UICA’s ArtWorks Program Brings New Mural to The Gallery Apartments

August 23, 2019

With the completion of the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts' ArtWorks summer program, a new mural can be found in the lobby of The Gallery Apartments on the corner of Commerce and Fulton.

Designed by 17-year-old Lydiyeah Ramos, the mural is a contemporary piece that explores shapes, patterns, and experiments with the silhouette of the CWD Building located at 50 Louis. Ramos and her mural group worked together throughout the planning and approval process, as well as the project's execution. The UICA's ArtWorks program provides many young artists like Ramos and Co. with experience when it comes to working with clients on a larger scale.

The ArtWorks program takes place over five weeks in the summer. It invites artists between the ages of 14-18 to work alongside different artists, sculptors, UICA staff, and more to receive valuable, hands-on experience in the industry. The free program enables artists from different backgrounds to come together and collaborate on a number of different levels.

According to Ramos, the inspiration behind the mural's design came from works like Ellen Rutt's mural which can be found on Division Ave, as well as Sam Cummings' (managing partner at CWD Real Estate Investment) love for contemporary art. The mural takes on a more abstract approach to visual art than Ramos is used to, but she (as well as Cummings and Rutt) are happy with the result.

The UICA's presence in Downtown Grand Rapids helps to provide a platform for artists of different background with a space for expression. With their help, the city has become a hub for celebrating art in Michigan. Between their series of new exhibits, showcases, and films, the UICA is helping to cultivate a strong community of supportive, open-minded artists in Grand Rapids.

The Gallery Apartments offer fully furnished apartment units located at the heart of the City's Entertainment District. Its strong amenities and premier location are truly a gem among the real estate in Grand Rapids.

In addition to standard apartment units, The Gallery also provides short-term housing via its Guest Suites for those traveling to Grand Rapids for a limited time. Whether it's for work, a temporary contract, or an internship, The Gallery's Guest Suites provide everything someone would need to live, work, and play in Downtown Grand Rapids.

Listen to what Ramos had to say about the process and inspiration behind her mural, as well as her thoughts on the budding art community in Downtown Grand Rapids below.


CWD Real Estate Investment is a leading, local real estate investment and property management firm in Grand Rapids. Formed in 2008 by partners Sam Cummings, Scott Wierda, and Dan DeVos, CWD commits to strengthening the urban center and community of Grand Rapids by making strategic investments that provide high-quality places to work, eat, shop, live, and be entertained.