No, this isn’t a beauty salon. It is the roof of the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts and it is what ArtPrize is all about…….. creativity in many forms. Questions. Aha moments. Major Wows. Smiles. Connections.
ArtPrize has totally taken over Grand Rapids, the headlines, the conversations, the social life, the restaurants. It has caused jammed parking lots and busy streets. It’s healthy. It’s fun. It’s creative. And a little nuts.
This week the top ten chosen by popular vote were announced and the opinions about the results have been bandied about. Pigs. Pennies. Go Figure. If you want to see the winners, go to the ArtPrize web site and see for yourself. Or follow the reports on MLive.com. They are doing a terrific job of keeping up with what’s happening and what folks think about it. I’m staying out of the discussion except to share my favorites.
It is fun and I’ve enjoyed it all. I’ve meandered about camera in hand by myself and visited the venues with friends. The speaker series is great and I recommend attending if you can. Be sure to pop into the less well known venues. You’ll never know what you find.
Here are few of my Memorable ArtPrize Moments. Like many people I’ve posted photos on Facebook (my DesignDestinations fan page) and if I have time I’ll post on Flickr as well. If you have a favorite ArtPrize moment to share, I hope you’ll post in the comment section at the end. And if you aren’t from near here and haven’t been able to visit, mark your calendar for next year. ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the place to be late September.
Fun Moment: Talking to Jeff Zimmermann, the artist who painted the marvelous and huge mural on the wall of Kendall College of Art and Design. I am so disappointed this didn’t make the top ten. Most deserving.
Make me Smile Moment: Children enjoying a street performer who created huge bubbles for them to chase.
Reflections Moment Friends who travel with me know I’m fascinated with “reflections.” How about this ArtPrize entry reflected in the window of a nearby business? I’m drawn to it. So fleeting.
What were they Thinking Moment. Wonder what this guy is thinking? Pondering the results of the top ten vote? Is he asking, “Why didn’t I make it?”
Just in Time Moment: Just when I thought my feet couldn’t take me another step, I came across this entry. I’m not sure I’d call it “art” but the sign that said, “sit on me” was certainly welcome. Ahhhhhh.
Made me Stop and Ponder Moment: While the “big pig” at the B.O.B. made it into the top ten, this guy is stationed over near the Community College making a political statement about cruelty to animals.
Gets my Vote: Very difficult to capture in an image, the piece by Beilli Liu, at the new U.I.C.A. on Fulton gets my vote for the big kahuna. I think it is magical.
Stunning and Unexpected Moment I was really surprised that the piece I captured a part of didn’t get into the Top Ten. It is breath-taking.
What’s this all about? Not sure what this is all about but I think it typlifies what the Executive Director of ArtPrize meant when he said, “At ArtPrize we do as little as possible.” While that sounds like the ArtPrize staff is trying to maximize their opportunites for coffee breaks, I understand what he meant. They see their role as not directing and dictating, but rather establishing an environment where creatively can flourish. I’d say they were successful. Doesn’t mean we have to like it all
Want to Take these Guys Home Moment. I have the perfect spot in my house for them to live.
Musical Moments. I wish the pianos could stay. So lovely to hear people of all ages playing the 22 pianos positioned around around town.