Oliver's Observatory

The Blog & Observations of Oliver H. Evans

Observing ArtPrize

Illustration - Greg Oberle   

Illustration - Greg Oberle


On Wednesday, September 28th, and Thursday, September 29th, I plan to visit each work in ArtPrize that has a Kendall connection, starting with the work by outside artists who are exhibiting at Kendall itself. Most of the time, however, will be spent observing work—and when possible, visiting with artists—who are associated with Kendall, either by being current students, staff, faculty, alumni, including artists associated with Kendall through the Continuing Studies Program.

I will be touring ArtPrize because, on the simplest level, I love the excitement and diversity of ArtPrize—so many people looking at so much creative work. And I want to recognize and celebrate the Kendall people who are participating in ArtPrize. There are too many of them to try to hold a reception or a similar event—and besides, such an event asks busy and committed artists to come to me, whereas I would rather go to them.

I will be publishing an itinerary of the tour early next week. I will also announce when I am heading to a given venue or to the work of a given artist on Twitter and Facebook.

What if I don’t see my venue on the itinerary?  

Send an email to hello@oliverhevans.com and let me know. You will be immediately added.

My hope is that some artists will meet me at their work so we can talk about their work and about ArtPrize itself.

If I meet you, what are you likely to ask me?

In addition to celebrating the quality of your work and simply discussing it, I am interested in how an artist decides to participate in ArtPrize, how much advance planning went into that decision, what was the process that led you to submit the work you chose, what expectations/hopes do you have of the audience for your work? And we might talk a little about ArtPrize and the democratization of art. ArtPrize is absolutely right when it says that the important thing is the conversation about art. So what I really seek is a brief conversation—preferably videoed with you and probably lasting fifteen to twenty minutes.

Last Wednesday, for example, I had the chance to start this kind of conversation with Jonathan Brilliant, who is showing in the Kendall Gallery. Tuesday was his last night in Grand Rapids; and his answers to my questions, his perceptions of ArtPrize, and his interest in being part of ArtPrize were intriguing and illuminating. I look forward to sharing them next week when the tour itself will appear in video, images, and text here on my Blog.

I am intrigued by the questions I just outlined and by the kind of conversation those questions can trigger.  So I look forward to Observing ArtPrize in a very special way the middle of next week.

Follow my tour via Facebook or Twitter.

- Oliver