Archive for category Venues

More places to visit

Downtown Courtyard by Marriott and the Eenhoorn Plaza Towers on the corner or Monroe and Fulton across from the BOB – go inside. There’s some really good pieces in these. Behind them, on the river is the Ferris Coffee cafe with some more lovely pieces like the one below.

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Not-to-miss with the kids

Kevin Kammeraad’s puppet show in front of the children’s museum – really is fun for all ages, and so is the other piece there.

The cube at Taylor and Leonard – go inside and interact with sound and lights reminiscent of Star Wars light sabers.

Rusty the dog at the Public Museum and the monkeys on the blue bridge of course! Very fun. Visiting the Public Museum for free is a must, too.

Cascade the CD waterfall in front of DeVos Place – play underneath it for the surprise.

Changes in the Hen House In Huntington/50 Monroe – ok, so this is the one made by the artist saying with me, but it’s fun. Most likely fun for little kids and adults – the kids will like the figures, the adults will “get it”. Great venue, too.

The BOB parking lot – some interactive pieces and generally family-fun/friendly pieces, not going to list them all but plenty there.

The dinosaur in front of the Van Andel arena – kids seem to like that one.

Noah’s Ark scene made from crayons at Cathedral Square – very colorful and fun.

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Rumored no-returning top ten rule? I’d tweak it a bit…

So the rumor I’ve heard is there will be no more top ten repeats: after this year, artists in the top ten cannot return. I’ve also heard the rule is that artists in the top ten cannot return the year following that in which they made the top ten, but can after that. This is said to be the reason why the artist who did the monkeys on the blue bridge said not to vote for his, so he could return next year.

With 4/10 this year having been in the top ten in previous years – one in both! – this would let us see new artists up for prizes. I think this would be a really good change. However, it’s still nice to see these artists’ works, especially if they want to be here without even earning votes. I think it would be great to let them come back without voting IDs and have them show at venues away from the popular ones, in neighborhoods without as much ArtPrize traffic. This would draw people to outer venues while still allowing these artists to exhibit pieces but put new artists in the top ten.

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A few places to visit

A few gems off the beaten path, though I’ve seen things tweeted about most of these as well:

The Spot at 29 Pearl. Well curated, some beautiful pieces, and a good number of them.

Peaches Bed and Breakfast on Gay just off Fulton, not far from College. 29 pieces, if I remember correctly… or maybe 19. Some pieces I liked well, some “eh” to me, but you’re likely to find something you like. Should be able to find on-street parking free close by.

Kent Republican Party Headquarters on Lake Michigan Drive. Also well curated, I really enjoyed most of the pieces here, and the musical piece, which plays over a speaker, really adds to the experience. Possibly my favorite venue – and don’t worry about being approached for the party, a representative is there but won’t engage you in conversation without your initiative. Free parking lot.

City Art Gallery just off Leonard on the bit of Ionia that resumes there. Many pieces, some of which I’ve heard others say were their favorites. My favorites aren’t there, but I did appreciate a lot of the works. Free parking in area.

Monroe Community Church on Monroe just north of the 6th Street bridge. Another well-curated spot worth the stop. Some lovely pieces, free parking in attached lot or across the street.

Mercantile Bank on Fulton just east of Ionia, sign on the building reads “ArtPrize Venue”. The lights are mostly off in here, with the pieces using light to their advantage. Some lovely use of light. About ten pieces.

Open Concept Art Gallery hiding in the top of a building bordered by Fulton on the south and Ionia on the east. Some really good art… and some that seems to be simply trying to illicit reactions with the use of full male and top female nudity. If you don’t mind that it’s worth visiting.

Fountain Street Church, on Fountain street of course, just east of Division across from the GRCC campus. Quite a few pieces, all of which seemed to be aiming to be thought-provoking. I liked some of it, some of it I thought was weird, but that’s “in the eye of the beholder”.

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