Recoil’s Guide to Enjoying ArtPrize 2014

recoil guide to enjoying artprize web

Three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., will host the sixth annual international ArtPrize competition Sept. 24 through Oct. 12. Below are some tips for squeezing the most enjoyment possible out of the meager 19-day judgment on the relevance and worth of human expression by 400,000 unqualified tourists.

- Bring an umbrella to enter as a piece of Found Art.

- ArtPrize’s crowd-sourcing method of choosing prizewinners has been compared to American Idol. Consider participating anyway.

- Every time you hear an artist say, “The raindrops on this print were added to depict the wave of emotion I experienced between conception and completion of the piece,” throw a quarter down the sewer to depict that artist’s career.

- Many winners are actually unaware that there’s an ArtPrize award for uploading the most selfies from downtown Grand Rapids. The 2013 Selfie Award went to Alexis Fenne-Moore, 17, of Lansing, Mich., who posted a record 103,404 InstaGram representations.

- Artists crave constant feedback – which probably explains a lot about Jimi Hendrix’s guitar playing.

- Charge your smart phone. There is absolutely nothing worse than standing in front of a timeless piece of art and not being able to capture it in time using your camera.

- On average, it should take 20 seconds from the time you fall in love with a piece of art until you hate every single thing about it, what it says, and whoever created it.

- The City of Grand Rapids allows free parking downtown as long as you run over a homeless person in the process. Doing otherwise would disrupt the delicate ecosystem West Michigan shares with its homeless population.

- Get a map! A map of Grand Rapids, Mich., specifically, would be extra handy.

- Effective art evokes emotion. Men, emotion is that awful buzzing you normally suppress by drinking beer and watching television.

- People think Grand Rapidians are just a bunch of Midwest rubes who wouldn’t know Jackson Pollock from Sherman Williams. Do what you can to reinforce this stereotype by acting like yourself.

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