Save this date! The Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (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 September 9, 2021, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. UICA invites visitors to explore the refreshed Decorative Arts Hall and Corridor, the all-new UICA Shop, and four opening exhibits: The art of living together, the other world, localization and the way forward.

UICA + Amos Kennedy JR letterpress prints will be offered to all participants. These prints were original designs created with UICA that cite local businesses and organizations that make a concerted effort to serve marginalized and underrepresented groups.

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

5:30-6:30 p.m. Performance by Ritsu Katsumata, electric violin

5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Love’s Ice Cream Cart + Cakabakery Cookies

7:00 p.m. The evening ends

Note: Face masks are compulsory for all visitors, staff and students of the UICA Gallery and Shop when inside, regardless of their vaccination status.

UICA’s gallery admission and membership program is now free, furthering its mission to create equitable and inclusive cultural and community experiences.

Members will continue to enjoy benefits such as special members-only discount days in the store, invitations to members’ matinees, access to the Living Room, and other special opportunities and events throughout the year. All former members with a card within the last two years will be automatically transferred to this free membership program without a card.

UICA’s new home expands through the 111-year-old architecture of the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building by activating outdoor grounds and ancillary spaces outside of the traditional galleries. The Decorative Arts Hallway now serves as a living room-style space with comfortable gathering places to sit, socialize, read, or work while surrounded by art.

As a collaboration between UICA and KCAD, shopUICA is designed to serve as both a gallery store and a university bookstore. Committed to supporting local and regional artists and designers, shopUICA will offer a range of unique gifts and merchandise along with 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 ways that emphasize the interconnectedness of space, identity and experience human.

The Art of Living Together is a large-scale outdoor installation designed by architect Brian Petrone of Evanston, IL. The work, which activates the exterior of the building with bold orange-hued 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. To be discovered to the public until May 7, 2023.

Other World, a juried group exhibition, features a mix of invited and submitted works by 13 local and national artists. The exhibition seeks to reframe what is possible for Queer, Trans and BIPOC people through stories of alternative futures and worlds created on their own terms. On view in galleries until December 11, 2021. Featured artists:

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

Whereabouts features 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 craft while pushing conceptual or material boundaries. On view through July 30, 2022. Featured Artists:

  • Jenny Roberts – Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Emily Oliveira – Brooklyn, New York

The Way Forward features three artists who take the time to process and experience how they move through this world, offering insight into their creative practices. The invitational exhibition aims to provide artists with support and platforms to amplify their voices as they intentionally construct spaces that shift perceptions and cause social change. On view in galleries until November 25, 2021. Featured artists:

  • Eliza Fernand – Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Elisa Harkins – Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Edra Soto and Dan Sullivan – Chicago, IL

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

About KCAD
As a college within Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design prepares students for leadership in 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, visit

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