To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What I meant to tell you...

is not what I'm going to blog about. I meant to tell you about the most fabulous weekend I had on Beaver Island, and how relaxing it was, and how it felt like we were there for a week when it was only a day and a half. However, I've been doing some hometown exploring that just blows my mind so I must share it. You see, my wonderful city of Grand Rapids is hosting a brand new event called ArtPrize. Within a 3 square mile radius of downtown, there are over 150 venues hosting 1259 pieces of art created by artists from around the world, each of which is competing for the top prize of $250,000. A little of what I've seen so far are a sculpture of Nessie undulating in the Grand River, a giant table and chairs on top of a bridge trestle, a family tree with ribbons hanging from it that visitors are encouraged to sign, a maze of bundled plastic recyclables that makes you think twice about ever buying anything plastic and a giant stuffed fabric man that's 2 (or 3) stories tall. That's just a smattering of the many sculptures I saw. There are paintings and chalk and ice sculptures and murals and spray painting on the park lawn! Sunday, one of the artists is launching 100,000 colored paper airplanes while the crowd plays instruments or hums or sings along to the same melody. What ArtPrize has done in this town is nothing short of amazing. You can't look in any direction downtown without seeing a piece from ArtPrize. And the people, the streets are alive with people who are viewing the art and talking to each other about it. Complete strangers are discussing what they see and helping each other with pictures. How cool is that?

I spent Tuesday evening at a reception for the opening of Nessie and I spent all of last evening touring just a few of the exhibits. I think I'm spending every day downtown because it only runs for 2 weeks and then all the mobile exhibits will be gone. Take a peak.....

The art is everywhere downtown and I've only just begun, barely begun, in fact. Two weeks is not going to be enough time for me to explore these amazing pieces. Wish you were here to share it with me. I'm sure I'll be posting more pictures as I take them. That's the least I can do since you can't walk with me.


  1. That Nessie is hilarious! Are they going to do this every year? What a brilliant idea! You can just walk around and look for them like a hunt. If Grand Rapids is the first to do this, I think it will catch on.


  2. Rumor has it this will be an annual event. You won't believe how it's transformed the downtown area and the mood of the people. Excitement permeates the air. I think we're heading down in the morning for a few predawn shots.

  3. very cool!

  4. beautiful photos, how incredible to have art installations all around like this!