Jeffrey’s list of residences reads like a list of iconic American cities. He was born and raised in Livingston, New Jersey before attending college at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating, he lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York, and then headed to San Francisco, California where he obtained a masters degree at the San Francisco Art Institute. With his appreciation of unique and sought-after cities, West Michigan is a place he could not resist heading to next.
While living in San Francisco, Jeffrey, a multi-media artist, competed in the 2011 Grand Rapids ArtPrize competition (he was the “Bead Guy”), and ended up participating for multiple years thereafter. “My 2015 and 2016 years at ArtPrize were so special that as an artist, I really wanted to dive into the Grand Rapids art community full time,” Jeffrey explained. “I specifically moved here for the art community and the art itself, and it was a move that I decided to make the next chapter in my life.”
After quitting his job in San Francisco, Jeffrey moved to Grand Rapids in the fall of 2016. Soon after arriving in West Michigan, Jeffrey met his current partner and also made a great network of people through UICA and the arts community. Because he met so many people through his various years of competing in ArtPrize, he found an immediate circle here.
“Multiple people told me that I should reach out to Hello West Michigan,” Jeffrey said. “It was nice to have check-ins and calls to see how the process was going. It was a lot of support, and I did not feel as lonely as I would have.” He is 5 months into his position in operations at Mighty in the Midwest, and writes articles for a Grand Rapids art publication. Jeffery loves everything about the art culture in West Michigan, but also the beautiful places to visit, and the wonderful people he has met.
“There are so many different kinds of people in West Michigan that I would have never met in California,” Jeffrey explained. “It is definitely a different culture here.” He spends a lot of his time attending different art exhibits and writing, and is excited to experience the West Michigan seasons.
“I went to Saugatuck and the dunes were so beautiful. I understand why there is so much art at Art Prize about the dunes—people want to represent it because it is amazing,” Jeffrey said. Excited for the summer months to explore more West Michigan nature, Jeffrey knows that Grand Rapids was the best place to start his next chapter.