28 September 2011

ArtPrize 2011 #3 "Taras in Three Colors"

Taras in Three Colors, Kevin O'Rourke
Showing at Grand Rapids Public Museum

Detail view, Taras in Three Colors, Kevin O'Rourke
Showing at Grand Rapids Public Museum

This particular piece deserves its very own ArtPrize post for a few reasons, the first and most important being that this large scale (4'x6') linoleum block print is a beautiful tribute to a family friend who died tragically nine years ago. Even if I hadn't known a thing about the subject, I would have been drawn to this piece - the colors, the Japanese-inspired imagery, and the fact that it's a block print. Awesome!

26 September 2011

ArtPrize 2011 #2

Back at it! More ArtPrize! The following photos are from my quick visit downtown on Friday evening, September 23. The crowds were so thick! Yay for ArtPrize, but boo for this girl who just wanted to see some art! I had a small window of time to be looking at art in the first place since I had to be up early for my first 20 mile training run on Saturday morning and probably shouldn't have been traipsing around in the first place. I ended up ducking in to see a friend who was working and then heading home much earlier than I thought I would. My main ArtPrize Tweet of the night, "I might be over #ArtPrize."

Here are some share-worthy pieces from venues in the Heartside neighborhood:

American Portraits, Michael McCafrey
Showing at 48 West Fulton
Maybe it's because I've shot film before and still love how a contact sheet looks, but I found this piece and its hundreds of 35mm Kodachrome portraits to be quite captivating. I would have loved to spend more time taking in each portrait, but the crowds during my visit were a bit much in this small venue. Worth a visit though if you can get there.

Detail view - Dream Home, Ghost of a Dream
Showing at UICA
So even if you've only managed one visit to ArtPrize EVER, you've no doubt seen "art" made from other objects. Could be found objects, wine corks, pennies, nails, toothpicks, you name it and someone has probably made something out of it for ArtPrize. I'm not really a fan of such entries, and certainly don't think they're worthy to win the big prize, but this one was somewhat interesting. Lottery tickets. Add it to the list and scratch it off for next year. Really. Is it a commentary on the economy of greed and poverty that coexist in this country? I will admit I did not read the artist's statement.

Finding a Green Photo, Barbara Reimer
Showing at Calvin College (106) Gallery (106 S. Division)
Photos printed with coffee. I've printed black and white film in the dark room, so I can appreciate this piece for the images themselves and for the process. It's not easy to get a good black and white print and then if you're printing with coffee?! How does that even work?

Detail view - natura, Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk
Showing at Calvin College (106) Gallery (106 South Division)
I remember a time when my grandmother had a vase full of the "silver pennies" this nest piece is made of. They're ridiculously delicate and I find them to be so pretty. Maybe that's why I liked this piece. It doesn't scream #ArtPrize to me, but I do appreciate the creation. This was just one vignette out of several that were on display, each one a little different, all using "natura."

131 N and 196 E Exit, Steven Vinson
Showing at CODA, 44 South Division
I'm obviously only presenting a limited number of images from my Friday night walk through a few ArtPrize spaces and I chose to feature this piece because it's a scene from Grand Rapids. Call it home turf advantage.

Under the Microscope, Slide: p(twelve)^3, Sarah Knill
Showing at CODA, 44 South Division
This piece reminded me a little of RH Giger's aesthetic. I like the fluidity and movement and that it's based on a microscopic view.

Pour Some Sugar on Me, Susan Mulder
Showing at CODA, 44 South Division
What exactly is going on here? Woman in Rococo-era finery being pelted with giant jelly beans? I can't decide if I like it or not. I love the colors and the size discrepancy - who doesn't love the idea of these giant jelly beans being real? The piece's title, is unfortunate though unless you actually have no idea that this is also a song title from an 80's hair band that I shall not name on this blog because I am NOT a fan.

Fear not, I am not over ArtPrize so I shall be sharing more of what I see with you. I survived my 20 mile training run on Saturday and was able to get out again for more ArtPrize on Sunday afternoon with some friends, so stay tuned for that update. I actually haven't voted for a single piece yet. I need to get on that. While I've seen some really nice work, I haven't felt super strongly about any single piece yet. There are no pieces haunting me with their beauty. I'm still waiting for that "wow" moment that I've had the last two years when coming across a truly amazing piece. Have you had your ArtPrize wow moment yet? Where? What piece? Do share!!

21 September 2011

ArtPrize 2011 Opening Night

Hey, kids! Do you know what time it is? It's ArtPrize time again! I had so much fun last year seeing art, talking to artists and capturing images and then sharing them here that I'm going to do it again. I may not be able to get out as much as I did last year (I am training for my first marathon, hello! And this week alone I'll be running 40 miles, and working the day job, so, it's going to be tricky, but I'm going to try to bring you as much coverage as I can!

Let's get to it: (Click on any of the photos to see a larger view!)

