Saturday, October 8, 2011

ArtPrize - without triplets and without voting

Thanks to my lovely teen Lotte who babysat the triplets during their long afternoon nap today, Tripped Up Daddy and I were finally able to attend ArtPrize, a radically open art competition, during its last weekend. Voting was over for the contest, the winners already selected, so we were just there to view and enjoy art. We wanted to see the top winner's piece (which I did find a little underwhelming, personally) and beyond that, took everything else as it came. We took a lovely walk through a sculpture area and toured three separate venues while we were there. I must admit, doing ArtPrize without the triplets in tow was a little bit like heaven. Imagine our first year visiting in its inaugural year with a triplet stroller - we actually did make it into about 2 indoor venues, the rest, well it was mostly seeing the sculptures. Last year, slightly better, 3 umbrella strollers, but the opportunity to linger at a piece and wander at will was so very nice today.

Look closely, you'll see his story
My favorite of the day was a series of portraits of older people by Lauren Taylor, portraits that were detailed with words written into the wrinkles and details of the people's faces. The words were their stories from their own interview with the artist. The artist also presented the transcript of the interview along with each portrait. I guess as a writer it's not surprising I would be impressed with this way of merging life, art, stories and people together.

Just yesterday I was afraid I wouldn't even get to attend ArtPrize at all, and for an art-loving, creative person living in West Michigan, that's a bit unthinkable. So I'm pleased we were able to attend at all. It was fine not being part of the voting this year too. It simply made it about the art, and I guess I didn't care so much about everything else. I did enjoy seeing Rain, found the recreation of President Ford a little eerie, shook my head a bit at Rusty, greatly admired Mantis Dreaming and, as always, stood in awe of what Tracy Van Duinen produced.

 I mentioned that I might actually put up some photos from last year that were still on my phone and indeed I did download a few. I don't remember the artist or exactly what the piece was supposed to present. I just remember being impressed and stopping to enjoy and to think. I felt compelled to record the moment with a photo. The emotion captured on both of these figures was intriguing to me. Again the last two are from ArtPrize 2010 - yet apparently still hold my interest.

I'm grateful for ArtPrize and the entry point it provides for many of my neighbors into art. I'm excited that Lotte is actually considering creating some of her own artwork to enter into the competition next year. I hope you have an ArtPrize type of catalyst in your home that launches you into the conversation of art and creativity too.

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