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ArtPrize and Project 1 - Grand Rapids

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Big articles in today's Free Press. (Front page, above the fold.)

http://www.freep.com/article/20090920/ENT0...ize-competition

We've got highlights:

The first thing you see when you walk into this warehouse garage north of downtown is green plastic sheeting and yellow warning tape hiding a massive construction site with scaffolding peeking out the top. Stroll inside the sanctum and you can't quite believe your eyes: Is that a giant Loch Ness monster?

...

About 160 venues, from museums and art centers to restaurants, design studios, city parks, bridges and a dry cleaner, are displaying a dizzying variety of art. The works are large and small, ambitious and modest, conventional and bizarre, serious and whimsical, weird and wonderful.

...

...artists and venues met on the competition's Web site, hooking up like couples on an online dating service.

...

The major question in the air is whether splashy, immediately accessible public art like Nessie will trump quietly profound works, heady installations or politically charged work such as [brett] Colley's [GVSU art prof] "Meet Your Meat," an environmentalist critique of the beef, poultry and pork industries.

...

...a curator-led team from Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts selected the 78 artists showing at the UICA and the Old Federal Building. On the other hand, the public information officer for the police department, eager to support the city, issued an internal first-come, first-served e-mail solicitation.

...

...New Yorker Jason Hackenwerth has his eyes squarely on the $250,000 top prize as he makes giant insects out of -- wait for it -- thousands of balloons. ... He steps into a wild 10-foot bug costume with a sexually tumescent appendage and explains how assistants will walk the streets in a get-out-the-vote campaign designed to drive viewers to his main installation of a suspended
Scarlet Empress
.

[Veloise believes that refers to a butterfly]

And, as with any newspaper web forum, the reader comments are all over the place.

Edited by Veloise

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Uploaded two videos on The Sharing Tree. One of the kaleidoscope in action and the other of Michael talking to a crowd about the experience with his ArtPrize project. Video of his wife, Colleen talking to a group is uploading now. See them in the ArtPrize '09 set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johne777/sets...57622047180028/

Just had to post this photo as it is just so cool:

3935957390_6d6b429f91.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johne777/3935...57622413264532/

Also check out the Pederson Collaboration (Fiberglass with poetry broadsides) by Ron and Miriam Pederson at Cathedral Square photos that are also in the ArtPrize '09 set. And the growth of the ladders (Looks like he is real low on ladders, needing more donations.) Wow, ArtPrize is just so awesome!

~John

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John, thank you so much for all the great Art Prize photos. I'm a GR expatriate now and I'm bummin' that I don't get to see the first Art Prize, so I'm at least glad I have your pictures to give me a portion of the experience. I've already spent way more time than I should flipping through the Flickr sets - I probably could have written a bestselling novel during that time.

And the same goes for everyone else here taking the time to post their photos. I miss GR and have to live vicariously through Urban Planet. :hi:

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All you ex-pats: jump on a plane, or a bus. Someone on here likely has a bunkroll for you.

Last night I admired the flowers on the JA Building, and I hope that there will be a lot more. (Interesting fact: raw materials are from the cemeteries.)

Yesterday evening I spent some time in Parsley with a front-row seat. Lots of peds and bike traffic up and down MC. Looks like a couple people read the Sunday paper and decided to come check things out.

(hoping that the "other" balloon twister makes up a Venus de Milo street costume)

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I'm going to the WMCAT preview tomorrow, I can't wait to see what is there! Sadly, I missed the UICA preview, but that is on the top of my list! I'm also interested in ActiveSpace, as it is progressing slowly but seems to have a lot of parties. :) Hipsters.

Looking forward to a wonderful week, please post all pics for us to see!

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Pedaled to the GRF to check out the red ball, the kineoscope, and the grass painting (see Bridezilla discussion). Deborah Doering was still painting, using huge stencils and with help from her ol' mom and dad. She mentioned that the wedding will have a clear view from "their" tree, and the area near the stage is squiggle-free. Said that there might be a bit of white-painted grass blades after the mowing.

I told her that she is a class act, and she handed me a card inviting me to a public concert with World music. Sunday, A-N-A Park, 2:30 - 5 pm.

Open to the public, and free.

