Crossing lines in the city

Courtesy /

Courtesy /

Mary Racette, Arts Editor

You can now view our gallery of highlights from Project One

“Project 1: Crossing Lines” has emerged as the first installment in a new series by the creative minds of Grand Rapids’ city-wide interactive competition, ArtPrize. Sept. 6 will be the opening date of Project 1, filling in the gap between ArtPrize years.

Five acclaimed artists were chosen from around the world to present their contemporary art throughout Grand Rapids. Each piece is intended to prompt community conversations on the topics of belonging and boundaries.

Through Project 1: Crossed Lines, we are interested in how lines are drawn, both literally and figuratively, throughout our city, and how these lines inform our sense of belonging,” said creative director of Project 1 Kevin Buist, in a statement.

Project 1 will be displayed for seven weeks, from Sept. 7 to Oct. 27.  The artwork featured allows for aspects of interaction and collaboration. The five artists’ work is spread out in three neighborhoods around the city, including Martin Luther King Park, Downtown in Rosa Parks Circle and at the Tanglefoot Building. 

Artists utilized unique mediums to convey their interpretation of the theme, “crossing lines.”  Public participation stands out in many of the pieces. “A lot of these artists are thinking about their artwork as not so much just something to see, but something to do and something to be involved in,” said Buist to MLive.

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will transform the bluebridge into an interactive experience, as he inserts light and sound as he interprets the theme of “crossing lines.” In his piece, “Voice Bridge” walkers are able to talk into the intercoms at the end of the bridge, creating a loop of the recorded message throughout different speaking on the bridge.  

This Spring and Summer, Amanda Browder relied on the community to participate in her project by donating bright fabric and helping sew it to be wrapped around Grand Rapids buildings. The most prominent location of her project, “Kaleidoscope”, can be found at the community center at MLK Park. 

Browder Told Wood TV, “I am very interested as a contemporary artist in incorporating the everyday human.”

The submerged rooftops which can be spotted in Rosa Parks Circle and MLK park, are the works of Heather Hart. The rooftops, titled “The Oracle of the Soulmates”, are open for people to crawl inside, and the roof will hold several live performances.  

Temporarily, the Tanglefoot Building will become a fully accessible public space. Paul Amenta and Ted Lott collaborated with DisArt to carry out their project, “Critical Infrastructure.”

There will also be performances scheduled on each Saturday of the event. During the opening day celebration, Rosa Parks Circle will present a vertical dancing performance from BANDALOOP. At 2 p.m. in MLK Park, cellist Jordan Hamilton will perform an array of musical genres.  The night will wrap up with a disability drag show at the Tanglefoot Building. Artists will be speaking at each location in between acts.  

ArtPrize’s new biannual schedule challenged organizers and artists to develop a project which will continually expose community members and tourists to arts and spark conversations about the given topic of the theme and artwork.