GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – If a deal isn’t reached by 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday the government will shutdown and so will the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
There are four top 10 ArtPrize entries at the museum but the concern lies with the two artists who have their work on display inside the building.
The museum brings in one of the highest traffic volumes, making it one of the most sought after venues for artists. However, the artists didn’t plan for a government shutdown.
“Last week we were notified that it could be an issue,” Anni Crouter, creator of Polar Expressed, said.
Another top 10 artist we spoke to, Ann Loveless, the creator behind Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore, said she didn’t know what was going to happen to her work when she first heard the museum might be closing.
“I was kind of in panic because I thought, ‘all this work and then right when you’re in the final hours of votes, oh now we don’t get votes,'” Loveless said.
Since that time, the two artists developed a plan, so that they will get votes.
“The bears will be escaping the museum and going to their dunes,” Crouter said.
Unshaken by the announcement, Crouter tells us a back-up plan is just feet away. The bears will get a new home under the awning located at the main, outside entrance of the museum.
Loveless and Crouter are in the same hall of the museum with their pieces. During their journey at ArtPrize the two have formed a bond and said they will be sticking together should a move become necessary.
“We’re going to work together and we’re going to set up oustide and keep going,” Loveless said. “Nothing’s going to stop us.”
If the move happens Crouter said they could even benefit from their new loction.
“When this museum closes at 8, then the voting stops for us,” Crouter said. “If we’re outside it can last into the evening.”
If the museum closes, people can still visit the grounds and check out all the artwork that remains outside. However, the parking lot will also be closed off, so drivers will have to find a new place to park their cars.