1253656499.jpg

Edited by Veloise

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I'm officially excited for ArtPrize! I went to the WMCAT party tonight, and it had such a fun energy (and good art!). I plan to register tomorrow night at UICA, so I can finally vote "thumbs up" or "thumbs down". So fun! Good crowd, music and drinks (note to self: bring more cash for bar tickets).

What are you all doing for ArtPrize? I'm organizing an ArtCrawl with several area companies on the 28th (each one picks a bar and a venue- fun!). I'm also hoping to buy a UICA limited edition t-shirt, although I'm worried they're already sold out. Otherwise, my plans are to (hopefully) host some guests the first weekend in October (I'm in Detroit for the first weekend, which is no fun!). I hope everything will stay open until then.

My biggest spots I want to hit are the UICA, WMCAT, the Federal Building (also curated by UICA) and the BOB. Am I misssing a big venue? Any and all input appreciated!!!!

Also, I can't wait to buy my ArtPrize wristband- you get a cool softcover book of the art and a LiveStrong-type bracelet that grants you access to special transportation and tours, as well as special treatment at 22 local merchants! One to note is Schuler's, which is allegedly giving a free cup of coffee to anyone with a bracelet; if that's true, I'm so in.

Hooray for ArtPrize!

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Moi am signed up to volunteer. Thursday is Education Day, with several busloads of schoolkids coming in to be docented at several venues. I can also be found DT in a red shirt on other days.

Planning to participate in the Sunday event on Monroe Ave.

Gonna pass on the wristband thing. I have my own shuttle, and the parking is free.

Here's the shuttle bus route, all 5.49 miles of it.

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/mi/grand...125367647124823

Edited by Veloise

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Is there an opening ceremony? I saw on the ArtPrize website that there is a ArtPrize Opening and Registration Fair but it was kind of vague for what is going to happen other than registering to vote and the Jerry Ross Band playing with food and beverages being served.

Also check out the projection "So Much Water So Close to Home" on the GRAM. It was being shown last night. Heard that it was pretty sweet.

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Is there an opening ceremony? I saw on the ArtPrize website that there is a ArtPrize Opening and Registration Fair but it was kind of vague for what is going to happen other than registering to vote and the Jerry Ross Band playing with food and beverages being served.

Also check out the projection "So Much Water So Close to Home" on the GRAM. It was being shown last night. Heard that it was pretty sweet.

I think there's a somewhat of a kickoff tonight in Lyon Square (where the press conference was).

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I think there's a somewhat of a kickoff tonight in Lyon Square (where the press conference was).

If you go to Lyon Square tonight, then be sure to take the short walk over the bridge to check out the exhibits near the Ford. Scott Hessel's sustainable cinema reel, The Image Mill, is up and running and should be lit at night, too. He's got the zoetrope (original cinema wheel) going using only the waterfall to power the wheel (and the light that is powered by the movement of the wheel).

Learn more about Scott's exhibit and see some terrific short videos on the piece here:

http://www.dshessels.com/projects/Imagemill/image_mill.htm

or here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Hessel...ll/147658943898

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I think there's a somewhat of a kickoff tonight in Lyon Square (where the press conference was).

I would guess so. They had the big banners back up in the Civic Auditorium facade when we went by last night.

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Update on the Fountain Street Church confetti-spewer: every two hours. And the head of our Art Committee told a funny story about being not so quick on the draw in cleaning up the spew; by the time she got to it, it had melted into the gutter. With all the cigarette butts in the street, it's no longer an issue.

Be sure to stop by; there are some incredible works in the Keeler Gallery. Highlights: the best use of little plastic Army guys ever seen, and "An American Family."

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Wow! Just getting back from several hours out and about and I am just stunned at the electricity downtown on a Wednesday night. There had to be 500 people plus in the parking lot of the BOB. Several open galleries on Division were packed. Wow! It is a good day to be a Grand Rapidian!

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I hope the businesses (non-venues) don't keep closing at or before 10 pm for the duration of ArtPrize. I was starving after leaving ActiveSite around 10:30 and NOWHERE was open. I'm almost never one to complain, but I don't get the logic as a business owner. Perhaps they had no clue that so many people would be downtown.

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