The unveiling of the Festival of the Arts poster and the designer behind it is an annual Grand Rapids tradition, and this year’s artist selection is a well-known figure in the community.
Former ArtPrize Grand Prize winner Chris LaPorte designed the 2018 poster.
LaPorte’s 2010 “Calvary, American Officers, 1921” had Grand Rapids abuzz for its intricacy and detail.
For the Festival of the Arts poster, LaPorte was tasked with conveying this year’s festival theme, “celebrating the community through art,” which he did through a whimsical and bright design.
“His work perfectly embodies the event’s theme by representing the beautiful Grand Rapids city skyline, the movement of dancers in front of “La Grande Vitesse” and fun, playful colors indicating the spirit of festival,” said Jessi Nix Gould, who is co-chairing this year’s festival alongside Melissa Bush.
LaPorte was also selected as this year’s poster artist because of his long history with the festival.
“Chris has been involved in the Regional Arts Exhibition for years, participates in Art on the Spot drawing caricatures and hosted an art class in his studio to help fundraise for Festival of the Arts,” Bush said.
LaPorte holds art degrees from Aquinas College, La Coste Ecole de Beaux Arts and the New York Academy of Art. He has taught drawing at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Kendall College of Art and Design, and Aquinas College as well as educational institutions in New York and Michigan.
Festival of the Arts is a three-day community celebration in downtown Grand Rapids offering art, food, entertainment and fun activities for all ages. This year’s festival takes place June 1 – 3.