It's ArtPrize here in downtown Grand Rapids and we've been busy exploring our backyard. Here are our top 10 selections for 2014 in random order. Note: this list does not include Fredrick Meijer Gardens. We plan to check out the exhibits there later today.
1. The Pond by Kroeze Krew | The Pond is a 3D piece consisting of over 2,000 individually carved wood sculptures of raindrops, ripples and splashes forming a pond during a rainstorm. The Pond is showing at the Amway Grand Plaza in the main lobby near the check in desk. This piece is just plain beautiful.
2. The Poet by Mark Bush | The Poet is a 2D acrylic portrait of the artist's friend Teddy. The painting is 40X60 and can be found in the skywalk linking DeVos Place to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. We like this piece because of the incredible skill it took to create, but also for the statement it makes. It was a fun piece to stumble upon while wandering through the halls that day.
3. Michigan in Motion by Dominic Pangborn | This 3D piece can be found hanging in the entry way of DeVos Place and is one of our favorites. The art moves as you walk by it making it an unexpected interactive experience. The piece is fun, different and super easy to get to.
4. Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha | If we had to call it now, this piece will win the popular vote. We first saw this piece on our newsfeeds and it has most certainly been the most photographed piece of the event this year - we are just as guilty. Intersections is located at the GRAM on the second floor and takes an entire room to itself. We would describe it as a luminary of sorts that creates light magic on the surrounding walls. It's breath taking.
5. Orchids in 3D by Mike Hyrman | Orchids is a dual set of mirroring paintings set side by side that requires no special glasses. Instead, the artist provided a set of boards with mirrors that you stand behind to split your eye sight causing the flowers to pop out at you. The display includes a set of smaller 3D images for viewing as well. Orchids is located in the JW Marriott Hotel near the grand staircase.
6. Beauty in Brokenness by Craig Merchant | The artist of this piece describes a deeper meaning to this piece about finding beauty in broken things, but we liked this one because it just looks neat. The piece is located inside of the BOB on the first floor near the staircase and is made of resin and glass bulbs. This piece loose like it belongs in the lobby of a high end hotel or office building.
7. Walking on Water by Makoto Fujimura | This was another piece we saw first through an image on a screen, this time at church where Makoto spoke to our community. It's no lie we both became partial to the piece only after hearing the artist speak, but that doesn't take away from the artwork's stand alone wonder. Made of mineral pigments, the piece can be found at the Action Building located directly kiddy-corner from the entrance of the Children's Museum.
8. The Cataclysmus Cycle by Jamie Miles | We stumbled upon this piece at Pa Latte off Fulton on our way back from the Women's City Club. We'd never been in the coffee shop before, but were provoked to pop in with the crowd that has gathered there. The place is chalked full of artwork and this piece located in the back corner stood out. Jeff and I both tend to shy way from photography as favorites but we both agreed this one was different and extremely interesting. The Cataclysmus is a series of photos depicted scenes just before an apocalypse. Their cool and worth visiting.
9. Me, In Lipstick by Christopher Kovacevich | This piece is located in the Women's City Club up the hill on Fulton, an under visited venue in our opinion. Me, In Lipstick doesn't appear all that special at first until you realize the image is created only out of lipstick marks by kissing. Using all different shades of pink and red, the piece is a self portrait inspired by a friend's kiss mark left behind after a holiday goodbye. Lipstick and kissing was a new medium to us and we liked it.
10. Gun Country by Michael Murphy | I knew before Jeff that the toy guns hanging on the outdoor gallery at the UICA was in the shape of the United States. "They could have done Michigan better," Jeff commented. This piece is another popular piece on social media and in the news, but for good reason: it's quite the show stopper.