Joachim Jensen

Grand Rapids ArtPrize revisited

October 14, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL  Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What one person may love, another person may thoroughly dislike. Add 1,713 artists from around the world displaying individual works of art into the mix and the result is the amazing Grand Rapids ArtPrize competition. Building upon last year’s initial launch of the world’s largest art competition, this year’s version was even more amazing and spectacular. ArtPrize dominated the greater Grand Rapids area news for most of September and on into early October in addition to causing a lot of buzz in the national and worldwide news media. Chosen by 38,501 active voters casting a total of 465,538 votes in two rounds over 15 days, the rankings of the top ten pieces of the 2010 ArtPrize competition were announced last Thursday evening. Picking up where we left off last year, your reporters spent the prior week seeking out the artists at their respective venues to attempt to get an inside perspective of their individual works of art. Focusing on the top three winners, here’s what we gleaned. We found the third-place ($50,000) winner Beili Liu, creator of “Lure/Wave,” street-side just as dark was falling one evening outside her ground floor venue in the new still-under-construction UICA on Fulton Street. ArtPrize attendees were separated from Liu’s creation and could only view the ethereal work through the street-side windows because of ongoing construction to the building. Even though the installation was meant to be walked through, it visually struck a cord in enough voters to place third in the prestigious competition. Liu’s spellbinding work was beautiful. “It is meant to depict the ancient Chinese legend that tells when children are born, invisible red threads connect them to the ones whom they [we] are fated to be with. Over the years of their lives, they come closer and eventually they find each other, overcoming the distance between, and cultural and social divides,” explained Liu. Ten to twelve miles of red thread were required to create three to four thousand hand-spiraled coils of red thread discs, each connected one to another by a single thread. Every coil disc is pierced in the center by a sewing needle, which enables the suspension of the discs […]