Sunday, September 27, 2009

Art Prize

I live on the outskirts of Grand Rapids, Michigan where there is a fun international art competition going on. There are 1,262 artists from 15 countries competing for $449,000, in 159 areas around the city. The winners are going to be decided by the public who can vote thumbs up or down for the different art work.
A friend and I spent the day, Friday walking around the city and checking out many of different art works.
There were pieces that were serious, whimsical things, odd things and a few that made no sense (at least to us), but we had fun although our legs were tired by the end of the day!
I'm sharing a few pictures so you can get an idea of what it was like.

This was where we started our day. I took this picture from the parking ramp so you could see this tall piece. The artist who made this one is living on top of it. He arrived on September 23 and will stay up there until October 6, when he will be jumping from it. Yes - I thought this one was a little odd!

Grand Rapids is known as the Furniture City because of all the furniture it made in the 1900's. This table and chair is titled "The Furniture City sets the Table for the World of Art". It's hard to see the size of it on this picture, but it is set on top of a bridge and is 28 by 30 feet. It's even painted underneath because you can see that part when you walk under it on the bridge.

This is the same table and chairs, seen at night. Everything is lit at night for a whole new look. I got this photo from my friend Kim, at Scattered Stones who enjoyed an evening look at the art. Thanks Kim!

This is a close up of a bench, that is made of many different types of wood and was really beautiful.

This piece is called "Wind Dancer" and moves freely with any little breeze.

I don't know the name of this one, but it's about 12 feet tall and was very intricately carved.

This picture doesn't do this one justice. This large mural was made up of numerous small pictures. There was a little girl you could find in several places in the mural.

Another neat sculpture.

This one is made of lots of different things. Recycling at it's best! There are ski's, headlights, tail lights and several other things in it.

This tribute to 9/11 was painted on the hood of a truck.

This is "The Grand Dancers". It is in the middle of the Grand River and it moves and spins in the wind.

This one is called "Stomp". It's about 16 feet tall.

Look at this giant bench! My friend Lori looks like a kid sitting on it!

Another unique one. This is the Beerhorst Family Wonder Wagon. It looks like an old gypsy wagon. It was covered with different things on the outside and had paintings inside.

The kids were enjoying this one. Vincent VanRat is the title of this one - and he is working on a masterpiece! After we were there, they let kids paint him, so by evening he was multi-colored.

This is "Car Chase". It's an old Hudsen, being chased by some flying white things! There was crumbled asphalt around it to make it look like it crashed into the parking lot.

I though this was pretty cute. It's called "Let Treedom Ring". Each tree in this ring, had arms and was wearing a hat or doing something. The center one is spinning a hula hoop!

This moose was amazing. He is made of nails!

Here is a favorite. This is "Nessie", Grand Rapids own Loch Ness Monster.

This one was getting a lot of attention too. This isn't a statue - it's a man pretending to be a statue. He scared several people while we were there. He would stand completely still and then wink or suddenly move which was pretty surprising to people!

This is the first year this was done, but it's gotten such a good response that they say it will be back. We certainly had fun!


The Stylish House said...

Hi Mari,
This art show is filled with such interesting pieces! I loved visiting Grand Rapids when my DD went to school at GVS, so this looks familiar. One year she lived in the historic district across from a B&B called Peaches. Thanks for sharing.

The Stylish House said...

P.S. My DH enjoying seeing this such amazing pieces. How the heck is that chair and table mounted on top of that bridge? It must have been a challenge getting it up there.

Pat said...

How fun! I've never seen such a wide variety of exhibits, I love the Loch Ness Monster!

Kayren said...

That's a lot of money! Does one person win all of it?

Okay, the nail moose is cool, and your friend on the bench reminds me of the girl that used to be on Laugh-In (?) that sat in the big rocking chair. I think my favorite though is the chair and table on top of the bridge, although the simplicity of stomp runs a pretty close second.

Heidi said...

I can't wait to go down there and see all of this. We're going this week. I mentioned this exhibit on my blog post tonight too and the fact that I couldn't go today. Bummer.

You got some great shots of the art!

Bonnie said...

Wow ... This is really cool Mari ! I clicked on lots of the photos to make them larger and could see so much more of the detail. Especially in the mural one ...

So, that artist that is living on top of his artwork ... does he come down at all ? Or is there some sort of porta potty on top of that thing ?

A Captured Reflection said...

Wow, these are really amazing, so creative and different and fun. I particularly liked the mouse one.

Praise and Coffee said...

Oh how fun! My son went, but I have to get up there too. :)

Mary Lee said...

My favorites: Stomp and Wind Dancer. They are all some amazing pieces of art, thanks for sharing!

Perri said...

I love the wooden bench, but I bet it's too simple to win. The mouse IS amazing. I enlarged it to see the detail. I like the wind dancer one as well. Pretty cool stuff.

Rebekah said...

How very cool. I bet that was a fun and interesting day.

Terri said...

Oh it sure looks fun. I wish I had a chance to get down there and look.

Brooke said...

i am constantly amazed by people's creativity!

Betty W said...

Wow! That was interesting! I would love to see these things in person. What happens with the winners "art"? Does it get displayed in the city in some special place?

Heart2Heart said...


Hard to pick just which one is my favorite out of all the ones you have captured here. I love the wind dancer sculptures and the one with the white car is classic too!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Just Mom said...

Oh, how fun!

I love the table and chairs on the bridge.

septembermom said...

So many interesting art pieces to look at! I think that the big bench is cool. I think I would feel like Alice in Wonderland on that bench. All great pieces!

Heather C said...

I love the wooden bench -- so beautiful!

A Captured Reflection said...

Thanks for your comment on my being real post...yes you hit the nail on the head...not falling into being negative which just spreads more negativity and also the issue of wisdom and boundaries in sharing and the media used. I want to find that balance between honest sharing that encourages and gets people going in the right direction.

Cherdecor said...

This was an amazing show! I would like to be there when the man living on top of his project, jumps. Well, maybe not. I would like to know how he does it.

Melissa said...

It looks really neat!
I think Mike and I have plans to go on Saturday after he gets out of work! We are both looking forward to it! Seeing the pictures makes me even more excited to go!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Oh it was fun! We hope to go downtown again before it's done. We only saw maybe 1/4 of it all!

susan hong-sammons said...

Hello Mari,
I'm so glad I found your blog. I have a painting in ArtPrize but learned more about the exhibition from your blog. I love Grand Rapids!!! I think this show is a wonderful way to introduce new faces to your city and get everyone out enjoying a huge variety of "art."

Lynn said...

Wow, thanks for the art tour. I loved the bench made out of many types of wood, and the table and chairs (must be really cool at night), and the moose...another favorite.