Filed under: Art
The big numbers and grand auction centers around the world remain under pressure, but small local art scenes are finding ways to thrive. Like the small cap stocks that lead financial markets out of a recession, maybe it's the emerging artist and local art scene that will deliver us from this slump.
Grand Rapids hosted ArtPrize, a new art show this year, and it was so successful that the organizers are going to do it again in 2010. Businesses in town got a bump, and Grand Rapids was able to boost its cred as an art destination. The 18-day competition commenced on September 23, 2009 and drew tens of thousands of visitors to the Michigan city. Some restaurants ran out of food, because they weren't expecting such a large influx of guests. Doug Small, president of the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention and Visitors Bureau, told The Associated Press, "Nobody had any clue this would happen."
The competition attracted 1,262 entries, varying in size, shape, style and medium. They were displayed in lobbies, on bridges, in parking lots and in the Grand River -- anywhere in town where they could find a place to exhibit. The winners were chosen by the voting public, using the event's website and text messaging, with 37,264 people participating.
The winner was Ryan Ortner of Brooklyn, New York, with the oil painting "Open Water No. 24, measuring 19 feet wide, taking first place, with Tracy Van Duinen taking second and Eric Daigh coming in third. Ortner lent his painting to the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which is going to display it until January.