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Big Mind Sky is big winner at Sunday Soup #16

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Open Concept Gallery comes out on top with their proposal to support marketing needs for an upcoming exhibition at this month's iteration of the regular community granting initiative
Underwriting support from:
Open Concept Gallery presenting "Big Mind Sky"

Open Concept Gallery presenting "Big Mind Sky" /Jaimé Johnson

Heather Hughesian presenting Dispolarity

Heather Hughesian presenting Dispolarity /Jaimé Johnson

Sunday Soup organizers Megan McClish and Teresa Zbiciak count ballots

Sunday Soup organizers Megan McClish and Teresa Zbiciak count ballots /Jaimé Johnson

Promising to afix a massive rainbow-shaped neon sculpture to the side of their prominent downtown building, Open Concept Gallery won $276 at last night's Sunday Soup #16. Sunday Soup, a program of The Division Avenue Arts Collective (The DAAC), is a grassroots mini-grant program designed to facilitate direct community support for local creative projects. While dining on a soup potluck, just over 50 attendees purchased a $5 vote and listened to proposals from four locals. Open Concept Gallery, the proposal with the most votes, received the entire proceeds of the event.

The winning proposal provides marketing support for Open Concept Gallery’s upcoming exhibition centered around Big Mind Sky, a large neon light sculpture by New York-based Swiss mixed-media artist Ugo Rondinone. The work will be installed in February of 2012 and is part of a larger exhibition called “United in Difference,” which will feature local and international artists focused on issues of social justice. The gallery sees this project as an extension of its goal to infuse art into the everyday experience of Grand Rapids' public.

Other projects proposed last night included Dispolarity, a style website focused on resources for gender-neutral fashion; a collective Photography Club to be organized by John Hanson at The DAAC; and Jeff Kraus, a previous recipient of Sunday Soup funding, who needs help framing work for an upcoming exhibition at Hoi Polloi, a neighboring gallery on Division.

In addition to project proposals, the audience heard presentations from local representatives of Food & Water Watch and the Barefoot Victory Garden. Food and Water Watch is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on consumer advocacy and corporate and governmental accountability around issues of food, water and fishing. Barefoot Victory Garden is an Eastown-based community garden that gave an update on how the group leveraged their past Sunday Soup win.

This Sunday Soup was also the first not to be held at The DAAC. Concerns over space and seating prompted a move across the street to the basement of Calvin College’s downtown (106) Gallery, at 106 S. Division.

The Sunday Soup mini-grant is additionally supported by the S.E.A.S club t-shirt project. Local artist Mike Wolf has designed and printed t-shirts based on signage created for a 1969 protest by the Art Workers’ Coalition in New York City. All proceeds from sales of Wolf’s t-shirt go to increase the size of the Sunday Soup award.

Started in Februrary of 2010, Sunday Soup Grand Rapids is part of a growing network of similar grassroots meal-based fundraising initiatives operating all over the world. The next event will occur in early 2012. Keep an eye on the Sunday Soup Grand Rapids website and Facebook group for more details about the upcoming event.

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