Performing for decades between Detroit, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston and Mackinac Island, singer/songwriter Mary McGuire has been accepted to the prestigious ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Vote Code: 56809). For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it’s all free and open to the public. The organizers share “It’s unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing to the art world and the public alike.” A little unorthodox she, McGuire is the recipient of several Detroit Music Awards, most notably as Best Acoustic Artist. Influenced by underground Detroit Radio, she weaned herself on the music played by WABX, WWWW and WRIF as well as CKLW and WDRQ. In fact, she was the winning caller (number 11) on the hit radio station WDRQ and when the station doors opened, her 11 year old arms were loaded up with the entire Beatles discography. She promptly got a guitar—then guitar lessons. Since that day, she has been studying and writing then gigging along the highways across America. As a result, Mary found herself writing about where she was and what she saw from her unique perspective gleaned in the Upper Midwest.
Her song Love Struck was selected in the Time-based category by St. Cecilia’s Music Center. Collaborating with producer Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound Studio (Canton, MI) and performing with guitarist Erik Gustafson, bassist Gary Rasmussen, mandolinist Beth Wilusz, drummers Johnny Bee Badanjek, Shadowhawk Ellis and Chuck Alkazian has been a dream come true. As Mary puts it, “Love struck is how I have felt recording, writing and playing with this group of incredible artists. I realized the definition of Love Struck has never changed throughout the ages and thought to myself we have all been love struck in one way or another. It’s like being punched in the heart and there is no way out but to face it. It really inspired me to write from my experiences and from the experiences of others who have shared their moments of falling in love uncontrollably.” She continues, “I am honored to be included at St. Cecilia’s and am really looking forward to performing in such a historic venue.” St. Cecilia Music Center is the oldest arts organization in the region and is the music hub during ArtPrize. Again this year, St. Cecilia will be awarding $2,000 in PRIZE MONEY to five different musical genres based on the popular vote in each genre ($10,000 total.) Genres are pop/electronic; rock/blues; classical; jazz and folk/country. Listening stations located in the St. Cecilia library will feature recordings of all original compositions in the Time-based category. Cecilia will host two of the many busking stations that will be featured throughout the city on a daily basis for the first 10 days of the event. Mary will be performing from 3pm – 4pm, Saturday, September 27 at St. Cecilia’s Music Center.
Another venue to catch her performance is the Women’s City Club, which occupies the historic Sweet House in the Hill District of Grand Rapids. Martin Sweet was a young entrepreneur when he came to Grand Rapids in 1846. He dreamed of a distinguished and spacious home for his family and in the early 1860s built this home on East Fulton. This Heritage Hill two-story Italianate Villa home survives as one of the remaining examples of this style of architecture in the latter part of the 19th century. Join Mary for her concert and view the installations in this beautiful architectural gem from 3pm-4pm on Sunday, September 28.
Located in the Boardwalk Condo building, historic site of the world renowned Berkey & Gay Furniture Factory, Mary will be performing a few showcases at JD Reardon’s, a friendly hideaway for beer and food lovers alike. Offering 24 taps of only the best craft beers from celebrated breweries all over Michigan and the U.S. JD Reardon’s interior is a warm, inviting, relaxing and a perfect wooden music venue. They also boast one of the largest outdoor patios in the city with a view of the Boardwalk Condo landscaped courtyard, pool and fountain. Weather permitting she will perform outside on the open air patio surrounded by five floors of architectural magnificence overlooking the condos, it’s a magical space and place. Her first performance happens the night before the opening of ArtPrize from 6pm-8pm, Tuesday, September 23 for the Boardwalk Condos Sneak Peek Event, which is open to the public. Then she will be playing from 6pm-8pm, Saturday, September 27 and again from 6pm-8pm on Saturday, October 4 in the preservation rich Monroe North/Belknap neighborhood.