31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

The swirling Halloween spirits and my secret agent gene had my my creativity bubbling this week. I wanted an easy costume to pull together since I wasn't even sure what I'd be doing. The idea to be Amelie hit me mid week. I love the movie Amelie, it's probably my favorite in terms of the story and the cinematography and Audrey Tautou is just too cute.

I stopped into a local Halloween pop up store after work on Friday saying, "if I find the right wig for Amelie, I'll pursue the rest of the costume." After navigating the packed parking lot, I walked right into the store and the second wig I saw was perfect. And so it began.

Next stop, Goodwill for some costume hunting! I found everything I needed - a black silk skirt with a small white circle print, a dark red top with a lace up detail and a pair of Doc Marten's. The skirt needed to be shortened. My trusty fabric scissors took care of that - I didn't take the time to hem. Although the Docs were the right size, they were brown, so I had to take some black shoe polish to them to turn them black and change out the laces. I don't think Amelie's were Docs, but they are very close.

Wig styling happened on Saturday morning. The unfortunate thing about synthetic wigs - you can't use heat to style them! I did a quick hair cut to get it more Amelie-length. I was a little worried about how sleek the wig looked-more 20's flapper than I wanted. I needed a little unruly-ness. I used some Aveda Sap Moss Styling Spray (did not know that it's no longer available!) to set a few sections in rollers for the day. When I removed the rollers, and sprayed the heck out of it with AirControl hair spray, I got the look I was hoping for.

I added a little jacket and black socks that I already had and bought a gnome to carry with me. From an authenticity standpoint, I would have liked to paint the gnome (green shirt, red pants) or find one that is exactly like the movie, but what can you do on short notice?

I stopped by my mom's prior to heading out then met up with my friend A and her friend M. We hit the West Side of Grand Rapids for a fun party featuring the bands the Concussions & Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys.

There were some great costumes! An Edward Scissorhands, Dwight Schrute, Sasquatch, a really good Captain Jack Sparrow, complete with beard braids. Delilah and her band were dressed in Amish garb. They guys even seemed to have real Amish-style beards. That's commitment to a costume! Costumes are standard whenever the Concussions play, they wore glow in the dark skeleton suits with skull masks.

I questioned when I was putting the costume together if people would know who I was supposed to be or if I'd just look a girl carrying a gnome. Sasquatch knew who I was. So did a friend that I used to work with, but I was met with question marks by almost everyone else. I even had someone I haven't seen in forever know who I really was. Well, hopefully, everyone who didn't know Amelie will find her on NetFlix and watch the movie so it can become their favorite movie too! I had fun, and that's all that matters when it comes to dressing up for Halloween!

Hope you have a great time today!

30 October 2010

Random Assortment

Wilfred Brimley is only 76 years old. The dude was old back when I was a kid. Somehow we were talking about him at work and everyone guessed he was older than that - mid 80s or "125" were the answers.


Our snack box at work was replenished yesterday. It's a copy paper box filled to the brim with mini candy bars, fruit snacks, tootsie pops, combos, and the most exciting additions with the refill - pudding snack cups and oreos! Plus, we have immediate refill capabilities, extras are stored in a nearby closed - marked "historical documents"!


I don't have any definite plans for Halloween, but bought a wig after work yesterday and may just dress up and just see where the Halloween Spirits take me. A few friends are doing stuff that I could tag along for...I just feel like dressing up it appeals to my secret agent gene. I don't really care where I go! Are you dressing up?


Speaking of Halloween. I made cupcakes for the kids at work and we're such a skeleton crew right now with two people on maternity leave and having two other empty positions that I actually brought cupcakes home! That was not my idea when I was baking. I like to bake, maybe eat one of what I bake and then be done with it!


My headache yesterday and it feels like it's there again today may be directly related to my sugar consumption. Darn sugar! It's so good, but so bad for me!


When I was walking out of work last night someone was walking in with their two cutie kids who were in costume. The little girl dressed as a witch, complete with green skin, reminded me of dressing up as a witch a few years in a row when I was younger. I had a simple brown (I think) dress and had a green witch mask complete with crazy black and gray curly hair. I carried an old lady's hand bag for all my trick or treat candy. That's the only costume I vividly remember. I wish I could remember more of them. What was your favorite halloween costume when you were young?


My brother posted something about the show Kids In the Hall on my FB wall late last night. That lead to me digging through youtube videos that I could post back on his wall. Here's my favorite one:

24 October 2010


Imagine having a party and being able to transform the venue anyway you wish because after the party, much of the venue is going to be demolished and reconstructed. That was pretty much the idea behind Site:Lab Friday evening. The former home to Network 180 Community Mental Health has been empty for a year or so. LaFontsee Galleries is going to make the site at 833 Lake Drive SE their new home come Spring 2011.

Before transforming the space into their new digs, LaFontsee and Site:Lab collaborators invited artists from all over to use the building for installation artwork. One. Night. Only. There were mad tweets and updates to the Site:Lab facebook leading up to Friday night, getting the word out. It worked. People (including yours truly) turned out in droves. We experienced Site:Lab and then, boom! What you see below disappears to make way for the new LaFontsee Galleries!

The art itself was interesting. Some of it really played with the history of the building as a mental health care facility, some had a definite deconstruction vibe - to the point of inviting people to participate in the demolition. Some seemed to have no real connection to the space, but I'm sure if there had been artist statements along with the art, it would have tied in on some level. I was fascinated by the show as a whole, spending nearly two hours roaming the two floors - 24,000 square feet of art!

I love that Grand Rapids has people who put on such events. All in the name of art and bringing people together to enjoy it! Bravo and well done!

23 October 2010


After a few days of feeling a bit out of sorts after my race, I'm feeling better and looking forward to getting back to the gym. What did it take to get out of the funk? Time, sleep, and having an appreciation the simple goodness in my life right now. Here's a small sampling:

Seeing some local art last night. Blog post about Site_Lab is in the works. Will hopefully post tomorrow.

Eating melty ice cream.

New shorts for running! I finally found and ordered a couple pairs of my favorite running shorts. They arrived in the mail today and I can't wait to work out/run in them.

Saucony PE Revival Shorts. The front two are new, the back pair are my original pair.

Playing with the cats. And the fact that they're using their little kitten beds on the regular.

Did I mention eating ice cream?

Project Runway. I was sad that Michael Costello did not make it to Fashion Week! His "effortless" looks for the mini runway show this week were gorgeous!

Orville Redenbacher Naturals Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper popcorn. Yum!

Cookies from the VW dealer. Perhaps the most expensive "free" cookies around, but they're still enjoyable.

Watching make up tutorial videos by make up artist Kandee Johnson. Here are a few halloween make up vids of hers that are fun: Betty Boop, Queen of Hearts & Edward Scissorhands.

Sleeping in. Going to sleep early. Naps. I've been very serious about sleeping since the race last week and I'm loving it!

Spending time with and/or chatting with my girls.

Winning tickets to see Mason Bates perform his piece Rusty Air in Carolina with the Grand Rapids Symphony.

What kind of simple goodness are you appreciating in your life these days?

19 October 2010

I am S.A.M.

I knew this would happen.

My race was Sunday, bringing my race/training season to an end for the year. So yesterday afternoon it hit me. My friend A called it Sad After Marathon or S.A.M. For me it's not really a sadness, it's just that let down feeling that happens after you put so much energy into something and then it's over. Most people can probably relate to the let down after the holidays or a vacation. It's a similar feeling, except it feels a bit bigger than that right now. I spend 10 months out of the year training for one race or another. It's such a big part of my daily life and it impacts nearly everything I do. And, then...nothing! I feel a little at loose ends.

