On Saturday, I drove up to Grand Rapids to take in ArtPrize (and a bit more, besides!)
I know I won't be able to describe the ArtPrize concept and experience adequately. . . but I'll try to, at least, whet your appetite. ArtPrize is a huge international art competition held each fall in Grand Rapids. This year (the 6th) included over 1500 artists -- all competing for significant cash prizes awarded after a public vote and juror selection.
ArtPrize, though, is so much more than that! ArtPrize invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art. It gets people out -- experiencing art and talking about art. Basically, ArtPrize makes the visual arts accessible to everyone!
(Read more about ArtPrize here. And, while you're at it, check out this year's winning entries.)
ArtPrize is really . . . all about pushing boundaries . . . through art.
I saw color and texture everywhere . . . in gorgeous textile pieces . . .
and with unusual and surprising materials . . . like whole crayons!
Some installations I saw made a point about social issues . . .
While others . . . stopped me in my tracks and made me gasp! (These seemingly random, hanging guns formed this familiar shape at a particular viewing angle. . . )
Some, like the Great Wall of Bees, challenged the notion of what constitutes "art" . . .
And some helped us all see the "art" in the ordinary, everyday-ness . . . of hair styles.
(This installation was one of the winning entries. It was awesome - and my photos just can't do it justice.)
Some pieces resonated with their simplicity . . .
And others by reaching my soul.
But, I'll admit. There was one collection I was most interested in seeing. Up close. In person.
You may recognize the work of Lee (Rusty) Mothes from Vicki's blog. It is incredible! Truly.* (These amazing waves are beautifully rendered in pencil. So. Cool.)
Yes, I was privileged to share my ArtPrize experience with Vicki, Rusty, and Kate.
It was great to be able to meet Vicki -- and even more special to be included in her family for the day!
My ArtPrize experience . . . was made all the richer by spending it with some very special people!
* Rusty was in the Top 25 in his category (2-dimensional) for the entire duration of ArtPrize!