ArtPrize is an annual arts festival and social experiment showcasing 1,582 artists in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The monetary awards are the largest in the world and the competition is decided solely on the general public’s electronic vote. The goal is for the community to explore new ideas and form relationships with the artists. I often think that the DeVos family just has too much damn money, yet am grateful for their philanthropy in my home, which is considered one of the most depressed states in the country.
I developed a taste for art in my 20’s. In my 30’s I began to step out of my impressionist comfort zone. In my 40’s I seek to find the vision of the artist, to understand the intended meaning of the work and incorporate it with my interpretation of a piece or performance. With this approach I have discovered the emotional facet of art, finding joy and haunting sadness in unexpected pieces that I was previously unready for. Including a friend in artistic excursions, I am gifted with a contrasting view that leaves me appreciative of what I gain from being open to other’s visions. Besides, I always laugh in the company of dear friends and there is no greater joy than that.