Walk With Me

September 29, 2014

Currently, Grand Rapids is hosting an amazing, annual event called Art Prize. Art takes over the city, and they have some insane (300+) pieces of art of all kinds, sizes, etc etc. I'm not very art literate, but even I know it's cool. So on the (potentially) last nice day of summfall, I chose to walk to class and pop into every Art Prize venue I passed.

If you had taken a walk with me, these are what I would have pointed out as my favorites.

1. #56820 
I just love all things abstract and bright. This artist did a great job of explaining (and showing) why red is such a powerful color in Chinese culture. Red represents the warmth of human relationships, pulling you together while also pulling you up in excitement.

2. UPWARD
This might be my favorite. This artist works with inner city kids in a local nonprofit. She asked them to write down what inspires them to ruse above their circumstances, reach upward. The envelopes are arranged in an arrow mosaic to represent the message of rising UPWARD, and it's interactive so visitors can pull out the stories and read them. It was really touching.


3. WE ALL LIVE IN GAZA
I don't have photos of this one because honestly it was so large and so emotional, I didn't really know how to capture it on my phone. The man who put this together lived in Gaza as the only Western journalist for three years. He reconstructed a war zone in the upper level of a church, so when you walk in all the light is immediately shut out. There are concrete and plywood fragments jutting out in all angles, and then mounted onto them are captivating, illuminated portraits of individuals who live in Gaza.  It also has multimedia elements in different stations showing interviews from Gaza residents and videos of daily life. His goal is to show that amidst all this war, there is immense beauty and strength in these people -- people who just dream of an ordinary day and ordinary life.


4. JUST LISTENING
This one depicts Lady Liberty as the National Security Administration, and is created to showcase the tension between civil liberty and civil protection. The globe she is holding has an iPad which flashes tweets that are tagged by NSA keywords. 

What piece of art sounds most interesting to you? 
Does your city have a similar art festival?

6 comments:

  1. What an amazing event, I love art features and installations like this. I love the envelopes with the messages from kids inside, so uplifting and inspiring!

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  2. Those envelopes are my favorite as well!

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  3. I love the Upward piece. That's so cool that you got to see that. What a great way to walk to class!

    Kate

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  4. That sounds so amazing. It makes me realize that I really need to do more to get out and experience the art in my community.

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Hayley Larue Design