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Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University Receives Adaptive Reuse Award

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State UniversityGRAND RAPIDS - Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University has received first place in the “Adaptive Reuse” category in the Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance’s Downtown Awards program.

The Downtown Awards program was established in 2010 by the Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance, a private, non-profit organization responsible for maintenance, beautification, marketing, communications and advocacy for downtown Grand Rapids. The Downtown Awards, presented every other year, is a program to recognize exceptional accomplishments in the ongoing investment in downtown Grand Rapids.

Downtown businesses and the general public were invited to nominate organizations in seven categories.  Online voting was opened to the public July through August; the final decision on the first-place winners was a combination of the public vote and the Awards Committee vote.

Nominees were selected using the following criteria:

  • Modeling a standard of excellence
  • Innovation; an innovative or unique approach
  • Achieves a maximum positive impact
  • Working with/enhancing the existing design and assets of downtown Grand Rapids

The award was presented for the extensive renovation of the Historic Federal Building, now part of Kendall’s campus, at the Downtown Alliance’s annual meeting.

Ferris State University President David Eisler, on behalf of Kendall, accepted a “Gretchen,” a signed and numbered, framed print from a series of paintings by Gretchen Minnhaar called “Urban Parade.” Minnhaar is an award-winning international artist who lives in downtown Grand Rapids.

Kendall President David Rosen, along with Vice President Sandra Davison-Wilson and Physical Plant director Lee Cobb also were on hand for the presentation. Rosen noted that Kendall was an eager partner in the Downtown Alliance’s efforts to build a vibrant area that produces benefits for the city and region and serves as an attractor for people from all over the globe.

“We feel honored that our part as active community members was recognized in this award,” Rosen said. “We will continue our partnership in making Grand Rapids’ future prosperous and noteworthy.”

As a unique part of Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design prepares students for leadership in the visual arts, design, art history, and art education; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity; and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally.