This past weekend I went to Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Art prize is a competition for artists that allows them to display their work throughout Grand Rapids for voters to vote on the best piece. The voters are actually anyone who comes and looks at the art and texts their vote in, although judges come determine their top picks. The overall winner gets a cash prize, however there are winners for different categories (i.g. 2-D, 3-D, and etc.), and the winners in each of the categories also receive a cash prize. I never had the chance to see Art Prize, although I’ve lived in Michigan all my life, but I am very happy I decided to head up for it this year. Trust me, by no means am I an artist, but you don’t have to be an artist to appreciate the art work. All kinds of people come out to walk around Grand Rapids and check it out. There is such a wide variety of work submitted every year that everyone’s tastes and styles can be accounted for when you go with a group. I brought one of my best friends up with me and met up with my older siblings in GR, and we all had a good time.
Since I can’t do the artwork justice by just describing some of the amazing pieces I saw, I will only touch briefly on a few of my favorite pieces, but I will attach a link at the bottom so you can see for yourself some of the artwork for Art Prize 2014. I will attach some of my favorite pieces below each brief description, so take a look!
Honestly, it’s really impossible for me to pick just one piece that was my absolute favorite-so I have a few. One piece in particular was that of an oil painting of a Cambodian girl crying called ‘Outcry’. The artist knows this girl, who has been through hardships I can’t even imagine-so you should definitely check out her story! What really struck me about this painting was that through the realistic appearance of this painting ( I first thought it was a photo), the emotions of the girl were beyond powerful and capturing. You could just see how people were pulled in by the painting. For this reason, and for the story behind the painting, I think I would put this in my top 10. Below, you can check out what it looked like as it was a work still in progress.
Another piece I really enjoyed was ‘The Pond’, which was a wooden sculpture of a pond. It display a moment in time paused, with raindrops descending toward the pond (suspended by clear thread) and the pond showed raindrops that have already sunken in or are just hitting the surface. The detail is just amazing and breathtaking, but much more so when seen in person.
‘Gabriella’ was another favorite of mine. Gabriella is an entirely pencil drawn picture of a girl named Gabriella. It displays a girl with a very youthful look and draws you in by her clear, bright eyes. The texture and fine detail of her corkscrew curls just make you stare in awe, and overall the complexity of the piece took the artist over 900 hours.
“Looking for Alice” was one my favorite 3-D pieces apart from “The pond”. This piece was constructed entirely of different metal parts and displayed the Mad Hatter on a three-wheeler bike. The artist carefully made the piece so that when you spun the front wheel, it made the Mad Hatter begin to pedal,which in turn worked intricate metal parts within his body until it reached even his heart (visible to viewers).
There are still so many other pieces that I didn’t even mention, so I highly encourage you to check it out-especially if you love art!. If you do happen to make it up one year, you may want to devote an entire day or weekend if you hope to see all the pieces ( I spent a few hours down there and wasn’t able to see everything).
Check out more artwork in this year’s Art Prize by visiting the link below: