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Crowds gather to see the ArtPrize Top Ten before the winners are announced

ArtPrize staffer Kevin Buist suggests going to view ArtPrize Top Ten earlier in the day to beat crowds.
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The ArtPrize Top Ten 2012

The Top Ten (in alphabetical order followed by the venue):

1. "City Band" by Chris LaPorte - GRAM

2. "Elephants" Adonna Khare - GRAM

3. "Lights in the Night" by Mike Carpenter and Dan Johnson

4. "Life in Wood" by Dan Heffron - The B.O.B.

5. "Origami" by Kumi Yamashita - GRAM

6. "Rebirth of Spring" by Frits Hoendervanger - Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

7. "Return to Eden" by Sandra Bryant - Grand Rapids Public Museum

8. "Song of Lift" by Martijn van Wagtendonk - UICA

9. "Stick-to-it-ive-ness: Unwavering pertinacity; perseverance" by Richard Morse - Grand River

10. "The Chase" by Artistry of Wildlife (Dennis Harris, Paul Thompson, Andrew Harris, Joseph Miles and Jamie Outman) - Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

"Life in Wood" artist shares his work with the crowds

"Life in Wood" artist shares his work with the crowds /Jonathan Timothy Stoner

The "Stick-to-it-ive-ness" horses playing in the Grand River

The "Stick-to-it-ive-ness" horses playing in the Grand River /Jonathan Timothy Stoner

"Elephants" on parade at the GRAM

"Elephants" on parade at the GRAM /Jonathan Timothy Stoner

Thousands of people are flocking downtown to get an up close and personal glimpse of the Top Ten ArtPrize exhibitions before the winners are announced on Friday night.

“Crowds are similar to previous years, and perhaps even higher,” according to Kevin Buist, ArtPrize’s Artist/Cultural Relations Director. He recommends going as early as possible to view these pieces during lower traffic times. While visitors may avoid big crowds by going earlier in the day they still may not be able to get in depending on when the venues open.

“Going early is smart, but people should check the venue hours on the venue profile on,” says Buist. For instance, GRAM members have their own entrance at the museum and they can come in at 10:00 a.m. before ArtPrize hours officially begin. For the general public, ArtPrize hours start at 12 noon.

Kerri Vanderhoff, the GRAM's Marketing & Public Relations Director, suggests using the ArtPrize map and planning a route to see the Top Ten in order to make the best use of your time.

"Be sure to give extra time," says Vanderhoff, "as many others are also planning to be out and about and you may encounter some lines."

The ArtPrize Top Ten includes a diverse array of styles, mediums and materials.

“Lights in the Night” was a one-time only interactive art project where more than 15,000 lanterns were launched from the center of the city.

There are pieces like the wooden horses galloping through the Grand River of Richard Morse’s “Stick-to-it-ive-ness.”

And there is the dark, cavernous room on the 2nd floor of the UICA inhabited by a piece titled “Song of Lift,” where lights and ethereal battery powered birdlike creatures fly overhead driven along by a sorrowful opera filling the space.

The other pieces in the Top Ten run the gamut from carved wood (“Life in Wood”), glass mosaic (“Return to Eden”), pencil drawing (“Elephants” and “City Band”), oil painting (“Rebirth of Spring”), sculpted paper (“Origami”), and taxidermy (“The Chase”). There is still a short window of time to see all of these distinctive pieces before things get even busier this weekend.

“One thing to keep in mind is that once the winners are announced, the venues with the public vote and juried winners will likely be very crowded,” says Buist. “Of [course] we don't know which venues those are yet!”

A list of The Top Ten 2012 ArtPrize entries and their locations can be found at the ArtPrize website.

The ArtPrize awards will take place Friday night at The Loading Dock of the former Grand Rapids Press Building (155 Michigan St).

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