Until I officially start training again in January for the River Bank Run, I know I'll ease back into a routine that's a little more relaxed - which is not to say that I'm always super regimented about my training, because I'm not. I'll find a balance again that works. I always do. The in between is just strange. I felt more sensitive than usual today - taking things somewhat personally that I normally wouldn't give a second thought to. Wanting things to hurry up and happen, inspiration to strike or wishing that things in my life were different when I'm usually at peace with things, knowing that everything falls into place when the time is right.

I spent 10 months preparing to run these different long distance races, I didn't just get off the couch and run. Life is like that too. Sometimes during the in between times, when it seems like nothing is happening, things really are happening, you just don't know it. It's not until later that you can put all the pieces together - even the in between times - to see everything happens exactly as it should.

17 October 2010

2010 Metro Health Half Marathon

Wow! Another beautiful day for a race! Everything came together without incident for the Grand Rapids Metro Health Half Marathon this morning. I got to sleep last night way earlier than I planned on. Hurray for bonus sleep! I woke up and had plenty of time to eat my pre-race oatmeal, get dressed and relax before A picked me up. The weather was perfect - a little chilly, but nothing like the last two years. I was warm within a mile or so. We parked and got into the YMCA for a quick potty break, some stretching and then we were out the door, headed to the starting chute.

We found our running buddies who were running the full marathon. Their first! The starting gun went off and I never saw any of them again! Not true. I actually saw a couple of them before mile 3, but then I was on my own. I ended up seeing a friend from work just before the 8 mile mark. He was running his first full marathon. He joked that he was questioning his decision to do so. I said, it's not too late to just do the half, the turn off is just ahead! I'm pretty sure he finished the full 26.2 miles as did my other full marathon running pals.

I've had trouble in past races with my knees feeling tight or my hip hurting. I felt great today! I applied Tiger Balm before the race and reapplied with my mobile Tiger Balm just after the 8 mile mark. Overall, it just felt so good to be running - like I was only walking or something, it was cool and probably means I could kick it up a notch so I can get faster!

That is my goal for next year's race season - I want to increase my speed!

I finished the Half Marathon in 2:20:22, two whole minutes faster than I said I would! Pretty psyched about that! I just checked on my times from 2009 and 2008. Last year I finished in 2:19:14 and 2008 was 2:16:37. I can't believe my personal record (PR) for a Half Marathon was in 2008, my very first distance race ever!! I'm getting slower, y'all and that is why I want to work on my speed!

Speed is a big mental game! I want to know I'm going to have enough energy the entire time to finish strong. If I push too hard, I fear burning out or risking injury. But that also keeps me from getting faster. So far, my splits have been pretty steady - 10:25 minute miles in 2008, 10:37 minute miles in 2009 and 10:42 this year. I'd like to see my splits moving away from 11 minute miles though and closer to a solid 10 minute mile!

I'm basically training for one race or another 10 months out of the year and know there are points during that time that I get a slacker attitude and just run to get my miles in and even skip days here and there. When I got my PR, I stuck to my training schedule like glue. There might be something there. I also want do some cross training, so I don't get burnt out and just phone in my runs toward the end of the season.

In all, I had fun training for and running races this season and am already looking forward to next year. I had some gift certificate money with Amazon.com and put it toward two new pairs of my favorite shorts! Crazy tid-bit - when I ordered them this afternoon, they were cheaper! Strange! Glad I ordered when I did so I could stretch that gift certificate money!

16 October 2010

Day Off

In list form here's a look at my day off yesterday:

Slept in.

Mowed lawn. It had been forever.

Brought Italian Motor Friend in for the winter.

Waffled over running two miles. Did not.

Drove to Holland. Admired the contrasting dark clouds and sunshine along the way.

Tried on many clothes I did not buy. Found a couple bargains.

Tried out Uncle Cheetah's Soup Shop. Red Pepper Asiago soup, y'all!

Saw "The Social Network" with A. Admired Zuckerburg's drive, yet felt sorry for him at the same time. Hoping my billion dollar idea will come to me soon!

