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I’m working Tues. to Sat. this week, so my wife and I walked around ArtPrize today (Mon.) and got a good look at each of the top 10. We’re both going to vote. My wife has some art experience, having been a stained-glass artist for a number of years, even running her own shop for a number of years up in Rockford (she’s also done a little painting and sculpture). So, she provides an interesting perspective and knows something about the materials, techniques and presentation. At this point, I’ve talked with half of the top 10 artists, which I think is really cool. I haven’t made up my mind, my wife has a top 3 at this point. Leave a comment if you like and tell us your favorite, or if there was an entry or two that you thought should have made the top 10 and didn’t. (Note, at this point I don’t think I’ll make my choice public). I’ve been able to see about 300 of the entries. I wish I had more time. On the whole, we’ve had good weather, but this is going to change. It gets pretty chilly for Friday. The Awards Party is at The Loading Dock of the former Grand Rapids Press Building. It’ll be a little chilly in the evening. You can watch the show on WOOD-TV at 8 PM. Friday.
Here’s the top ten (links) in random order: Origami, Rebirth of Spring, The Chase, Life in Wood, Stick-to-it-iveness: Unwavering pertinacity; perseverance, Return to Eden, Lights in the Night, Elephants, City Band,
Mia Tavonatti won ArtPrize 2011. (Here’s a link from Bill’s Blog for all the results).
There are some interesting trends in the final 10 voting.
1. “Celeb factor?” I found it interesting Mia Tavonatti and Tracy Van Duinen finished 1,2. The two have both finished #2 before. TVD and his brother Corey finished second in ArtPrize’s first year with “Imgine That”, the mural on the Children’s Museum. Tavonatti finished second last year with ‘“Svelata”. They, and the rest of this year’s Top 10, won’t be back next year. ArtPrize has a new rule saying they must sit out one year.
2. Another ‘critically-acclaimed’ entry finished in third. Last year it was “Lure/Wave” by Beili Liu. This year it was Lynda Cole’s “Rain”. Last week a local curator told me she felt “Rain” was the only Top 10 entry worthy of being a finalist.
SIDENOTE: My thoughts with Ms. Tavonatti after losing her mother Thursday morning. When I saw her at last night’s press conference, she held it together, but it’s hard to comprehend what she went through yesterday.
Saturday AM -I’ll be walking around Art Prize for a couple hours both Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be with my 92-year old mother, who today rode the carousel at the Public Museum – she insisted on riding a horse up and down and not just sit on the bench! She wants to stop in and see Jack Nixon who is at 210 Fulton St. (south side of the street – an old fine arts shop that he’s renting for the 3 weeks of Art Prize). He has some amazing pencil drawings of Chicago (one going for 200K – this is top of the line art). Jack lives two streets down from where our family lived in Wilmette, Illinois. You really should make a point of stopping in to take a brief look at his work. It’s excellent. Tell him the weatherman told you to stop by. Well, any comments on the top ten? Who are you going to pick? Who should have been in the top ten? The weather looks much better for the rest of Art Prize…cool for Saturday and a cool start to Sunday, but lots of sunshine and warmer temperatures for much of next week. Have a great weekend!
ArtPrize organizers have scheduled five neighborhood ‘GO TIME!’ events – a mini-scavenger hunt for those who want free ArtPrize gear.
Here’s how it works:
- You meet at a specific location during each neighborhood event.
- The ArtPrize Street Team gives you a ‘passport’.
- You get it stamped at different venues.
- The first 100 to come back with finished passport get free ArtPrize stuff.
Each of the five neighborhoods have their own events starting Friday.
GO TIME! Events
Friday, September 23
Westside Neighborhood, 6-8:30 p.m.
Location: Parking lot at 620 Stocking Ave NW, Next to Compucraft
Saturday, September 24
Center City Neighborhood, 2-4:30 p.m.
Location: Rosa Parks Circle – Center of Monroe Ave and Monroe Center
Sunday, September 25
Hillside Neighborhood, 2-4:30 p.m.
Location: Veterans Park – Corner of Fulton and Sheldon
Monday, September 26
Heartside Neighborhood, 6-8:30 p.m.
Location: Ionia Ave SW, near Fulton
Tuesday, September 27
Monroe/North Belknap Neighborhood, 6-8:30 p.m.
Location: Sixth Street Park, 647 Monroe NW
“The go days is really our push to get people into the neighborhoods,” ArtPrize’s Brian Burch said. “It’s a starting point for you to explore that neighborhood.”
Last year ArtPrize organized five neighborhood parties with events like movies.
Burch says the goal is to get people out into the neighborhoods, instead of having people in one spot.
“That opens the doors to so much more of the neighborhood, not just this park or this parking lot or this particular venue,” Burch said.
Burch says each neighborhood has a unique personality.
“We have a beautiful downtown and it speaks wonders to people who come from outside,” Burch continued. “But there’s a lot more character than just the downtown, so we want to get that spread a little bit more.”
