ArtPrize acknowledges it ‘failed a group of artists’

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – ArtPrize Executive Director Christian Gaines apologized Sunday, Oct. 1, to the artists involved in the Cultura Collective on the Southwest Side and residents of the neighborhood for failing to give the venue proper exposure at the start of the event.

“I want to take this moment to acknowledge where we failed a group of artists through a lack of mapping of information and directional signage at the beginning of ArtPrize this year,” said Gaines, before the announcement of the top 20 public vote finalists in the 19-day international art competition.

ArtPrize 2017 top 20 public vote finalists revealed

“We apologize to the artists, to the residents of the neighborhood and to everyone who didn’t get to experience the work in those early days, and we urge you to add this venue to your list of must see exhibitions while you still can,” Gaines said.

The Cultura Collective at Rumsey Street is a community-driven venue in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood. It focuses on honoring and documenting narratives described as crucial to the fabric of the neighborhood as it currently exists, working to maintain the cultural and historic elements of a community during major change.

The Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) — operating from a stop located behind the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) on Louis Street — were taking visitors to the venue through 6 p.m. Sunday for a pre-planned community celebration there.

According to the ArtPrize website, artists at the venue show work in three buildings, slated for complete removal by the end of 2017 — an auto garage, a former church, and the church’s rectory — to present works that explore the complex narratives of pain, joy, and fear of a community in transition.

See the ArtPrize 2017 Final 20 public vote finalists

Gaines told MLive that ArtPrize wanted to be transparent about the concerns from the artists and community that were raised shortly after the event kicked off on Sept. 20. He said they noticed that the…

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