Did a little citizen police work just before bed. I'll save that story for another post.

All in all, it was another good day!

13 October 2010

Good Wednesday

I know everyone has had one of those days when everything is just off. You might spill something or glob toothpaste on your shirt when you're getting ready in the morning and then the day just goes off the rails from there. Well, today, I had quite the opposite kind of day! Wednesday October 13 was firing on all cylinders and shit, did it feel good!

I had to get up early so I could take my car into the dealer for its 120k tune up. I actually got out of bed, put myself together in a cutie outfit and was out the door before I actually needed to be!

I felt like a celebrity when I got to the car dealer. I've been in there enough over the year that they now recognize me and the car by sight. For the first time ever I was given a loaner car - a black 2010 VW Jetta! Dealer Dude asked me why I never got a loaner before and I said, maybe because you never asked me if I wanted one! He told me when I picked up my car tonight that next time I schedule for something other than an oil change to request a loaner. Thank you very much for that tip, I think I'll take you up on that!

Got to work early, thanks to Dealer Dude and the loaner Jetta, to find my Buddy Holly look-alike work buddy (he doesn't actually look like Buddy, just the hair and he wears black Ray Ban glasses) brought in Krispy Kreme doughnuts! I enjoyed a scary spider-webby doughnut, that literally came back to haunt me by trying to lull me into a sugar coma during a 10:00 a.m. meeting! I'm totally thinking there must be actual sugar spider venom in the spider-webby doughnuts. Seriously! I hope nobody noticed that I was about to crash.

I came back from my sugar spider induced coma meeting to find an email telling me I'd won a t-shirt from commenting on an IWearYourShirt.com blog post a while back. Love what IWYS is doing in terms of social marketing. Have you heard about the IWYS and the Nissan Juke? Fast Company has! I first heard of the Juke through IWYS!

Lunch was a scheduled outing with the boss and the small crew that happened to be in the office. Sushi on the company! Hello!

Mid afternoon, a coworker from another department walked through our department handing out home made ice cream sandwiches. Guess she had a surplus she needed to divest. We were happy to help out. It was so tasty! More sugar though...ugh!

The VW came back with a clean bill of health - they didn't find anything extra that needed attention, which is always nice! Dealer Dude pulled the car around for me like valet parking and I was on my way home!

11 October 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Quick, think of two things that go so magically well together, you wonder sometimes why anyone would want to deprive the world of their awesome togetherness! Diet Coke and Tabasco Cheez Nips? Mmm...just me on that one? Cool Whip and Ritz Crackers? A new late night in-a-pinch-for-a-sweet-treat discovery. Salty+sweet=goodness! Peanut butter and jelly? There's a solid choice! Chocolate and peanut butter? Classic!

I thought I might get you on the chocolate and peanut butter. If I did, I've got quite the recipe for you. My aunt has been making these chocolate peanut butter bars for as long as I can remember. They are so good and hard to resist! She doesn't even need the recipe! She can make them from memory, she's made them so many times!

Aunty G's Peanut Butter Bars
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips melted

Mix graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Add melted butter and then mix in peanut butter. Pat into a 9"x13" pan. Spread the melted chocolate chips over the top and let set.

The graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. I used the food processor to make my crumbs.

Add melted butter and then mix in peanut butter. I started the mixing by hand, but then invited Sir Mix-Alot to the party. It goes a lot quicker, so if you have a mixer, you may want to put it to use.

This is how it should look once the graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, melted butter and peanut butter are all mixed together.

Press the peanut butter mixture into the pan - I used my hands. Do what what you must to get it into the pan and then pour the melted chocolate over and spread it evenly to cover.
Et voila, a delicious treat to share!

I will warn you, do try to share these bad boys - bring them to work, a pot luck, a dinner party, or a bake sale - the last thing you want to do is eat too many of them on your own. Trust me, I speak from experience, they're rich. You risk burning out on them if you do over do it. You've just been given a very tasty recipe, use it wisely and you will enjoy making and sharing these bars for years to come!

