ArtPrize is absolutely wonderful. Seriously. What is it, you ask? It's the largest art prize in the world. Artists from all over the world are flocking to Grand Rapids to display their art to win the grand prize of $250,000 (or other huge money prizes!) There is no one judge; you are the judge. Everyone can sign up online or at the library to vote for their favorites (thumbs up or down). It's going on from September 23 to October 10.
Grand Rapids right now is a changed city. There are people at the cross paths, people in the restaurants, lines out the door at the coffee shops, people everywhere. It feels like an actual city, not a ghost town. It's so insane! And amazing. Seriously I've never been more proud of Grand Rapids for putting on something so great. I'm so proud to go to an art college downtown, and see all the art that is being displayed in our city. Amazing.
We went inside the old art museum (across the street from Kendall), and it was open to the public for a ton of ArtPrize entries. So, so, so many pieces. Honestly. These metal sticks moved and swayed. If you stood in front of them with the painting in the background, it was like beach grass swaying in the wind. Seriously; where do people come up with this stuff?!
Kendall has so much amazing work being displayed there. If they don't leave this bike stand up permanently, I'll seriously be mad because it's so fun and functional!
On Monroe Center, there were tons of businesses open, so you could go inside and view their work. It was so awesome to go inside some buildings I've never been in before. Grand Rapids is a hidden gem in this world. So many venues, businesses and art spots were stunning.
We went outside The Bob which is a hoppin' bar and restaurant. There was this huge piece of art where you can take part. There was a sign saying "share your dream" with pens available. We proceeded to walk along the blue bridge crossing Grand River. There is a huge table and chairs on top of the bridge, and then you heard lochness monster sounds coming from huge speakers under the bridge; then there she was. Nessie; the lochness sea monster. It was my FAVORITE. They seriously need to build Nessie permanently in the Grand River, because this was just awesome! I stared at it for like a good 10 minutes just in awe. Brett and I absolutely loved it.
As it started to get dark, we walked through the Gerald Ford museum, lots of art being displayed in and around the museum. Also explored the Amway Grand Hotel (so fancy pants!) and all of the art there. Art, art, art, art everywhere in every venue!
Seriously? Perfection. I'm praying to God this is annual. Plans are in progress to do the event again in 2010, which is amazing. I plan on being here; I pray I can find a job here. Grand Rapids is on the up and up, and it's perfect. What a great little city in a great state. I hope we become the art capital of the world.. well you know, besides Paris ;) It drew so many people from everywhere, to our little city in Michigan, and brought so much money and value to the area. All of the businesses are packed, people on the streets, having an amazing time. Love, love, love it.