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Local students experience ArtPrize

Matt DeYoung • Sep 23, 2016 at 8:00 AM

GRAND RAPIDS — Several hundred Lakeshore Middle School students experienced ArtPrize in Grand Rapids on Thursday.

As part of the field trip, many of the students also had the opportunity to listen to The Diatribe, a four-person group who express themselves via spoken poetry. The poets used their art form to share the challenges they’ve faced in life.

Rachel Gleason spoke passionately about the disconnect she feels with her mother. G Foster talked about losing his father at a young age and having to become the man of the house. Marcel “Fable” Price shared a poem about his grandfather, who passed away a year ago.

And perhaps most poignant of all, Shawn Moore unleashed a heartfelt poem about weekly visits to a mental health clinic.

The topics were quite heavy for eighth-graders, but they certainly got the kids’ attention.

“I never thought about liking poetry before, but now I want to look up poems,” said Jordyn Nichols. “They were really deep. They made me think about things I don’t usually think about.”

Austin Venema added, “Usually when I listen to poetry, it doesn’t mean anything, but that had feeling.”

After that, the Lakeshore students had an hour to peruse as many of the ArtPrize entries that they could. One of the favorites was a display inside the Amway Grand Plaza titled “Wounded Warrior Dogs.” These dogs, created out of wood, represented service dogs wounded in the line of duty. They were created by Ohio craftsman James Mellick.

The students also enjoyed “i is we,” a collection of masks made out of human hair.

ArtPrize opened Wednesday and continues through Oct. 9. 

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