10 October 2010

After ArtPrize

Dear Weekend after ArtPrize,

I had a fantastic time being able to do real life things the past couple days. While I adored all that was ArtPrize, extra time for real life things was at an all time premium. Lack of sleep and a house that looked like a tornado had hit were the two main side effects. I know you were still going strong until tonight at 6:00 p.m., but I needed some me time.

This weekend was the best, simply because I chose to enjoy everything I did - even though it was pretty standard stuff.

Because I've been so tired, I did NOT want to get up early Saturday morning to run, but had already committed to a long run with my running buds at 8:00 a.m. That meant getting up at 6:30 a.m. As is usually the case though, it was good time. We managed to start an hour before the Run through the Rapids, but finished our run just as they were coming in. Snacks and water were plentiful. We joked about becoming race crashers on the regular, scheduling our long runs near races to partake in the snacks at the finish.

I got a bunch of errands done after my run and then had a message from Two Adults wondering if I'd want to come over. Would I? Ended up having the best day/evening ever over at her house. Our friend A was there too. I tell you, it was all about enjoying friends, laughing, playing with her kidlets (one awesome moment was when her son asked me, "what's on your teeth?" as he noticed my braces) and relaxing! I actually said out loud, "this is the best day ever. I got in a run, I ran errands, and now I'm here with you guys and the kids and there's TV, we had pizza, and there's carpet!" Dude, you don't even know, I was sprawled out on their living room floor basking in all the carpeted goodness. It's all hardwood floors and no cable at Maison de Starr Fish. Two's husband T even went out to get key lime pie for all of us. It so felt like I was on mini vacation.

Today I got to sleep in. What a treat! Then I actually had the time and energy to clean Maison de Starr Fish. The cats are not earning their keep, even though I ask them all the time when they're going to clean the house. The house looks great and I love starting the week with everything fresh and clean. Yeah, so anyway, tonight was more friends - standard Book Club dinner minus a few Book Clubbers and the book. One of these days we'll actually read the book and discuss. Everyone is so busy though...sometimes we can't even all get together!

I got to video chat with my younger brother just now. Always good to catch up! No baby niece though - she's being an international traveler with her mama!

Did I mention that it's been in the mid to high 70's and sunny all weekend?! Seriously, while driving around today it felt like I was driving around on a movie set, with the some of the leaves changing color and the sunlight just right. It was beautiful! I should have taken pictures, but did not. You'll have paint your own mental picture! Speaking of painting, ArtPrize, I'm looking forward to your visit again next year!

Until then,
*starr fish

P.S. I hope you enjoyed your weekend! What were some of the highlights for you?

08 October 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Day Sixteen, Part Two

Let me begin this post by saying that I was at last year's ArtPrize Winners Announcement and I was thoroughly entertained and surprised at the caliber of the program itself. This year, not so much.

The gig was held in DeVos Place's Grand Ballroom - which was set up to seat 1500 people. Take a look at the photos of the line. I arrived at about 5:50 p.m. almost didn't make it inside! Doors opened at 6:30 p.m. and the show got underway at 7:00 p.m. I was probably six rows from the back, but on the aisle, so I still had a great view.

The view in line, looking behind me.

The view in line, looking toward the entrance to DeVos Place.

There were the obligatory thank you speeches by a few people, whom I should have noted. One was Kate Pew Walters though. They announced the awards for the juried prizes. You can go here for the Grand Rapids Press article that details who won. I was happy that Alex Schweder La's Evaporative Buildings was recognized for the International Award. If you haven't experienced this yet, go check it out while you still can. It's technically at UICA, but you enter the installation on Weston Street.

The New Century Dance Company performing.

