My husband and I recently had a date day in Grand Rapids, Mi for the second annual Art Prize. Basically, Art Prize is a very unique art competition where the public is asked to vote for their favorite art exhibits and there are more than $449,000 in prizes up for grabs with $250,000 going to the first place winner.
Last year, I wasn't sure how I felt about the competition it seemed a little like applying "American Idol" logic to the arts and that left me feeling a little unsettled. But if you listen to NPR here in Michigan then you're bound to hear about Art Prize and well, I was intrigued.
I'm so glad that we went. It is an awesome event and it really takes more than a day to appreciate fully. Artwork is on display everywhere... restaurant windows, public fountains, flower gardens...everywhere. Many pieces are very large in scale, some are in your face and some have great big messages, like the exhibit above drawing attention to the lack of drinking water in third world countries.
As someone who has refinished a chair or two, I couldn't help but snap a picture of this artwork.
This beautiful sculpture was made from paper mache.
This unique piece was a dream collection, featuring descriptions of some of the most interesting dreams... the only thing that would have made it more amusing is if there had been a dream expert there interpreting some of them.
Art Prize has completely won me over. After being there, I no longer have qualms about it. It was great to see masses of people looking at artwork on public streets. People of all ages interacting with artwork and looks of wonderment on peoples faces. Yeah, it's that good.
Quite simply, the pros outweigh the cons.
It goes on through Oct. 10 and it's worth a drive. I'd like to go back and take my son to see some of the exhibits too, but I'm not sure if there's time for that, but I plan on marking my calendar for next year's event.