Posts Tagged Venues

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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Good changes this year, and room for improvement

There’s some changes I appreciated this year, and I’m going to blog about them here very soon.

1. ArtBus Shuttle: two routes and more stops, not limited almost exclusively to exhibition centers. Feels like it’s getting you where you want to go faster and closer. They also partnered with Hope Network to provide accessible transportation for those with wheelchairs and walkers – still requires a shuttle pass – ask a wayfinder for a card with the number to call.

Room for improvement:

-Shuttle drivers are requesting wayfinders on board – seems like a good idea, questions get asked on them.

-Clarity on using the Alpine bus route to see some art that way – it’s a good option if planning around the schedule. There’s already dots on the map for ArtBus stops, I’d add dots for other route stops, at least those near venues.

-Dash information – a free way to hop around town.

-Maybe a north shuttle which covers some more venues up there, making the other shuttles south-east (blue) and south-west/central (pink). I’d suggest the third route cover north Monroe and Front street.

2. Neighborhood Top 25: showcased pieces in less-visited neighborhoods…

Room for improvement:

-…but such neighborhoods still didn’t seem to get much exposure. I think each neighborhood should be represented in the second round of voting, so elsewhere I described a representative pool, where each neighborhood would have a number of their top 25 corresponding to their total number of pieces move on to the pool, from which the top ten would be chosen during the second week, still ending with the second week.

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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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