The performances this year were what disappointed me. Were it not for being able to scroll through my Twitter feed, reading other attendees' commentary, it would have bordered on painful. Last year the New Century Dance Company wowed me and the rest of the audience with their signature dance moves performed behind a scrim. This year, their performance was a little too Disney for me, with dancing flowers and grasses inspiring an artist. Sorry to have to tell you, but the average age in the room was not four!

After announcing the top three (did not like that I had to go online to find out how the rest of the Top Ten played out, as they did not announce who placed where) they closed the show with a live DJ mixing some radio "hits." Eventually the dancers returned for a performance of the Thriller dance. Seriously? Ugh! Can we talk about context? It had absolutely nothing to do with ArtPrize and they could have at least performed something original, rather than trotting out a dance that everyone and their brother - even Filipino prisoners - has done and uploaded to YouTube! ArtPrize, I already expect more from you! Had I been involved in the planning (hey, there's always next year!) I would have lobbied hard against Thriller.

Chris LaPorte upon receiving his ArtPrize medallion.

Aside from the meh entertainment, the most important moment of the evening was hearing who our ArtPrize 2010 winner was! By now, you've probably read a ton about Chris LaPorte. His life has forever been changed! I'm so happy I was able to be in the room when the announcement was made! Congratulations again to him and every single artist who put their passion on display for the our bit of the world to see.

I have to admit that last night after the announcement I was feeling a bit Christmas-Day-after-all-the-presents-have-been-opened. Happy, yet a little bummed that all the excitement is coming to an end. I've spent the past sixteen days traipsing around town seeing as much art as I possibly could and sharing it with you. My city has been full of people and electricity. A couple got engaged inside Beili Liu's Lure/Wave Lure/Forest installation! Grand Rapids was on the Today show. People are discussing what art is. It's coming to and end and I just want to hang on to all of it! The best I can do is hold on to the inspiration and energy I've felt and do something creative of my own. I'm already looking forward to next year!

Rick DeVos, thank you for sharing your idea for ArtPrize with us! Year Two has been amazingly wonderful!

07 October 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Day Sixteen, The WINNER

Annnnnd the winner of ArtPrize 2010 is.....

Chris LaPorte's Cavalry, American Officers, 1921

Congratulations to Chris and all the other artists who participated! I've known Chris as an acquaintance (friend of a friend) since back in the day. He went to Aquinas College with my one of my very best high school friends. They are still friends today, which is fantastic. This summer R & I happened to catch Chris drawing caricatures at Festival of the Arts. His ArtPrize bio says he's drawn close to 85,000 people in the last 18 years. R & I were lucky enough to have him draw us! Now that he's this year's ArtPrize winner, our chat with him while he was sketching and the finished caricature are all the more cool!

Of the pieces I picked for the#1 spot, Beili Liu's Lure/Forest Lure/Wave came in third. David Sprigg's Vision came in fifth. You can go here for a complete list of how the rest of the finalists shook out.

I was actually present for the big announcement tonight at DeVos Place. It was cool to hear the news firsthand, but the program itself was a bit...meh. I'm hitting the hay early tonight, but will tell you all about it tomorrow, I promise.

How are you feeling about Cavalry as the winner and about how the rest of the finalists stacked up?

06 October 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Day Fifteen, Who Should WIN

Tonight's the night! It all comes down to the votes! I said it the night voting to determine the ArtPrize Top Ten closed and I'm going to say it again tonight, if you are registered to vote and haven't voted yet, please go here to vote for the piece that moved you the most. Did it transport you somewhere else as you viewed it? Did you appreciate the artist's intention, as well as their skill? Is it a completely original artistic vision that could have only come out of one person's mind?

Using all those questions as criteria, I've been on the fence about two pieces. Vision, by David Spriggs and Lure/Wave, Lure/Forest by Beili Liu. Both pieces are unique and I cannot imagine that another artist could have conceived or executed the same idea. They both transported me away from the physical and into this other place where I was enjoying the piece, but didn't feel my physicalness, if that makes sense - something like imagining myself floating within each piece, imagining another world where something as beautiful and poetic is the norm. (Please note, both artist hyperlink above will take you to informative interview clips with each artist filmed by photographer Brian Kelly.)

