Well, we’ve all descended on Grand Rapids, Michigan for ArtPrize. More than 800 artists from 15 countries and 30 states are here for one of the biggest art festivals in the country. Maybe the world?
I just rolled in from another exhibit and programming in Colorado, so I am feeling the 20 hours of windshield time, but I’m excited for what’s next. I’m not exactly sure of what’s next, but I know it will be 18 days of art, live music and other festivities. I’m hoping it will be 18 days of good engagement and new connections.
I am premiering A Peace of My Mind’s new exhibit, Lessons on the Road to Peace. It is set up in a blissfully raw space called Silva, which used to be a community recreation center with a gymnasium and a swimming pool. It’s been vacant for a few years, but was resurrected for ArtPrize and will begin a major renovation as a restaurant and entertainment space right after all the artists clear out in early October.
There are 20 artists just at Silva, and everyone is busy putting the finishing touches on their work. There’s a sound installation across from me doing a tech check and a sumo wrestling ring right next to that, tamping down the clay surface for action. I expect to watch, not participate in the demos. But you never know.
All week long, I’ll also run a public studio, asking people, “When have you found unexpected courage?” I’ll produce those local shots as we go and every Th / Fri / Sat, I’ll project those images on the exterior of the building.
ArtPrize gives away $400,000 in prizes to projects that are selected by the curators and to others that are voted on by the public. That’s not the reason we are here, but I do spend some time imagining what that could do for the project. So if you know folks in Grand Rapids, tell them to come out for ArtPrize, and tell them to vote for Lessons on the Road to Peace. (You do have to be on site for ArtPrize in order to vote, for those of you who are about to ask.)
It’s going to be a busy few weeks. Stay tuned on our social media pages for more updates. Here are the details of our venue and hours:
Lessons on the Road to Peace at Silva
975 Ottawa Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Exhibit and public studio, 2nd floor in the old gymnasium
Mon – Thu 5-8pm
Fri / Sat noon – 8pm
Sun noon – 6pm
Projection on the exterior of the building
Thu / Fri / Sat from dusk and lasting for one hour