So far, fall in Grand Rapids has been (and all the people say in unison) AMAZING! The leaves are changing, mums are everywhere (including our porch for the very first time – Jeff actually learned they were called mums this year, true story), and another successful ArtPrize has come and gone.
We made it downtown three times (plus a trip to Fredrick Meijer Gardens) this year to check out the scene – a huge dive from our nightly tours last year. Apparently moving outside of Center City (and having a kiddo) impacted our frequency. For the event in 2014 Jeff and I made ‘ArtPrizing’ a regular occurrence in our evening routine: home from work, bite to eat, ArtPrize, and then cocktails. It was glorious.
Trip #1 was for ‘date night’ the day after it opened. We checked out the GRAM (gosh I just love that space), DeVos Place, Amway Grand Plaza, and then meandered our way to Slows BBQ in the Downtown Market for the first time. It’s true what they say, the food is stellar and I was pretty impressed at the set up. We sat at the bar with our ribs, pulled pork, baked beans, and waffle fries looking out the open doors to the patio wondering how the view would change in the coming years. The lot adjacent currently sits empty but appears that it may soon be under construction. It’s a great addition to an already very cool place.
Trip #2 and 3 we brought the Nat-Attack and she seemed to love it - being outside and moving fits her fancy. On these visits we covered basically everything else including our favorite venue Kendall College (The Old Federal Building). Here we found ‘Maya 7624,’ a 3D wire mesh piece hanging from the ceiling that layered together to create the image of a woman. Jeff and I both agreed it was our favorite because it was extremely well done, compelling, and something we’d never seen done before.
We both judge pieces differently (he likes sculpture because it takes an extreme amount of talent/time) and I like ones that I’d display in my own house, but we are unified on one front: if we end up spending a certain amount of time with a piece of art, we vote for it.
Which brings us to #WhatLiftsYou by Kelsey Montague at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. While the piece alone isn’t all that impressive, the commotion it caused was extremely interesting. There was a constant crowd. Lines of people waiting to take their photo with the giant wings. And while I’d never argue something like this should be awarded one of the two grand prizes, I would say it most certainly deserves an honorable mention.
We also made a pit stop with our neighbors from Rosewood to the Gardens at Fredrick Meijer where we not only saw the art on display (which was, in our opinion, one of the best curated collections this year), we also checked out the new Japanese Gardens. They were so, so amazing! Jeff joked that they took inspiration for their design from his work on our front yard. For the record, our yard does have one Japanese Maple.
And while the event is over, we’ll continue chatting about ArtPrize around our dinner table for some time. Bon appetite my friends!