Thursday, October 8, 2015

ArtPrize Adventures 2015, Meijer Gardens, and the Creative Blogger Award

In which I ramble about art and cameras and gardens . . .

Bonus points if you know why I used this particular gif ;P
So, I'm going to borrow a page from E. Rawl's book and combine a tag with another post. Very fitting, since she is the one who tagged me for this and ArtPrize is all about creativity! I'll list my five random facts throughout the post. And at the very end of the post, instead of tagging people, I'm going to list eleven of my favorite blogs - just in case some of you haven't heard of them.

First, a little bit about ArtPrize. For almost three weeks in the fall, you can see over 1500 works of art located in 3 square miles of Grand Rapids, MI. It's due to the independent competition called ArtPrize, which anyone can enter. That's right - any artist of any level or country, ages 18 and older, can enter to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. They do a much better job explaining it here, so click that link if you'd like to know more!
Intersections laser cut wood, Copyright Anila Quayyum Agha
From performance based art such as music, to modern sculpture and traditional ceramics, ArtPrize seems to garner just about every sort of art you could imagine.

For example, here's the piece that won last year (it is even more incredible in person!):

Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha

Click the links above for more info, as well as the artist's thoughts/inspirations for her work.

By the way, this "box" is 6.5 feet by 6.5 feet . . . and intricately carved the whole way round. It's hard to explain just how incredible it is to stand in a giant empty room with it. The center light, as you see, projects the shadows and amplifies the patterns so you can appreciate just how amazing the carvings are.

This year's entries were no less diverse, from a quilted scene of Michigan forests to a peacock made out of scavenged silverware (not kidding). My phone kept dying on me, so I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I wanted (my normal camera is busted, unfortunately). Still, you can see a bit of most entries on their website.

"Triple Play" by Anni Crouter - Acrylic on Canvas

Random Fact #1 about Rebekah: I wanted to be Princess Jasmine when I was 5, just so I could have a pet tiger. (Don't ask how that made sense-I was 5)

Michigan Petoskey Stone by Randall Libby
The petoskey stone MI was incredible! At about 9 x 9 feet, it was also pretty big. The artist did all of the counties in Michigan, which was also very cool. I believe it is now the biggest piece of petoskey stone art existing.

Random Fact #2: My favorite color is burnt autumn orange. Followed closely by hunter green.

"Seasons" by Robin Protz
Ohhhh, this tree! I NEED IT. My camera just didn't capture how gorgeous it is though. It's all four seasons on a tree, made out of everything from spools to Christmas ornaments, all suspended from a frame to form the tree. I felt like I was in fairyland. (I was seriously enraptured by this thing. We practically had to drag me away)

Random Fact #3: My favorite book about "The Fair Folk," (or unconfirmed fairies!) is The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. It's awesome historical fiction and you should read it.

"Vintage Dream" by Reagan Kazyak
This is a wearable dress made out of vintage storybook pages. I know people are divided on using book pages this way, but JUST LOOK AT THIS. I've always been interested in clothing construction and costume design, so this blew my mind. There are more close ups if you click the link.

Random Fact #4: Costume Design was one of the things I seriously considered doing with my life. I actually made all of the costumes for a friend's indie film!

"As Above" by Judith Braun
"As Above" 480 sq. ft Charcoal fingerprints on the wall at Grand Rapids Art Museum, for ArtPrize Seven, 2015
Those are all fingerprints. It makes me dizzy just considering this! If you went up closer, you could see the perfectly placed charcoal smudges. It took finger painting to a whole new level. Some people are so creative that I can hardly comprehend it.

Random Fact #5: The last charcoal artwork I did was a headshot of Elsa (Frozen, probably obvious) for my younger sister

So, my phone kept dying, and I didn't get many more pictures :(  However, since the ArtPrize site has A TON of photos, you should check it out. I'll finish off the ArtPrize segment with a picture of this intriguing statue that seemed to be looking at me . . .
"White Forest Project" by Oriano Galloni
Maybe someday I will have a working camera when I need it . . .
The Zen Garden.

Anyhow, after ArtPrize, we went to Meijer Gardens for the first time. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to go back there and write. The highlight was the Japanese garden, which made me feel more at peace just after stepping into it!

Too beautiful. There was even a fellow watercolor painting on one of the paths. He had an easel and zero signs of modern tech on him. I really wished that I'd brought my notebooks. Or at least my sketchpad!!

If you click the Meijer Gardens link above, you can see a little bit more of some of the other things they do. We didn't have a lot of time, so we skipped plenty of stuff. There were conservatories as well, and several gardens we didn't make it into. The Children's Garden was especially cool - with tree huts that reminded me of Swiss Family Robinson, and the log cabin at left. And there were suspension bridges!!

So cool! And the pictures of the gardens were all taken by my younger brother, by the way. Didn't he do a nice job?

So I could bore you all day with garden pictures, but I promised to list off 11 of my favorite blogs (and follow E. Rawls too! because she would have made this list if she hadn't been the tagger!). They aren't all book blogs, but you should check them all out!

1. Alex Hurst - She's a fantasy author who lives in Kyoto. I'm super jealous. But her blog is awesome.
2. Sara Letourneau - a great blogger, fantasy author, and all around lovely person. Follow her.
3. Victoria Grace @ Stori Tori's Blog - She loves anime and she writes. And she's really nice
4. Christine @ Musings of an Elf - Another lovely writer who wants to be an elf. We need a club!
5. Aimee @ To the Barricade -  Snarky writer. And her blog name is a reference to LES MIS people
6. Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout - funny and a ton of fun (and another author)
7. Skye @ Further Up and Further In - She runs the Beautiful People meme with Cait, and she writes
8. Elizabeth @ Inkspelled Faery - a published author with a fun writing blog (sensing a theme?)
9. Tracey Dyck - A Canadian author with a beautiful writing blog. She's full of good stuff :)
10. Kami @ Kami's Library Thoughts - She reviews everything from graphic novels to movies
11. Deborah @ The Road of a Writer - A writer/blogger who loves LOTR and Westmark!!

Whew! That was a long post. If you made it to the end, have a cookie.