Grand Rapids MI is an exciting place to be right now. Culturally it is like a rose bud just beginning to open. It is like one of those beautiful paintings by Balthus of the young girl just awakening to her womanhood. For anyone here in the city with the finger on the pulse of what is happening they will confirm this opinion that Grand Rapids is a city on the verge of an artistic coming of age. Steve Samson at UICA told me last winter that he left Seattle just before its cultural explosion and Grand Rapids has the same feel that Seattle did then and he is determined not to miss this one. What does this mean for you if you are an artist here? Keep pushing forward and know that the struggles you have are most likely shared by many, and that your hard work and faithfullnes will come to fruition. If you are a collector? Buy wisely, but don't hold back. Know that your role is an important one in keeping this momentum moving forward. If you are one of the many art professionals working here in the city running a small gallery or curating a venue for Art Prize, know that you are doing important work and you are part of a big family all in need of each other.