A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

art prize!

It's art prize time again in Grand Rapids. It started last week and runs until Oct 6th. Any local friends who are wondering - yes you should go! And yes you can take the kids because they will love it too!

This is the 5th year and it was so much busier than it was when we went 2 years ago.

It's a competition where art is displayed indoors and outside across 169 venues. That's an awful lot of art... We barely scratched the surface!
There are thousands of dollars to be won and you can vote using your phone and the art prize app (when you are in the boundaries of Grand Rapids).

We all loved it! The art ranges from small pieces on the walls and in the windows of restaurants and shops to huge metal sculptures in parks and smaller sculptures inside museums and hotels.
We would have liked to go into the Art Museum in Downtown but the lines were huge and our little ones would not have made it!

This shimmering picture was made with thousands of sequins and tiny beads!! 

Just one of the many metal sculptures at the B.O.B.

There are interactive ones that the kids can climb on and others that you see and grab both kids to make sure they don't knock it over! There was a cool two way mirror disc that was spinning round.  People line up on both sides and as they stare at their reflection their body keeps morphing in and out of the person opposite! I think it had holes in it but however it worked, it was hilarious and freaky!

We are a family who like cities. The kids were full of energy and excitement when we arrived. And whenever we drive up north and go past Grand Rapids they always point it out!

We were going to the circus at the Van Andel arena which is right in the centre of town so we saw some of the installations on the way there. And then we spent the afternoon walking around, along with crowds of other people, tracking down the pieces we (I) wanted to see.

One in particular was a piece done by the art teacher at the kids' school - Lynda Marnon. She created a beautiful butterfly, made up of small painted paper flowers, sitting on a blade of grass. She has her piece in the Holiday Inn Hotel next to the GR Public Museum. Hint hint - go and see it then vote for her!

It's still hard work walking round a busy city with the kids, especially when they are tired, as they don't have a lot of street sense and hardly walk anywhere during the week. But they enjoyed climbing on the giant ducks, watching the living statues come to life and adventuring round the city. And of course repeatedly rolling down the hills at the Gerald R Ford museum!

This poor policeman had already lost his voice by 3pm! 

An 'Irish' singer who came to life when someone dropped a donation in his collection tin! 
The kids thought it was hilarious when he started singing! 

Have I mentioned I have crazy kids?! 

Of course the Kilwin's fudge (vanilla for J, chocolate for the kids and my favourite - salted caramel!) helped with low energy levels and the copious amounts of popcorn consumed during the circus helped too! (Good job they got 2 days worth of fruit and veg in on Friday!)

We love Grand Rapids - it's got the culture and energy on a scale that is sometimes lacking in Kalamazoo (downtown can be empty on a Saturday morning). We say every time we go that we should go more often, but it's an hours drive and there are just not enough weekends in the year!

Beautiful flags in the river - remind you of Glastonbury anyone?! 

Look what someone created out of book pages! 

A 'watch' outside the Children's museum

This face was made from thousands of tiny lego pieces! 

Hmmm - a ladder hanging above the road... 
Not sure if it was part of Art Prize but it made C laugh! 

And our celebrity spot... The weather guy from Storm Team 8!! 
In case you are wondering - those are 'official' Wood TV 8 sunglasses -  
a prize for writing their names on the map outside the studio. 

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