GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – When the sun sets at ArtPrize, it changes the perspective in the eye of the beholder.
As Joe Gordier, an ArtPrize visitor, stared up at a giant dragon covered in neon lights he saw it first hand, “It could be a bit of a show instead of art for art’s sake,” he said. “But whatever it is, everyone seems to enjoy it.”
It’s not just the art pieces themselves that change when the lights go out.
“It’s a very eclectic mix of people, we enjoy that,” said Bill Shoemaker. “We enjoy that as much as we do ArtPrize itself.”
When art is exposed, on display 24 hours a day, it’s an element few artists can ignore.
“In the evening when it gets dark, you have to figure out some sort of lighting,” said Brian Bennett, a first time ArtPrize artist.
Bennett said he was given instructions from the venue on how to handle the situation.
“They give you a list of items that you check off, just to see what you need,” he said. “They make it very easy for you.”
Some artists choose to embrace the dark, making it a part of the art. That was the case for Kevin Rushing and his fire breathing dragon.
“It’s definitely in its element at night and when you can see all the lights and fire, it’s a lot more impressive,” he said.
No matter what you time you choose to come down to ArtPrize, the advice heard again and again from artist and visitor alike; “You have to come back.”