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Artist caricatures ArtPrize, West Michigan, fellow artists with exhibit "FartPrize"

Anna Lisa Schneider describes her ink-drawn installation, "FartPrize" as, “a tongue-in-cheek, visual exploration of the entire ArtPrize experience.”

FartPrize2 /Victoria Fisher

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FartPrize /Victoria Fisher

Anna Lisa Schneider

Anna Lisa Schneider /Victoria Fisher

At this year's ArtPrize, Vertigo Records on South Division plays host to "FartPrize," an ink-drawn exhibit by Anna Lisa Schneider, whose work is intended to hold up a mirror to the ArtPrize experience. FartPrize critiques several aspects of the event, including the viewers, the artists, and the commercialization. 

Schneider classifies her artistic style as, “a creepy cartoony look. It’s aimed to make someone laugh, but feel a little gross inside.”

Her hope is that "FartPrize" can potentially improve the ArtPrize experience by “drawing attention to certain problems in hopes that someone far cleverer than myself can figure a way to fix them.”

Schneider explains that a lot of ArtPrize pieces “pander to the conservative West Michigander. Every year there is at least one creepy Jesus piece and one over-the-top patriotic Gerald R. Ford piece,”she says.

“I did a series of portraits along with quotes of horrible things that people have told me or other artists about either our work or our career choice," says Schneider about the pieces included in her entry. "There’s also a piece that features everyone taking photos of the art on their phones instead of just looking at the work.” 

Much to her surprise, Schneider reports a lot of positive reactions from "FartPrize" viewers, despite her efforts to converse with those who were less impressed by her installation.

“I’ve had a wide range of people come up to me to say ‘Finally! Someone made fun of ArtPrize! It had to be done!,'" she says. "There were a few people that came in to Vertigo, saw the giant FartPrize sign, looked a little annoyed, and just left. Those are the people I really want to talk to… however, chasing after someone down the street [to ask them questions] is obnoxious and borderline creepy.”

Although FartPrize playfully mocks Grand Rapids’ most renowned event, Scheider does appreciate what ArtPrize brings to the community. 

“It just makes me giddy to have an entire city become a giant gallery for three weeks," says Schneider. "As cheesy as this sounds, having the public live and breathe art for that long is just fantastic.”

Schneider also gives insight into an artist’s perspective of the ArtPrize process, and the massive amount of work that goes into a piece.

“I probably put in over 100 hours on my entry, and all of that work was basically done for free," says Schneider. "Some artists take a huge financial risk in creating some of these works and might not get anything back from it. It’s the sad, unfortunate art game.”

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