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Welcome to The ArtPrize – Intern Sara’s Adventure Through ArtPrize

Welcome to the Artprize, we’ve got fun and art.

We’ve got every food truck you want honey, and we’ve got the…art.

Seriously though, if you are in the Grand Rapids area right now, you need to check out ArtPrize! My kiddo and I ventured downtown this week after a weekend up north. The first thing i did was yell at the car that almost hit me and a kid in the middle of the road. But once we parked the car and started walking, calm reappeared as art filled our senses and eyes. EVERYWHERE. We started at the gardens off of Fountain Street in front of the Kcad building (Kendall School of Arts).

Photo by Sara Zen Gardens
Photo by Sara Zen Gardens

They’ve shut down half of the road to build a GIANT zen garden, complete with seating and picnic areas, perfect to step away from the beautiful insanity that is ArtPrize. Once in the Kcad building, I was immediately drawn to a couple 3-D pieces, one with lights and music, the other, an interactive projection of women in boxes filled with different packing materials.

Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara

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You are encouraged to touch, move,  and feel the materials. This building thoroughly provoked some thoughts.

After piggyback rides under sidewalk scaffolding (there is a bit of GR construction going on but it really adds to the experience) we headed towards the water! Tons of people, tons of traffic, TONS of cool art! From giant metal dogs and their balls, simple snowmen, all the way to my favorite, RIVER ART!

Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara Oil Spill
Photo by Sara Oil Spill

This year they have an installation in the river to show us what our river would look like if there was an oil spill. If I’m being honest, it was a beautiful representation of something terrible but the conversations I was overhearing were fantastic. Art that invokes thought is the best!! Once you cross the bridge, that’s when the real magic happens. The corner of Pearl and Front streets have been a fave of mine in all the years of Artprize. You’ve got the Gerald R. Ford Museum right there plus the GR Public museum, both of which are bustling with activities and art both inside and out. This is always my sons go to spot.  You’ll find interactive “Rock”ing chairs, spaceships, water sculptures, sugar art, an amazing recycled ocean, including poured aluminum coral and a Great White made out of what looks to be cheese graters.

Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara

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Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara

Walk to the north, you come to Ah-Nab-Awen Park where they have a park-spanning chime field where kids of all ages can grab a provided stick and make some music. Walk south, past the Grand Rapids Public Museum, your eyes will be filled with Native American art and culture, activities for the kids, a fiery stallion, a centaur and even a Yoga Bunny!

Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara

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If you are able to make it Rosa Parks Circle, hold on to your pants because you are in a for a FEAST! In front of the Grand Rapids Art Museum you will find a marvelous assortment of Food trucks ranging from BBQ to Vegan, to burgers and seafood! And if you don’t make it there, no fear! Grand Rapids has HUNDREDS of SPECTACULAR restaurants right at your fingertips and just around the corner

Yes, traffic is crazy, there are people everywhere, and you will run into the occasional line but holy mother is it worth every bit of it. My soul, and my tummy, left Artprize veeeeeery happy. Each year, i am stretched in thought and humanity by the joy and kindness this city boasts during the insanity that is ArtPrize. You’ve got four more days! GO SEE SOME ART!

Photo by Sara Blue Bridge Love!
Photo by Sara Blue Bridge Love!

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