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Sunday, September 30, 2012

ArtPrize- First Impressions

You may have heard of Grand Rapids, Michigan, ArtPrize. Surely you have if you are from Michigan, but it's gaining national recognition, too. Just for the record, it's a yearly competition begun in 2009. The winners are picked by popular vote, recorded through techno voting. This year there are 1,516 entries, and $560,000 in prize money. Most of the art is displayed outside. There are some juried exhibits (not sure we saw those), but mostly it's open submissions.

Om and I went today with no great plan to try to cover any set number of exhibits or even to try to see enough of them to vote. We just thought we'd go to the area with the highest concentration of exhibits and take in whatever we could. We'd seen a few of them featured on the TV news, but with so many entries, it would take serious time and effort to even casually view most or all.

We probably saw about 100, and I took pictures of almost 50. Today, they revealed the top 10 (one more week of voting time left). As it turns out, we only saw 3 of those 10. Today, I'll just give you some impressions.

I like how people were allowed to interact with most of the pieces. Many of them were labeled as "OK to touch." People liked to pose with them. This dragon named "Norm" was a big favorite.

Norm the dragon

There were a lot of constructions made of recycled materials. More than a few of those leaned toward skeletal figures. This bad boy is one member of "Heavy Metal Rock Band."

welded skeleton rock band figure

ArtPrize may be even more difficult to share on a blog than the Philadelphia Flower Show, because there are SO many different kinds of things.

Some exhibits were quite realistic, like this mosaic made of glass called "Return to Eden."

glass mosaic Garden of Eden

Others are stylized or modern like this one called "Concretely the Remix."

concrete casts Concretely the Remix

There were paintings or drawings. I didn't get the name of this one- sorry, but it's a pencil drawing.

face pushing through cloth

Others were intentionally interactive like "Junk Yard Music Box," which had a carillon made of gas canisters cut off into bells, and several instruments people could play. This is a lithophone (like a xylophone, but made with stone bars).


I see that I haven't included any really abstract pieces in these pictures. There were some- stabiles and mobiles, and paintings. This is just a taste. When we got overwhelmed and hungry we ate at the BOB (Big Old Building), and then came home. Nifty day.

Tomorrow, I'll show you some of my favorites of the small selection we saw. Might be hard to narrow down... Maybe two days.

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Lin said...

Fun day! No, I have not heard of that event, but it sounds great. You sure had a nice day to be outside enjoying all the art.

Secondary Roads said...

Friend and family seem to enjoy Art Prize. A lot. It only makes me think I must have Philistine ancestors.

Ann said...

oh that looks like fun. I've never heard of it before. That dragon is pretty cool.
I did check out that blog that you gave me the link to restyled junk. I love it. Thanks for sharing it with me

Sharkbytes said...

Lin- It's quite an amazing event.

Chuck- interesting. There is quite a lot of realistic art. You don't even connect with any of that?

Ann- Well, I guess I'm spreading the word to several people about Art Prize! Glad you like Cyndee's stuff. She's really making supplemental income with her crafts.

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