If you’re from West Michigan, you might be sick of hearing about ArtPrize by now. For those of you outside West Michigan, it’s hard to describe the experience.
From the ArtPrize website:
ArtPrize® is a radically open, independently organized international art competition with an unprecedented $200,000 top prize decided entirely by public vote.
For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it’s all free and open to the public.
It’s unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing to the art world and the public alike.
This year it’s from September 18 to October 6. I’m not going to talk about the controversies or “what is art?” For me, it’s best to just put all the debates aside and simply take an afternoon to enjoy the installations. Whether silly or serious, each piece says something different. I don’t consider myself a serious art connosseur, so I usually spend most of my time looking at exhibits that are outside. Plus, it gives me a chance to enjoy the nature found downtown; the river, the trees, the landscaping, the people.
It makes me wish that we had more art all the time, not just one time a year. It creates such a fun atmosphere – walking along a sidewalk becomes an adventure because you never know when you will stumble upon a fun sculpture or sign. People smile. People are patient. Families enjoy spending time together, sharing the wonderment with their children.
For me, that’s what ArtPrize is about.