Detail "Wall Drawing #3" (Screwed Rapids) by the Screwed Arts Collective
Showing at UICA

Detail "Wall Drawing #3" (Screwed Rapids) by the Screwed Arts Collective
Showing at UICA
One of the main reasons I love opening night of ArtPrize is that many of the artists are with their pieces and you can chat them up. I had a really cool conversation with Daniel Burnett, a member of The Screwed Arts Collective, about this GIGANTIC wall drawing, the creative process they employ as a group and about ArtPrize in general. He said the piece really is reflective of their time spent in Grand Rapids creating this site-specific piece. Rest assured, the group did not whip this up in someone's garage last year and truck it up here for a chance at the big money. This art is fresh, y'all! Go see it up close and chat with the artists yourself - they're here through Saturday. Also make a point to peek in the window as you sit in traffic these next two weeks at the light on Fulton at Division!

According to Me, by Nicola Renzi
Showing at UICA
If you haven't clicked on the link to this artist's profile, can you guess what the material is? It's a rubber band wall! In person, at first glance it did not look like rubber bands - more like some sort of fiber. I didn't think if it when I was standing in front of it, but I wonder how far you'd bounce back if you ran up and bounced off it. I would NOT recommend doing that unless you want to get tossed out of the venue on your ear, but imagine it, will you?! I talked to one of the collaborators who worked tying rubber bands together to form super long rubber bands that could stretch from a single starting point, travel up over that beam and back down to the starting point again. My fingers hurt just thinking about the days involved doing that. Then keeping them all orderly as you stretch and place each rubber band. Wow!

Detail "In Light of Suffering" by Daniel Van Duinen
Showing at GreenLion Gallery

Detail "In Light of Suffering" by Daniel Van Duinen
Showing at GreenLion Gallery
This piece is a must-see. Regardless of your religious or spiritual leanings, it's a piece that best seen in person - my meager photos don't do it justice at all because it's actually displayed in a near-circular fashion so that when you stand to observe the piece you become part of it, one criminal to your left and one to your right. ArtPrizers with good memories will probably recognize the artist's last name. It seems there's some talent in the family!

"Last Station" by Randy Van Duinen
Showing at GreenLion Gallery
This also is a must see, so you can take in the fact that this photo collage is printed on aluminum. The choice in print material really lends itself to the surreal subject matter. Being that I enjoy playing with cameras, I had the pleasure of chatting with the artist about his process and about HDR photography.

Yay ArtPrize! Did you get out tonight to experience the rush of opening night? Let the sleep deprivation begin! It's already WAY past my bedtime...I would love to share more, but I have to sleep now! Tell me what you saw that I need to see!

09 September 2011

Function over Fashion?

I almost bought these spectacularly beaded, sparkly sandals tonight after work. I am in no way, shape or form in the market for a beaded, sparkly sandal and no way would I pay full price for them. I did, however, after trying these beauties on come so close to forking over the cash and adding them to my already brimming shoe collection. Function over fashion? When did this happen? Who have I become?

I became a runner over three years ago and it's put a serious crimp in my fabulous shoe collecting ways. The thing is...I really have very few occasions in my life today to wear a beaded sparkly sandal, however beautiful they may be and however swoon-y they make me feel. I think that means I'm growing up a little or pulling one over on my mild shoe addiction.

I lead a pretty simple, athletic life. The more time I spend wearing shoes that add four to five inches to my already tall stature and pinch my toes, the higher possibility my feet have of getting blisters and not feeling up to running. I'm to the point where I'm more comfortable and content in my life when I'm running at least four times a week. Messing my feet up over wearing a glorious pair of heels all day just isn't something I've chosen to do in a long time. As much as I want to.

If you looked at my shoe collection right now and didn't know me, you'd think I lived a fabulous party lifestyle. Then I'd show you the running shoe collection I've amassed over the last three years. It's in stark contrast to the fancy shoes. They don't even live in the same part of the house. Runners get their own space near the back door. Fabulous footwear is meticulously cataloged and housed in my closets.

Running is such a big part of my life, but fashion inspires me and is in my blood. I do try to work in a fancy pair of shoes here and there just because...even if it's just to run errands. I don't want to completely turn my back on fashion and let my fancy shoes collect dust. I guess this is just another example about finding the right balance in all things. There is a time and a place for everything - even fancy fabulous shoes. Today's lesson, I don't have to buy every pair I fall in love with.

01 September 2011

One. Word.

I love a good Internet meme! Taking a cue from TwoAdults, (who just shared her own version of One. Word. that she saw over on MFAMama) I keep the one word wonder going.

One. Word.

No. Explanations.

yourself: unique

your boyfriend/girlfriend (husband, whatever): tbd

your hair: wet

your mother: swell

your dog: cremated

your favorite item: laptop

your dream last night: zzz

your favorite drink: water

your dream car: BMW530xi

the room you are in: living

your fear: loss

what you want to be in ten years: thriving

who you hung out with last night: NPR

what you're not: mean

muffin: toast

one of your wish items: peace

time: night

the last thing you did: shower

what you are wearing: jammies

your favorite weather: balmy

your favorite book: Shantaram

the last thing you ate: dinner

your life: calm

your mood: calm

your best friend: real

what you are thinking about right now: sweets

your car: wagon

what you are doing at the moment: slouching

your summer: fading

your relationship status: single

what is on your tv: dust

what is the weather like: warm

when is the last time you laughed: tonight