ArtPrize juror calls venue the ‘perfect surprise’

Monroe Community Church, an ArtPrize Nine venue located at 800 Monroe Avenue NW.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the jurors’ picks for Outstanding ArtPrize Venue told 24 Hour News 8 they almost had to close last year.

ArtPrize juror Larry Ossei-Mensah now calls Monroe Community Church “a perfect surprise.”

“I got a text from one of my colleagues [that said], ‘you need to come see this,’” Ossei-Mensah said during the live Shortlist show on 24 Hour News 8.

He said that he found something much different than he expected when he stopped by the church located at 800 Monroe Avenue on the city’s northwest side.

There’s a kaleidoscope of colors greeting visitors who walk inside the open, warehouse-style church.

“We’ve worked at this for nine years,” said Steve Fridsma, who is the ArtPrize liaison at the church.

Bloodline, by Holly Wilson, is an ArtPrize Nine Three-Dimensional entry on display at Monroe Community Church. (Courtesy: ArtPrize)

Fridsma selected the ArtPrize Nine entries at Monroe Community Church, choosing an interesting mix of talent to showcase. There’s all sorts of sizes, material and categories displayed. “Bloodline” by Holly Wilson made the three-dimensional juried shortlist and can be found along one of the walls inside the church.

Pastor Jim Boer applauded Fridsma and his team’s hard work, but he is also celebrating another big win this year. He said that they almost shut their doors for good last year, but things continue to turn around. Their selection as a juried finalist is only adding to their momentum.

“Monroe Community Church is experiencing an exciting renewal,” the pastor said.

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