Lure/Wave Lure/Forest, Beili Liu

Vision, David Spriggs

I've heard and read plenty of discussion in the last few days about who should win ArtPrize, and people's predictions about who will win ArtPrize. I'm hopeful that either Mr. Spriggs or Ms. Liu will be rewarded for their artistic creations. It would mean that the people participating in the ArtPrize voting process recognize contemporary artists with talent, talent that has also been recognized on a national and an international level. Now THAT would be something!

Please weigh your vote carefully. You have until 11:59 p.m. tonight. If you've already voted, you can also change your vote up until that time. (I've voted already, but still may change my vote. Such a tough decision!!) Your vote will help make a statement, not only about the caliber of artists involved and rewarded in ArtPrize, but also about Grand Rapids as a whole.

05 October 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Day Fourteen

Look at me! It's Starr Fish reflected in part of Steven Baibak's Mastadon Vanitas

Oh, hello there. How was your day? It's been another non-stop day for me. So much to do, so much! I'm digging the fact that I'm finally able to sit still in my cozy clothes and I get to put together today's ArtPrize round up for you. It's been one of my favorite things to do lately. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am.

I had a request to photograph a certain piece over at GVSU's Pew Campus - they've got a swarm of outdoor art and sculpture. Most of what I've been showing you has been indoors, so I thought I'd head over there while I still had some good light. It was a beautiful fall day today and the sunlight when I was visiting these pieces was delicious! The whole visit actually was a feast for the senses, a passing train was my soundtrack. The air was crisp smelling and the sunlight was fading, yet still a touch warm. All I needed was a yummy snack!

(detail) Tornado Series #17, Kenneth Foster

Death of Venus, Roger Reutimann

Strong Woman, Jason Quigno
Starburst, Tom Holmes

Magela-S, Cyril Lixenberg

Tomorrow is our last day for voting. Is there a certain piece you'd like to see me cover in tomorrow's post? I'm probably going to see about visiting my top pieces, but I'd like to hear about yours. Leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do! Thanks for stopping by!

04 October 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Day Thirteen

Xenia Kalpaktsoglou addresses attendees (sorry there's no zoom on my smart phone!)

In addition to all the artwork scattered throughout Grand Rapids, there's a schedule full of different artist talks, a speaker series, workshops and educational events as part of ArtPrize. Tonight I attended a talk by Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, who a co-director and curator of the Athens Biennale. Her talk was "The XYZ of the Athens Biennale: Appropriating the Notion of the Biennale Exhibition and Engineering the Dynamics."

I arrived a few minutes after the talk started and was directed to the overflow speaker series area on the main floor of "the Hub," instead of being allowed to tip-toe upstairs to the actual room and stand in the back. They were just trying to get the ustream.com feed working properly when I walked into the space and luckily for me the sound wasn't working and I went upstairs after all. I secretly believe they just wanted to make use of their Herman Miller furnished overflow area, as when I got upstairs there were still a number of empty chairs near the back. I was so able to slink in the back without causing a distraction.

Anyway, the talk was interesting in in terms of hearing about another major art exhibition, albeit one that takes place every two years rather than our baby ArtPrize which is a yearly gig. The most recent was titled Heaven and include six different individually curated exhibitions with 150 artists and 300 works of art in total. It was open to the public for 115 days and had a 10 Euro admission fee. Compare that to ArtPrize which is an open contest rather than curated (although some venues are individually curated) and this year has 192 venues and 1713 pieces by just as many artists. It was interesting to hear a bit about another city doing something different focusing on art in a major way. We are very fortunate to have ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. I believe it puts us on the map with some major league players in the world art community. The Athens Biennale is now in the planning phase for its third exhibition, which will happen in 2011.

