When a whole town gets artsy.

When a whole town gets artsy.


The first weekend in October, we found ourselves in Michigan with a date night on our hands (wahooooo!). We made our way to Grand Rapids where the entire downtown was covered in art–real, creative, layperson-understood art. It was incredible! I’ll briefly highlight a very select few of the pieces we viewed (and we only visited two of the major venues plus sidewalks in between). We missed at least a dozen other buildings and streets and streets of art. Apparently we needed a whole week to really take this in!

last year’s grand prize winner,
an elementary teacher’s pencil drawing

IMG_0371 IMG_0372 IMG_0374

THIS is how big it was…plus what you can’t see!


last year’s runner up,
a quilt, a huge QUILT


the last supper table
where you could carve your name/story


the usa made entirely of guns,
a highly controversial exhibit

reminds me of a dr. seuss thneed,
from a balcony to a wall


living art, bees forming combs around pen drawings

paper cutouts, HAND cutouts
windows and windows and windows worth

one of this year’s $20,000 winners
sculpture with resin and oil paint

shattered glass
made with hot glue

a huge inflated self-potrait
drawn with sharpie

detailed lead drawingIMG_0402

intersections, a $100,000 grand prize winner
the whole room decorated with SHADOWS 
a 21-week belly, POPPED

My personal favorite exhibit (although there were so many good ones that we didn’t photograph, I feel overwhelmed ending with this knowing that so many weren’t highlighted here!): Ryan Reed’s candid photography of his one-year tag-a-long with his cousin’s unit. The title: Despite Similarities to Reality, This is a Work of Fiction. He and his wife were there explaining the maze we walked through, the heart of the exhibit, and the camera he used. None of these photos were touched with any photo-editing software! He says that even though these are real pictures of war, that this is not reality. That we are experiencing war in a warm building, holding our loved one’s hand, having eaten dinner before, going to coffee after, bathrooms easily accessible, no fear. That’s not war he said. These pictures are of war, but we have no idea what war really is. It was a really powerful exhibit. It hasn’t left me yet!Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 2.32.52 PMWe are so going to be regular attenders from now on.
Kids, you can thank your grandparents for letting us go this year,
because we’ll be making you enjoy this art with us for many years to come! ;)

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