Arts & Entertainment and Travel & Tourism

ArtPrize gets an encore with GRAM exhibition

Competition’s winner also is on loan to the museum.

December 6, 2013
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(As seen on WZZM TV 13) Didn’t get enough of this year’s ArtPrize pieces?

That’s not a problem, because the Grand Rapids Art Museum just opened the GRAM Selects ArtPrize 2013: Encoreexhibition, which will be on display through Oct. 12, 2014.

This is the second year for the exhibition that underscores the significance of Grand Rapids’ annual ArtPrize event by presenting selected highlights from the current year. During ArtPrize 2013, GRAM’s curatorial team explored the entries on view and selected 15 works of art with a strong resonance to other works in the museum’s collection.

The works have been placed throughout the museum in context beside closely related works in GRAM’s collection — encouraging guests to explore the connections between the works of art on view. This year’s exhibition features works of art from nine venues, and includes painting, drawing, watercolor, photography, sculpture and textile art.

While there is always a debate during ArtPrize regarding whether or not the submitted work qualifies as art, GRAM Executive Director Dana Friis-Hansen said he values the contribution ArtPrize is making and that, yes, there is “real” art to be found along the ArtPrize trail.

“What I want to do is underscore to the public that some of the cool things you saw during ArtPrize deserve to be in the museum — in museum-quality settings,” said Friis-Hansen.

“As a museum and as a curator, I’m looking for a kind of impact and something that makes you say ‘wow.’ And because we are an art museum, it’s in the context of art — not, ‘wow I’ve never seen something as big as this or made out of an unusual material.’ There is an art historical context that we frame it in.”

Friis-Hansen said he agreed with Rick DeVos’ comments that ArtPrize is not only about the art, it’s about the conversations that happen in front of the art.

He noted that ArtPrize has served as an important springboard for GRAM and expects it will continue to play an important role for the museum. In addition to the quality of some of the artwork created, ArtPrize has helped GRAM increase its membership substantially and reach new audiences.

“Last year we had 400 new members sign up during ArtPrize, and this year we had 300,” he said. “Seven-hundred people signed up during ArtPrize to be year-round visitors.”

Visitors also can see the ArtPrize 2013 winning entry, “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore” by Ann Loveless, which is on view at GRAM through the spring as part of a six-month loan from ArtPrize. Three pieces drawn from ArtPrize 2012′s winning work, “Elephants” by Adonna Khare, are also included in this loan.

The encore exhibition

  • Rick Beerhorst, “Folding the Sheet”
  • Elizabeth Brandt, “BodyMap”
  • Sophia Collier, “Plank of Water”
  • Jason Gamrath, “Botanical Exotica”
  • Shea Hester-Haddad, “Fluidity”
  • Martha Hayden, “Self Portrait”
  • Thimgan Hayden, “La Donna Incinta”
  • David Huang, “Luminous Relic”
  • Sara Lowthian,” Prescription Vanitas; Overconsumption and Life and Death”
  • Armin Mersmann, “Through the Iris”
  • Osamu James Nakagawa, “BANTA Series, Okinawa #1 and Saipan #2”
  • Graham Nickson, “View of Todi IV”
  • Terrence Reese, “Reflections — Paul Collins, Lois Mailou Jones, Gordon Parks”
  • Bruce Riley, “Sea Oleena”
  • Alexis Rockman, “Tropical Migrants”

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