Known for its creative brews, Right Brain Brewery is now putting creativity on its walls. The Grand Traverse Art Bomb, Intuitive Art Workshops and a student art show have all been featured recently at the Traverse City brewery.
I recently had the pleasure of participating in one of Right Brain’s art events. I attended last week’s Intuitive Art Workshop, which was operated by a recent Art Bomb participant, Ruth Ann McGrath.
“It’s more about the process than the end result,” McGrath assured me as I was struggling to finish my painting. “You want to get outside your comfort zone.”
Not being an artist myself, I don’t typically attend art events. However, the Right Brain atmosphere allowed me to get comfortable and, eventually, I was able to get outside that comfort zone. I was able to experiment with colors, brush strokes and ideas while enjoying craft brews and the company of others.
This relaxed and experimental art atmosphere is the vision of Leif Kolt, Right Brain’s “kickdog” and branding, events and marketing coordinator. He hopes to create an atmosphere in which non-traditional artists feel free to express themselves; a “utopia for counterculture,” if you will.
“The more stuff we do, the better chance we have to get the ball rolling,” said Kolt.
Right Brain started by hosting the Grand Traverse Art Bomb at the beginning of the year. Created by Ryan Walsh, the Art Bomb has become an annual commission-free art show.
Originally set to be a one weekend event, this year’s show was extended to last three months. Each week seemed to bring about a completely different show with its own flavor. Right Brain plans to host next year’s Art Bomb and hopes to collaborate more with Walsh to plan the event.
When asked about his vision for Art Bomb, Kolt stated, “I want it to be what ArtPrize is for the nation for Michigan.”
He hopes over time it will become a well-known event for indie artists throughout the state and will give those who don’t typically enter art shows a chance to display their artwork.
Currently, Right Brain has provided a similar opportunity for art students in the Traverse City area to display their work. The brewpub’s walls are now decorated with a wide variety of student art. Students range from kindergarteners to college students and represent a diversity of art, color and technique.
Right Brain has always welcomed people of all ages. At its smaller original location, it was typical to see families playing board games. The atmosphere has never been that of a bar or a typical brew pub. And as Right Brain continues to grow, it seems it will emerge as a community center for creativity and honest expression, while simultaneously incorporating new flavors into their beer.