2017 09 27
Been BUSY working Art Prize!!! As Wayfinders. We carry a satchel full of brochures and maps. With a sign on the satchel and/or a label on a smock they provide that says “Ask Me”. The satchel is black and ugly. The smock is red this year and what someone would wear as a teacher when her early grade school class is doing finger painting. So also unfashionable. But since we also have large name tags we hang from a lanyard around our neck, that I refuse to wear the smock or carry the bag (as I have from last year) there is no problem identifying us as Wayfarer’s. Oh and the “lollipops” I made with “Ask Me” on one side and the Art Prize logo on the other.
The Art Prize is a HUGE art show in Downtown Grand Rapids. This is not your typical arts and craft “show” in a bunch of pop up suns shades with everything from knit winter stocking hats to the Harleys on black velvet. Art Prize is the extremes in art from altering a building’s appearance to performance art to paintings, pen and ink, bronze sculptures and satire in art. Only a few have for sale signs on them. The grand prize is $200,000 for judged, $200,000 for people’s choice, and $12,500 for each of four categories times two – people’s choice and judged.
This is about 1470 pieces of art in about 140 venues scattered around downtown Grand Rapids. With about 10,000 people in attendance each day, a half million total for the eighteen days. Most do multiple days.
So staff is needed. Docents, information guides, and souvenir store sales. Each year Amy, my SO, and I volunteer. Preferably as information guides because that puts us right OUT there in the midst of the 10,000 visitors.
Last year the weather was sort of 30 degrees cooler in the mid 60s. This year it was HOT and sunny. Perhaps the temperature has some bearing, perhaps it is the new political and cultural climate. By my casual observations people are noticeably less happy, less interacting. There is less JOY in a cupple of nutty guys dressing up to be fab and enjoying themselves. Last year people were all around us taking pictures. This year about 1/4 smile, 1/4 have stern looks, and the remainder are unaware of us.
But we are having FUN this day September 20th!
Photo caption: Billie gets her “tiny house”. But really, this is a piece of art. One of many outdoor installations.
Photo caption: Right OUT there! People passing by. People taking photos of us on the sly. People whispering and then their companion turns their head and glances discreetly. Occasionally a snicker from someone wise in the ways of the world, at least theirs.
Yes JUST one outfit today. Downtown is BUSY during Art Prize. We get there early so finding a parking space in a lot isn’t too bad. To leave the area and go to our meeting place, change, and return to find a open spot is just too much trouble. ONE outfit will have to do. Well Tuesday and Thursday. Saturday is a whole nother deal!
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