The Spark opens to collectors, creatives

Kendall’s new retail store offers unique handmade goods and a venue for creative talks, pop-ups and more
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KCAD's new retail space, "The Spark," welcomed its first shoppers Aug. 25. Courtesy photo.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University recently opened the doors to “The Spark,” a new retail store. The dynamic retail space promises to providing support and resources for KCAD students and alumni, local artists, and makers of all types. Located on the KCAD campus at 17 Fountain St. NW, the shop aims to become a hub for exploring, selling, and buying local art in downtown Grand Rapids. 

“We are thrilled to unveil The Spark and welcome the community into this vibrant space designed to uplift and support the work of local artists,” said the store’s manager Mikayla Portee, who is also a KCAD alum. “It’s important to us that students feel a sense of ownership over this space as an expression of the creative diversity that exists within the college and our city.” 

Interior of The Spark. Photo courtesy of KCAD.

The Spark offers a wide-ranging, curated selection of handmade goods from West Michigan artists, including many talented KCAD alumni and current students. Visitors to the retail space will discover a wide range of stylish and unique gifts, art prints, décor, stationery, jewelry, art supplies. In addition, the store has  a lounge/seating area where visitors can enjoy snacks and coffee. 

Adjacent to The Spark, the Spark Gallery at KCAD will feature curated exhibitions showcasing the exceptional work of current students and local artists. With a rotating lineup of work on display, the street-level gallery space will provide a platform for emerging talents to reach a wider audience.

The Spark also will host a variety of community and educational events, such as artist talks, networking opportunities, and pop-up shops for practicing artists, designers, and students. 

In addition to providing a space for local artists to showcase their work, The Spark also focuses on fostering student engagement and development. The retail space offers student employment positions, providing valuable hands-on experience in retail and gallery operations.

Further expanding its reach and accessibility, The Spark plans to launch an online store later this fall, giving parents, alumni, and out-of-town shoppers the opportunity to conveniently order KCAD merchandise and show their support for the college. 

Anyone interested in selling art, handmade goods, or other creative merchandise at The Spark can apply to become a vendor with a consignment split of 60/40. Vendor applications will open online in September. 

The Spark celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony in collaboration with Grand Rapids Chamber on Friday, Aug. 25. Courtesy photo.

Hours of operation: 

Monday-Thursday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday-Saturday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed 

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