Last Sunday, my daughter and I took a day trip to Grand Rapids to celebrate my younger brother’s birthday and to explore ArtPrize 2010. It’s definitely an event not to miss, but this year just reinforced my experience from the last, one day at ArtPrize is not enough.
I think to really experience ArtPrize, you need to live in the area. There is so much art, tucked away in so many parts of the city and beyond (exhibits at Frederik Meijer Gardens this year), there is no way to see even the majority of it in one or two days. You need multiple days to discover and explore, and avoiding the crowds on a weekday morning would be nice too. This is ArtPrize’s second year and I would wager that the attendance has increased exponentially this time around.
This is a fabulous event for the city, an excellent idea schemed up by those DeVos’. Coincidentally, this week I heard Rick DeVos speak about ArtPrize at TEDxDetroit (another fabulous event). He gave a simple presentation to share a simple concept, but it was very well done and very impactful just like the event itself.
My daughter and I met up with more of my family and wandered around downtown. I am sure that I missed most of the best work, but what I saw was extrememly enjoyable. Lots of large crowd pleasers (going for that public vote) made up of small mundane things, combined intensely and passionately to create giant works of art, see lions with Gwen above made from thousands of nails welded and shaped. Grand River, running through the city, lacked its huge installations, which was disappointing, but overall the feel of the city was just as vibrant. Thank you Grand Rapids for putting art front and center. I will be back year after year and hopefully for more than just one day at a time.
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