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ArtPrize 10 brings more art, local student work to Grand Rapids Downtown Market

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This year, visitors to the Downtown Market can not only see more art than ever before, with eleven large-scale installations in one location, but also take part in public events and taste locally-made food and drinks all in one location.

/Courtesy of Downtown Market

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Also taking place at the Market during ArtPrize:

Made in Michigan Pop-up Marketplace

September 22, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The final Made in Michigan Pop-up Marketplace of the 2018 season features more than 50 entrepreneurs, artisans and artists in the Outdoor Market Shed with Michigan-made goods for sale, including home decor, jewelry, clothing and art as well as food items and plants. Info…

Artists Creating Together Public Education Day:

September 22, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

ArtPrize Labs brings you the ACT Creative Lab at the Downtown Market. Bring the entire family to enjoy art activities - including take-home sensory crafts, creative movement and culinary arts - for a celebration of arts, inclusion and fun.

As always, after a long day of critiquing art or traipsing across the city, the Downtown Market’s small food businesses and full-service restaurants are a great place to cool off, warm up, taste some new food and have a hot or cold drink in the Market Hall or out on the patio.

/Courtesy of Downtown Market

/Courtesy of Downtown Market

With ArtPrize 10 beginning this week, there are hundreds of great venues across the city to take in amazing public art installations. This year, visitors to the Downtown Market can not only see more art than ever before, with eleven large-scale installations in one location, but also take part in public events and taste locally-made food and drinks all in one location.

Located both indoors and outdoors, art installations at the Downtown Market feature local artists as well as work from artists based across the country. This year, one piece from Byron Center Public Schools students is sure to be a local favorite. Made from more than one thousand bottle caps, Reflecting Differences was created by BCPS students in grades from K-12 and celebrates our ability as humans to “stand out as individuals, understand and celebrate differences and come together to do big things.”

The piece was inspired by one student’s take on an assignment titled, “You, Me, Everybody” last year – an eighth grade art unit designed to get students thinking creatively about identity and how it’s perceived in artwork, while they studied famous artists who portray their own identity in unique and interesting ways.

Eighth grader Marie Barr (now a freshman), came up with the concept of creating tiny line drawing of faces on recycled bottle caps, as a way to detail many different people all in one fragmented piece. As her work progressed, middle school art teacher Janine Campbell realized the potential of Marie’s idea to turn into a district-wide project, so she asked her permission to adopt it as the theme for the Byron Center Public Schools 2018 ArtPrize entry.

With the assistance of seven art teachers, the bottlecap portrait project was opened up to all art students in the district last spring, as well as all elementary students and many non-art students who wanted to participate as well. The final project was completed in the last few weeks and includes six silhouettes, all filled with work from bottlecap creations from each school.  Each art teacher came up with a different element of the work, from the idea of using student silhouettes, to adding in the element of reflective paper, so that viewers can see themselves in the work.

“ArtPrize offers so many opportunities to make learning relevant and impact the community,” said Campbell. “No other event gives us such a high-profile opportunity to teach art in a real-world setting and talk to students about how art can make an impact on a community.”

In addition to art education, the teachers tied the idea into reading about diversity and community building, reading and discussing books like “It’s OK to be Different,” “The Color of Us,” and “Magic Trash: The Story of Tyree Guyton and his Art.”

“We were thrilled that the Downtown Market was interested in our artwork, because for students and parents coming from Byron Center to see their art on display, it’s a perfect location with tons of parking and so many fabulous local businesses in one place to get food and drinks,” said Campbell. “The space inside the Downtown Market was perfect too, allowing the art to become part of the building’s architecture. We hope that families come to see the artwork and make a fun day trip out of it by sticking around for a meal.”

Byron Center Public Schools art teachers who were instrumental in this art project include: Rachael Ambroso, Jon LaBeau, Sarah Lawton, Molly Marshall, Greg Reinstein, Julie VanderLaan and Janine Campbell.

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