Here’s what you can expect:
500,000+ = The number of people ArtPrize organizers to attend this year’s competition. That’s unique visitors. About half of that number are expected to be locals. The other half (mainly from Chicago and Detroit) are commuters. There are also plenty of buses coming from Flint, Saginaw, Traverse City, Lansing, etc.
Experience Grand Rapids is trying to help area hotels cash in. They are offering free stuff (ArtPrize bag, directory, map, Metro passes) for anyone who stays for ArtPrize.
56 = Musical entries at St. Cecilia Music Center (right).
39 = Different countries represented this year.
10 = Artists get prize money based on public vote.
$250,000 = Awarded to first place.
5 = Number of juried awards.
8 = Exhibition centers. It’s where you can activate your voting account.
465,538 = Votes cast last year. But think of the number not counted with last year’s ‘texting’ issue. This year organizers says ‘every vote will count’, and last year’s issues are behind them.
If you’re a voting nut, and want to hit the ground running Wednesday at 6 p.m. (when voting opens), you might as well.
You can show up at the NEW HUB at 41 Sheldon SE. Make sure to bring your I.D.
There you can see the old UICA revamped. Construction crews added some walls to what used to be mainly an open space.
There are some stark differences to the Hub this year. Namely: art.
Last year’s winner “Cavalry” is there. There are a couple other pieces I’ll detail in later blogs (teaser!).
At ArtPrize year one, there were ArtPrize entries there. Organizers didn’t want anyone to call them into question. Ya know, playing favorites.
Then last year, they did without art altogether. ArtPrize officials said some visitors left disappointed.
Most likely that won’t be the case this year. ‘Cavalry’ is as great as ever. There’s cool social media toys there again, too. And for the first time, the Hub — the headquarters of the event — has a legitimate home.
When: 9:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Saturday, September 17
St. Cecilia Music Center features nearly 50 musical acts this year.
Some musicians will take the music center’s Royce Auditorium stage over the course of ArtPrize.
Others will play in the center’s parking lot next weekend in a music festival.
If you ever miss an act, you can listen to the entry downstairs at St. Cecilia. They’ll have iPods with all the entries on it.
“At first I was confused about what we would do,” St. Cecilia executive director Cathy Holbrook said, referring to the first time ArtPrize officials approached her. “I think that it’s taken shape, and we were just excited to be part of what is such a huge event in Grand Rapids,” Holbrook said.
Holbrook hopes the ArtPrize exposure will increase the spotlight on St. Cecilia. “I think sometimes still don’t really know what St. Cecilia Music Center is, who we are and what we do,” she said. “I think we’re kind of a well-kept secret, that I hope we can blow that secret out of the water during ArtPrize.”
But can the musical acts actually win? Here’s what Holbrook had to say:
“It might be hard because people have to actually come in and listen to a sound, where a lot of entries you see them, you see them driving down the road. I think that probably as a performer there are a couple motivations. One is they get exposure. They have the opportunity to have thousands of people listen to their song, or come and hear them perform live during this showcase concerts that we’re doing. And I think some of it, we have some groups that are based in Grand Rapids that are traditions — Domestic Problems, Midlife Crisis, and Ralston Bowles — true Grand Rapidians and love Grand Rapids and they really want to support what Grand Rapids is doing for the city and for the arts and wanted to be a part of it.” – St. Cecilia executive director Cathy Holbrook
ArtPrize organizers promise if you text in you’re vote — you can rest easy.
Last year some voters could not text in their choices.
“We’ve worked diligently this year to make sure that we won’t have hiccups,” ArtPrize executive director Catherine Creamer said.
Only AT&T and Sprint customers could text their votes in ArtPrize 2010.
“We have worked all year long on making sure that’s solid,” Creamer said. “The technology platform is a proven platform.”
ArtPrize officials said they found out about the issue the day last year’s competition started.
It’s unknown just how many votes were left uncounted.
“The integrity of the vote is the utmost importance to us at ArtPrize,” Creamer said.
Other voting options include online or smart phone apps.
New this year, ArtPrize has an Android app to go along with its iPhone app.
You can start voting when the competition starts next Wednesday, the 21st.
ArtPrize Voting Process
Tickets for the “ArtPrize Winner’s Announcement” go on sale Thursday.
The tickets range from 60-80 bucks.
Or you can watch the ceremony on the tube.
We’re have complete coverage of the announcement (and stream it online at woodtv.com).
More deets on that later.
You can buy tickets at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, or by phone at (800)745-3000.
Here are some links to our coverage of previous winners:
Wednesday is also the first chance for voting registration.
You can register online (http://artprize.org/voting) to help choose the $250,000 winner.
Step 1: Registration
You’ll need a unique e-mail address.
But why do this early? I asked ArtPrize executive director Catherine Creamer that last week.
“If we get them to register early and activate,” said ArtPrize executive director Catherine Creamer. “They can hit the ground running.”
If you signed-up last year, you don’t need to register again. Your voting account still exists. You’ll just need to activate your account before you can vote.
ArtPrize runs from September 21 through October 9.