Saturday, August 29, 2009

Art Prize

Art Prize takes over Grand Rapids!
Where will this take us?

Rick DeVos, of the Amway DeVos Family, has created a $500.000 Art Prize art competition to be judged by the public. In essence, downtown Grand Rapids will become a walking tour gallery space in which votes are cast for works of art using cell phones and other portable devices.

Living in Grand Rapids it has been an amazing thing to see. You never know when your going to stumble upon a work of art or do a double take because the side of a building has suddenly taken on a life of it's own. Grand Rapids will be the epicenter of an art burst with both local and international artist submitting over a 1,000 works of art for the competition. When you take into consideration the impact of the Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (home to da Vinci's "American" Horse) the Art Prize Competition (which has an endowment in place for funding future competitions) and Calder's La Grande Vitesse (the first work of art funded by the National Endowment for the Arts) Grand Rapids, Michigan may be the newest rising star in the world of art.

Why art?

Why art?
One of the assumptions people make about being an artist is that it's fun. "Oh that must be so much fun!" Then usually follows the statement about their inability to add to the collection of stick-figures in the world.

Making art can be fun... sometimes. But to bring something into the world, to put a piece of yourself, your soul, out there to stand on it's own, bare, naked before the eyes of others to judge and dissect isn't always easy or fun.
So the question is: Why do we do it? Why do we make art?

And it begins...

Some Painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, 
others transform a yellow spot into the sun.
~Pablo Picasso 

I came across this quote recently while researching how to incorporate Web 2.0 and the Read/Write Web into the art room. What Picasso said truly struck me. For days it kept tagging along everywhere i went, like a part of a song lyric you can't get out of your head.
What is more powerful and beautiful than the sun?
To reduce it to a spot seems like a slight. And I'm not just saying that because most of the life on the planet is in the suns debt. But, on the other hand to take something as simple as a yellow spot and infuse it with the power of the sun is something else indeed. 

That is what I am trying to do. I am trying to infuse this blog with the power & creativity of the art room, with the power of ART! To reduce Art (I am using it as a proper name) to just a blog would be a disservice.