While this wasn't a typical ArtPrize night of being out and seeing more new art, I wanted to make it to at least one talk and am happy I did. The ArtPrize speakers series and educational talks are a great way to learn new things - I never knew about the Athens Biennale before reading about it on the ArtPrize events calendar and now I know even more. Oh, and there was a bit of swag on each seat just for attending! Made it all the more worthwhile!

What's Your Art? GR mini notebook & Cherry Republic (!) Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries. The Moleskine notebook is my own.

03 October 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Day Twelve

With twelve days of ArtPrize under my belt, you wouldn't think there could be anything else left that I haven't seen, right? Well, kids of the 1700+ pieces in ArtPrize, I have seen quite a few, but each time I go out I'm still seeing new art! I'm absolutely amazed at the volume of work in Grand Rapids right now and the mass of humanity turning out to see it each day! Today was the most insane I've seen the crowds.

I visited Palazzolo + Neumann's Face In Time installation for the second time this weekend. They're participation installation aims to document every face visiting ArtPrize. Participants will eventually be featured in a book put together by the Grand Rapids-based creative duo. If you haven't gotten your picture taken yet, do it! It doesn't take long at all, and you'll be forever documented as a participant in ArtPrize 2010!

After getting my photo taken and watching the throngs of people lined up to get into the GRAM, I met up again with M and we basically wandered around for a few hours checking out a couple venues we'd been to independently and taking in a few smaller venues that were new to us both.

(detail) You Can't Fall off the Floor, Lora Fosberg, showing at UICA

Michigan Girl, Jennifer Jones, showing at Huntington Bank

Yosemite, Katayoun Stewart, showing at VanAndel Museum Center

Reminisce, Jennifer Surine, showing at VanAndel Museum Center

The Process, Stephen Duren, showing at VanAndel Museum Center

(Detail) The Process, Stephen Duren

All in all, it was another great afternoon at ArtPrize! That scratchy throat didn't fully catch up with me from last night. Aside from getting another day in at ArtPrize, I was able to pack what felt like a ton into my day today - I did a trial run of the Grand Rapids Half Marathon course with some running buddies this morning, then had a pancake and egg feast to refuel, then ArtPrize and I even managed to pick up the house a little this evening. I may even manage to get to bed early tonight. That would be a first in almost two weeks! Heaven!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend, whether you're in town enjoying ArtPrize or out of town doing your thing and just stopping by my ArtPrize coverage!

02 October 2010

ArtPrize 2010 Day Eleven

Wet Apple Eve, Keith Howard

Anyone else feeling a little tired? We've reached ArtPrize Day Eleven. It wasn't looking like I was going to get to see any new art today. I helped my friend A move into a new place this morning until about 2:00 p.m., then had to run a few errands which ended up overlapping with my planned rendez-vous with a couple of my lady friends and their wee ones. I made it to dinner with them though - Little Mexico, legendary west side restaurant.

Once dinner was over, ArtPrize venues were still open for another two hours, so I decided to hit a venue off-the-beaten path away from downtown's hub bub - Cathedral Square at the southern edge of the ArtPrize boundary. They had quite a nice collection of artists - so kudos to the curator(s) of the space. Now if I hit Meijer Gardens, I will have visited all the Exhibition Centers!

Here's a taste of what I saw at Cathedral Square:

(one of a series of five) The Space Between Us, Deborah Rockman

The Gilded Age, Margaret Schmitz

Cradle Will Rock, Joyce Recker

Dream as if You'll Live Forever..., Christi Dreese-Carter

All American Meal, Beth Jacobson

As I've been typing this out, I've felt a tiny bit of a sore throat coming on. I'm so not into that! I cannot get sick. I'm a big believer in Airborne, so have already done a dose of that. Since I'm scheduled to get up and run 12 or so miles with my running buds tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., feeling a bit of a sore throat approaching is all the more reason why I must go to sleep now!! All these long days/ArtPrize nights might just be catching up with me, although I sincerely hope not. Send me some healthy vibes so I can keep blogging about Art!