Today, I ventured to downtown Grand Rapids to see some of the entries in this year’s “Art Prize,” an art competition that encourages public interaction .. and voting … to determine who wins the top prize of $250K. Last year’s event brought over 200K people to our city and saw 1700 artists from 21 countries participate. For more visit (http://www.artprize.org/ )
So off I went with my boss; he loves this stuff and, lucky for me, had already scouted out many of the exhibits during my absence last week. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and people – young, old, able and not as much, were out taking in the sights. I stepped aside more than once to let large school groups pass; I slowed as elderly couples lingered a bit longer. I held back so someone could snap a photo and even talked with a few of the artists.
I observed. I wondered. I enjoyed.
Some of the artwork is traditional enough that even I could recognize it as an entry; others were so abstract that I’m pretty sure the artist’s concept blew right past me. That’s OK, I’m no critic. I like what I like and I know others do as well. Some entries were so powerfully done that I left feeling overwhelmed. The talent and passion displayed was … moving.
We were able to view six of the top ten and many others that deserved to be there, in my opinion.
My favorite so far was this one: Mesmer Eyes…a Requiem by Kathy Goodell. “It manipulates optical phenomena, light, transparency, and the oscillating tension between matter and illusion.” – reads the official transcript. All I know is that Mesmer Eyes made me stop in my tracks and stop to take another look. I’m still thinking about it now.
What is Art?
A: It’s whatever we think it is. No wonder people are so excited.