Spring into the Arts invites Battle Creek downtown to celebrate

Café Rica is among a number of businesses and organizations in the downtown district that will be participating in Battle Creek’s “Spring Into the Arts” celebration Friday from 3-9 p.m.

The twice-yearly arts celebration features the works of area artists on display at various downtown venues and this time out has a number of unique draws for area art lovers.

Tristan Bredehoft, co-owner of Café Rica, says his shop will feature the work of photographer Cory Patterson who has captured images from throughout the world.

“He has taken some of those photos and transposed them onto wooden backgrounds,” Bredehoft says. “He takes part of the image and makes it a little bit more transparent so it shows the woodgrain in the wood.”

Bredehoft says that artists' work has been displayed on a monthly basis at Café Rica since he and his brother, Jackson, who co-owns the business with him, moved to their location at 80 W. Michigan Ave. earlier this year. They started out as one of the tenants at B.C. Cargo before the move.

The brothers' decision to display local artwork is part of a trend among coffee shops throughout the United States.

“It’s kind of a perfect match because people coming in for coffee have an appreciation for the arts,” Bredehoft says. “It brings some character to coffee shops while helping to promote artists and providing opportunities for them to sell their art.

“Cory asked us if this was something we wanted to do. We thought it was the perfect pairing.”

In addition to showcasing Patterson’s work, two other artists – Giselle and Taylor – will be doing live painting demonstrations on canvas using paintbrushes and spraypaint and members of the Battle Creek Metropolitan Area Moustache Society will be hosting a cash bar, including a special beer from Territorial Brewing, to raise money for various charities.

This will be the first “Spring Into the Arts” for the brothers as business owners. Bredehoft says he thinks this is a really good way to reach people who wouldn’t otherwise visit the city’s downtown district after normal business hours.

The city’s celebration of the arts happens once in the Spring and again in the Fall.

During an event last year, he and his brother met a friend at Rice’s Shoes. “I had never been in there before,” Bredehoft says. “This is a great way to reach people, you may normally not be reaching.”

Friday’s “Spring Into the Arts” is being changed up a bit to accommodate the partial closure of West Michigan Avenue because of ongoing construction work at Heritage Tower.

“We started thinking about what we would like to do to create some energy in Spring into the Arts,” said Kara Beer, president of the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce. “We came up with this idea.”

The idea is that some of the participating artists, vendors, and even local businesses will set up pop-up tents along the Linear Park trail for attendees to browse, from Carlyle Street all the way to the City Hall area.

Beer also announced in February other additions to “Spring into the Arts 2019”, such as night-time kayaking and water bonfires, to pair with the new riverside location of the event.

Read more articles by Jane Simons.

Jane Simons is a freelance reporter and writer with more than 20 years of experience and also is the owner of In So Many Words based in Battle Creek. She is the Project Editor for On the Ground Battle Creek.