Appreciating Art Prize

Matt DeYoung • Oct 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Hundreds of Lakeshore Middle School students had the chance to explore Art Prize 9 in Grand Rapids on Friday morning.

Linda Sowles, an eighth grade teacher at the school, said she hopes the students gain a greater appreciate for art and for the social issues that the art represents through the trip.

“A trip to Art Prize gives our students a better understanding of what people consider art,” she said. “We just want them to soak in the art.

“Secondly, many of the artists use Art Prize as their platform to bring awareness to social and environmental issues. We want our students to be aware of these issues and want them talking about why these issues matter.”

The students had a wide variety of favorites.

Some liked the giant portrait of Abraham Lincoln, made entirely out of pennies — the winner of the public vote for the best 2D creation.

Others preferred Poetry Fox – a poet dressed in a fox costume. Those who visited the exhibit received a sheet of paper torn out of a dictionary. People write a word on the page, then the Poetry Fox constructs a poem – typically a few words long – off that word.

“It speaks to you,” said Harmonie Buitendorp. “I gave him ‘Life’ and he wrote, ‘Life wanders before it straightens out.’”

The students’ other favorite part of the field trip – sampling the fair from the many different food trucks that converged around Rosa Parks Circle.

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