and art history; provides innovative and collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity, and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally. For more information, please visit

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