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ArtPrize 2014 Favorites & How to Get the Most Out of ArtPrize

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Quiet Mind, Scarlett Kanistanaux. Located at 50 Monroe

Quiet Mind, Scarlett Kanistanaux. Located at 50 Monroe

After hearing mixed reviews about ArtPrize 2014, I decided to head over and see what was there. I’ve been both an ArtPrize artist and spectator, this year I decided to enjoy being a spectator (it’s a little hard for me to multitask on this one.)

First of all, I loved what I saw. Truly ArtPrize is what you make it, so I’d like to give you some tips on how to get the most out of ArtPrize.

  • If you’re going to go to one of the major venues,  go early in the day, or expect a big crowd and a wait. 
  • Wear something comfortable both on your feet and to wear and don’t carry a heavy bag. Expect to walk a lot and plan little breaks to sit down and people watch, and grab something to eat and drink. The food trucks by the GRAM have some delicious offerings, by the way.
  • Don’t make this a race to see as much art as possible in a day. You will get tired and burned out quick, and just feel mad… because you just aren’t going to see it all in a day.
  • Expect to see some items, in fact lots of items where you think “how could anyone possibly call this art?” It’s okay though, because there is more than enough work that you will love and that will make it worth your while.
  • Expect to pay about $10 to park downtown for the day. And do it, it’s not worth the hassle to add walking a long distance to get a cheap parking spot.
  • Figure out the main venues you want to explore and their proximity to each other.
  • If you plan on staying the night downtown, expect to pay a lot, the hotels are almost sold out except for the most expensive rooms.
I don't know the name of this piece, it was in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum and was one of my favorites.

Gravity, Dean Kugler, located in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum and was one of my favorites.

Here are some  great places to check out, they have enough artists where there should be something for you. There are also a lot of other venues, some with fewer artists, and many with incredible work, so this list is by no means complete, just a great place to start if you don’t know where you want to go:

  • The Grand Rapids Art Museum  (expect a wait during peak hours)
  • 50 Monroe Place (the building behind the BOB)
  • Women’s City Club (expect a wait during peak hours)
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens
  • JW Marriott
  • Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (expect a wait during peak hours)
  • The Grand Rapids Public Museum  (expect a wait during peak hours)
  • Plaza Towers
  • The Gerald R. Ford Museum (expect a wait during peak hours)
  • The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (check out back along the river front too)
  • The Harris Building
  • West Coast Coffee
  • Palatte Coffee & Art
  • Bridgewater Place
  • Fifth Third Bank/Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
  • Boardwalk GR Condominiums
  • DeVos Place Convention Center
  • The Mitten Brewing Company

Here is the link to ArtPrize 

You will probably meet a lot of the artists, especially if you vista at night or on the weekend. I ran into Frits Hoendervanger, a previous ArtPrize winner and participating artist again this year. His work is at the Amway Grand Plaza.

You will probably meet a lot of the artists, especially if you vist at night or on the weekend. I ran into Frits Hoendervanger, a previous ArtPrize winner and participating artist again this year. His work is at the Amway Grand Plaza and is stunning.

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