Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Weight of ArtPrize Decisions

The top ten for ArtPrize was announced last week, which means I have until Wednesday to place my vote. A decision which I am giving more consideration than I've given several of the last elections.

I've split the list into two distinct halves—those that I like and admire, and those whose place in the top ten makes my question the validity of popular vote. I don't criticize ArtPrize for this, as they openly define themselves as "Part arts festival, part social experiment." (I do however criticize the taste of the general public).

Not from the top ten but from my own personal favorites, shown here is In the Valley of the River, which was displayed at the Boardwalk Condos. A portrait of Grand Rapids made from garbage collected around the city.

While I've narrowed it down to three pieces, I haven't made a final decision. Voting means I need to decide between:
• an impressive display of fine art, clean and technically masterful.
• a unique skill, well-executed and creatively designed.
• a concept that I find beautiful both in meaning and aesthetics.

I'm also considering something else in my voting this year. Since ArtPrize will now own the winning piece as part of an ArtPrize collection, I'm putting stock into which piece I'd most like to see stay in Grand Rapids.

Regardless, I've written down what I think the final popular vote order will be. We'll see how well I know the people of this city on Thursday when they announce the winner.

The top ten include – in no particular order:
Vision: at the GRAM
Elephant Walk: at the Children's Museum
Salt & Earth: at the GRAM
Dances with Lions: at the BOB
Calvary: at the GRAM
Lure/Wave: at the new UICA building
A Matter of Time: outside the Van Andel Public Museum
Helping Mom, one Penny at a Time: at the Ford Museum
Steam Pig: at the BOB
Svelata: at the DeVos Place

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