Okay, it's been a week and time to catch up regarding my travels inside this large event.
First. Yes, thousands of people have shown up for this - especially on the weekend. Long lines to get into the exhibition centers. Traffic moving at a snail's pace due to all the foot traffic. This past week I got a new means of transportation - a moped! It's tiny compared to the scooters Laura O. brought to AK, more like a baby scooter. It does 40mph going downhill, but it does a consistent 35mph around town which is good enough for most areas that I need to go. This little beauty allows me to visit those art sites that are away from the crazy center of things but too far or just too dangerous to try and walk to. More visuals and descriptions on some of the perimeter artwork later.
Second. This year ArtPrize created an artists' lounge. Only participating artists are allowed in, which is kind of great and needed. It's only about 2 blocks from my site. So I've made use of it when I need a quiet place to go with food, wifi and lovely, comfortable chairs. There's a pingpong table at the far end of the lounge which provides a certain amount of hilarity.
As to my current overall impressions at the moment:
There's a lot of saccharin, earnest work here. Artists with 1 note, feel good messages. There's also a lot of 'sacred / sacramental' art too. Most of this type is located in and around the churches. There's a lot of beautiful, old cathedrals in GR. I've attached some images of 1 piece that kind of works in it's site placement and presentation - the holy spirit tongues of fire made out of paper, church doilies. Anyway, this type of work is a lot for someone like me to plow through, but fortunately there's other stuff too.
Here's an image that will make Angela and Duke smile - bike as art. For more details on construction, their website is www.innercitybikes.com
I've realized that this continues to be an evolving event. This year's structure opened up new locations to register as a viewer (which was evidently needed). The 'exhibition centers' had both work and registration areas. An unintended consequence is that people stay congregated around these venues. Other images show Calder Plaza - which last year was a high traffic area, but this year is far less so. (The paperclips is not a Oldenburg piece, but an artist who brought the 12,000lb piece from Colorado.)
More impressions in later posts this week.
In the meantime, I've continued to make presentations at a local college here (Calvin College for those of you familiar with GR). Here's a link to a student response from all of these process lectures I've been doing. http://openeyedemma.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/snath/
I also got to hear a presentation by Maya Lin. She spoke mainly of the work she's been involved in over the last 10 years. And some current work around the 'What is Missing'.
That evening's talk was a respite from this current event into something more familiar to me.
I'll end today's post with 3 images from the perimeters of ArtPrize - 2 images from a dogpark by the river with over (20) 8 foot tall, corten steel dogs and 1 detail of a large, asphalt parking lot that was painted for the event. Murals are everywhere but this is the only one I've seen on a horizontal surface that you can amble across and add your own words to.