Monday, October 10, 2011

Grand Rapids Art Prize 2011

Art and exercise all at once? Oh, yeah!

Last Friday my friend wanted to go to Art Prize, and since the weather was so nice we headed for downtown. We found a good place to park and started our hike. Altogether we walked probably 3 or more miles. We wished we had a pedometer because we walked for a long time. Hours! (Activity and exercise doesn't always have to be at a gym. Whew!)

My friend likes to look at things the way I do...look and move on. Sometimes at really special pieces we stopped and studied and read the information, but mostly it was constant movement. I may have wanted to go a bit slower sometimes because of my photography desire, but we did pretty well together.

These are the pictures I took with my iPhone, so they're nothing special and some are just not good, but it will give you an idea of the AMAZING art that was on display downtown...and we only saw a fraction of it! We were blown away by the creativity of these people! 

I will definitely do this again next year like we did this year...the day after the winner is announced! The crowds and traffic were SO much better than the day last week I needed to be downtown.

(Please follow these links for better pictures and a description of the artist and their work! And as always, click on the picture to enlarge the view. While I took these pictures, the material is certainly copyrighted by the artists.)

Click on the venue name to see more art and artists! SO much to see!

Venue: The B.O.B.
We started at this building, The B.O.B. (Big Old Building). It houses bars and restaurants and is a block or two from Van Andel Arena where there are many concerts, conferences, sports and events, so it's always packed with people wanting to eat. I've never been there but after this trip I may go back for food. One of the restaurants smelled AMAZING like pizza! And the old-fashioned architecture inside was gorgeous!

I SO wish this "Glitter Girl" had turned out better. It was made with little tiny plastic, colored sequins and pins. No paint! (Watch the video! Wow!)

I also wish I had taken a picture of the larger art piece here. It was leaves that were painted with acrylic paint. The piece was probably 6' x 12'? Massive and beautiful! (Sadly, I can't find a link for this artist.)

Blurry picture but incredible painting! "Aspen Forest"

"The Stories We Tell" There were 5 or 6 of these paintings of people's faces. From a distance they are beautiful....but....look close. The lines on their faces told their story! Who thinks of this stuff?! This was one of my favorites and definitely one I'll remember.

This was for my dad. It's from a larger group of pictures (see the next one) of icons and architecture from around Grand Rapids. My dad LOVED Red Lion chili dogs. (They're no longer in business.) He went there often as a teenager and raised my brother and I on them too. Now I live by an onion farm and when I drive by it smells like chili dogs to me and reminds me of times spent in the booth at Red Lion with my family...and Dad stealing french fries off my plate!

The larger piece of "Reflections of Grand Rapids".

"Under Construction" During the competition there were 3 guys as part of this display. Friday, this one was by himself. Look's a live person! These guys stood for hours and days without moving! We watched him for awhile and we didn't see him blink, swallow, breathe or move in any way. It was unbelievable! And I know he's alive because I saw him be interviewed on the news in his makeup. Kinda creepy! But they won 9th place! (Check the link for more pictures.)

"This is Michigan" I wish this had turned out better. It was pictures on bare aluminum and was SO beautiful!

My friend, Christi Jirinec, made these paper mache ladies. They were sitting on a bench at the bank. It was fun to watch people have their pictures taken with them and listen to comments. Because we KNOW her! 

One had a Bible, the other a magazine reading about grandmothers. Cute!

"You Are Your Dreams" Each one was about 5' x 3'.
There were bears in the water at the Ford Presidential Museum, and more than just these. Some of the "Grizzlies on the Ford" had fish in their mouths. Very cool. These bears, made out of wood, won 6th place.

This wasn't part of Art Prize, but since I was at the Ford Museum, why not?

There was a companion painting to this one. "Waterfalls of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore". I thought these were so incredible. Look at that detail! 

Again, not part of Art Prize, but why pass up a chance to take a picture of a piece of the Berlin Wall that's housed in my 'backyard'? It was just as moving as some of the art we saw.

This was one of those times when my friend was on the move, so I didn't get a good shot of this. "Lady of Dance" was made out of plaster and hand-done. It was so pretty and we could just feel the movement.

"Rain" won 3rd place. Honestly, it was one of those that I didn't 'get'. It was cool, but there were other pieces I found much more intricate. These were little gold polyester film squares and put together with fish line and hung from the ceiling. It was tall, ten feet. And square, each side was also 10 feet. It slowly rotated and it made me dizzy to look at. Nice, but not my favorite.

"Fire in the Belly of the Stricken Marquessa" To me, this was much more amazing. It was a painting - and look at those amazing colors! 

"Branches" See the description in the next picture of how this was made.!

So there it is, just a VERY few of the tons of things we saw. There are a few things I wish I had taken pictures of and didn't, like "Joy", which actually looked much prettier in person or this one, "The Painted Laugh". Or "The Tempest II", which won 7th place.

Please check out the website for Art Prize! You'll see some of the other amazing pieces that placed in the top 10 along with some other awards. And the piece that won is SO beautiful! It was commissioned for a Catholic church in California but the building was put on hold, so the artist entered it and won! It's amazing!

If you live in West Michigan, have you been to Art Prize? What are some of your favorite pieces? Are you gifted in art? I'm not, unless you count stick people! (I'll stick to cooking!)

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