ArtPrize: Big, Bold, and (definitely) Never Boring

September 24 - October 10
Love it or hate it, but the state's largest art event is coming to town, ironically on the same week as the circus is coming to Van Andel Arena. Crowds are crowds, and it's possible you won't be able to tell the difference, except for the timely protest of the Ringling Bros. event on September 20th from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m. as organizers of Stop Animal Cruelty will attempt to set a record for the world's largest protest against the use of animals in a circus.
 
All this festive fun (and even the protest) is a good thing since, as ArtPrize enters a new era of its existence, it has proved yet again that it is willing to morph and bend to keep you guessing about what, exactly, it is. (Hint: ArtPrize is really about what you bring to it so, in the words of founder Rick DeVos, be sure to bring your "crazy crap" because we should have room for having fun here in our city.)
 
In the interest of trying to be quite fair, ArtPrize is a thrill to see land each year as many artists from near and far attempt to navigate entries, some as big as a giant Macy's Day Parade balloon animal, into the top prize categories.
 
Sometimes the techniques an artist will employ to gain publicity and advantage are downright garish, playing off sentiment or localism to secure a few extra votes, but the ones that always resonate with me are those artists and venues whose work is quieter, yet packs a punch in the revelation of their meaning. This is where, in the opinion of this life-long art lover, is the heart of art.
 
I'll be dropping images as I see things that attract my attention over the next few weeks, but most of all, remember size is not everything, my friends. It is truly how you use it that matters to me.
 
Good luck, 'Prizers. The games begin Wednesday, September 24.
 
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