This is Honey and me fifty two years ago this Thursday. Our wedding seems like a minute ago. We must have been having a very good time through good and bad times, for the years sure did fly by. To celebrate our good fortune in finding each other, Honey surprised me with a trip. We're off to Grand Rapids tomorrow courtesy of the JW Marriott. It seems the hotel chain really liked all the times we stayed at their place in Cancun and wanted to thank us.
When Honey told me, "Grand Rapids ,"I said., "What the hell is in Grand Rapids?" Turns out quite a lot. Honey and I are going arting about--not exactly Honey's cup of tea, but he asked me and after doing a thorough online investigation, I'm delighted
Grand Rapids is quite the respectable art community a couple of hours away from Detroit. It has the GRAM, the BOB, the Gerald R. Ford Museum, the Meijer Sculpture Gardens, The Grand Rapids People's Museum with a planetarium and a relatively new JW Marriott Hotel complete with indoor pool and spa.
In the Fall, Grand Rapids hosts ArtPrize, a festival of art of world wide proportions with a monetary prize that would buy a lot of paint. Last year's winner, Mia Travonatti, took home $250,000 for her phenomenal mosaic painting, Crucifixion. The event as described officially online is enticing. After seeing Mia's work and her process, we're going.
ArtPrize is a social experimentIf you're interested in exhibiting, go HERE.
ArtPrize® is an international art competition and social experiment where anyone can be an artist, any space can be a venue and everyone has a voice.
International Art Competition:
In 2011 artists from 39 countries participated in ArtPrize. In addition to artists, curators, jurors, speakers, educators, press, critics and visitors from all over the world flood Grand Rapids, Mi to participate in awarding the worlds largest prize for art.
The fun things I'm looking forward to on Thursday are the Raucshenberg Exhibit at the GRAM (Grand Rapids Art Museum) and the Meijer Sculpture Gardens if the weather is friendly. I hope it is; I've got to see Deborah Butterfield's Horses. In between, we're going to the BOB, a Big Old Building filled with restaurants and galleries. For lunch, we'll do Bobarino's where you can eat outdoors--the weather being friendly, wbf. There's also some action at the comedy club, Dr. Grin's, also at the BOB. Todd Yohn is performing. I have no idea who he is, but Honey and I do like to laugh.
Rauschenberg is of particular interest to me. The Abstract Expressionist married painting to sculpture in his colorful relief constructions. The exhibit is a big one.
The Gerald R. Ford Museum is on my agenda for Friday morning. Aside from Ford's presidential memorabilia, there are two temporary exhibits: Freedom Riders and Bob Hope, An American Treasure. Both have peaked my interest, particularly The Freedom Riders. With a small infant in the crib, I could only watch these brave people protest racial inequality from the safety of my home.
Grand Rapids is home base for the Alticor Corporation. Alticor probably means nothing to you, but Amway might if you're a vitamin enthusiast? Alticor is the new name of the company when it was restructed in 2000. And there was big money invested in the culture of the city by the families of J.Van Andel and Richard Devos, co founders of Amway. While I was sleuthing info on these two guys who most generously supported the arts, I came across another point of interest: the Voight House Victorian Museum. It is a part of the GR Public Museum. Now, Honey isn't big on being shlepped around visiting this museum and that, so I might miss it, but I'm not going to miss the 1928 Spillman carousel. The carousel was the only ride I'd go on at a carnival as a kid--and I couldn't go round and round and up and down enough times. Honey and I have had quite a ride these last fifty two years, I think we'll go for one more ride on the carousel and one more year of our spectacular partnership?