Grand Rapids Art Prize | The Geneva Convention: Grand Rapids Art Prize

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Grand Rapids Art Prize

I just got back from a busy weekend in Grand Rapids -- we did and saw so much it's difficult to believe we fit it into only three days! I have a lot to post about, but I'm going to start with the one thing that we devoted some time to on each of the three days: Art Prize!

Sadly, Art Prize is now over, but we got to see some amazing pieces, and I even got photos of a few of them. We started in the DeVos center on Friday evening, where I didn't bring my camera along. I saw a few that I really wish I could have captured, but I still have plenty to show you here! We had no shortage of beautiful art at the Amway Grand Plaza, UICA, Kendall College, and Meijer Gardens.

Double ondAnomala by Michele Ciribifera

Double ondAnomala by Michele Ciribifera

Gabriella by Armin Mersmann

Gabriella by Armin Mersmann

Spiral Helix by Alyson Shotz

Spiral Helix by Alyson Shotz

Weeping Willow by Joseph Krajkiewcz

Weeping Willow by Joseph Krajkiewcz

You Have Options by Christopher Yockey

You Have Options by Christopher Yockey

There were so many amazing and creative pieces from all over the world. I think there were literally thousands of entries this year -- you'd have to spend every day of Art Prize looking for them to see them all! The aesthete in me typically enjoys the pretty pieces, but in the end, I really loved a lot of the more political art we saw, including Live Free or Die, a collection of images by Dan Tague. I had reblogged them once before on my Tumblr, so it was really amazing to see them in person.

Live Free or Die by Dan Tague at Art Prize

Live Free or Die by Dan Tague at Art PrizeLive Free or Die by Dan Tague at Art Prize

Live Free or Die by Dan Tague at Art Prize

Great as that was, though, I think my absolute favorite piece was also the most controversial in the entire festival: an installation entitled There's Something Happening Here . . . by Henry Brimmer. It was easily the most difficult piece to photograph, but the message it sent was so incredibly powerful. Walking around downtown, you could look overhead and see the silhouettes of armed men on the rooftops.

There's Something Happening Here by Henry Brimmer at Art Prize

The artist feels that there is "No explanation required" and I am inclined to agree. It sent shivers down my spine, but if you're looking for art that sparks debate and has the potential to start dialogue about real issues, you need look no further. I only wish they could stay there as a permanent reminder and call to action.

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