University community takes part in ArtPrize curation, creativity, performance

GVL Archive
The GVSU Dance Department will be participating in this years ArtPrize

GVL Archives

GVL Archive The GVSU Dance Department will be participating in this years ArtPrize

Lauren Ringger

ArtPrize is one of Grand Rapid’s largest events, and this year Grand Valley State University students, faculty and alumni are playing a noticable role.

Charles Jurries, a 2010 GVSU alumna, will be featuring his piece, “64 Workers Lose Jobs.”

The piece is created to look like a newspaper front page. The main headline reads “64 Workers Lose Jobs,” and the rest of the front-page story is 64 silhouettes.

“The point of this piece is to remind people that sometimes, when there is a news story that talks about a large number of people, that not all those people may be represented,” Jurries said. “You may get to briefly know one or two names, a sound byte here and there, but, even those people may blend in with the other nameless, faceless people.”

Jurries’s piece will be on display at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Division Avenue, right at the foot of the Grand Rapids Community College campus.

“The weird part of this all is I am trying to figure out how much time I want to spend being by my piece to answer any questions people might have, and how much time I want to spend seeing the rest of ArtPrize,” Jurries said. “I walked around parts of downtown on Sunday, and, seeing what sculptures were out there already was so much fun. There’s this monster emerging from the bricks outside the Van Andel Arena that’s so cool, a dinosaur right near it that’s funky, that tall person by the Blue Bridge — I am definitely looking forward to seeing the rest of ArtPrize.”

GVSU’s Pew Campus is a main venue for ArtPrize, showcasing 31 exterior works of art. Visitors can enjoy a sculpture walk from the DeVos Center to the Eberhard Center, and the pedestrian Blue Bridge over the Grand River.

Henry Matthews, GVSU’s director of galleries and collections, curated the project. He selected the 31 artists who are participating, two of whom will actually being making art as a daily function during ArtPrize, ending with a complete sculpture and painting.

“I think that this shows GVSU’s participation it its community projects,” Matthews said. “It shows us being a player with the rest of the community. One of the things that I tried to do when choosing the pieces is I remembered that we are a university and I try to remember that our audience is diverse and we have everything from students to faculty and alums and visitors, so I tried to relate to the diversity of our audience. We have two projects that involve Grand Valley charter schools projects, so that involves younger kids. On the other end we have international artists.”

On Sept. 30 at 3 p.m., GVSU’s dance and poetry departments will become an active part of the sculpture walk.

Shawn Bible, assistant professor of dance, and Sean Prentiss, assistant professor of writing, teamed two of their classes together to create an audiovisual art piece to compliment the sculptures.

“Through the GVSU art gallery, the poetry department and the dance department together create a piece of art,” said Shawn Bible, assistant professor of dance. “A poet writes a poem and a dancer creates choreography and dances. So at the site of one of the sculptures they’re inspired by, they perform this dance and poetry reading.”

There is a numbered map that navigates itself so that as participants walk through all of the sculptures, performances will happen along the path.

The dancers, who are a part of the GVSU’s dance department, have choreographed dances that correlate to pieces of art along the sculpture walk.

“I’m performing in front of a piece of art titled ‘Shattered,’” said Briana Block, who will participate in the project. “It’s a window literally shattered but it looks really cool. I really thought this piece of art was unique and could leave an impression on our audience. As one of the choreographers and dancers, I’m looking forward to performing in front of such a unique piece of art and working with such a talented poet, as well.”

The GVSU Art Gallery has participated in ArtPrize all three years.

ArtPrize began Wednesday and will run through Oct. 9 all around Grand Rapids. Voting is open to anyone who attends.

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