The Rapidian

High Five offers innovative take on ArtPrize curation

High Five provides a contemplative and well-executed space at 55 Campau
Julie Friedman's Eutopia

Julie Friedman's Eutopia /Chris Koens

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More information on High Five

For more information on High Five, you can visit their Facebook page

 

The venue is open:

12:00-8:00pm Monday-Thursday

12:00-10:00pm Friday and Saturday

12:00-6:00pm Sunday

Parking is available onsite.

Mark Rumsey's Deshabille

Mark Rumsey's Deshabille /Laurel Green

High Five (55 Campau) is unlikely to be a venue the average ArtPrize viewer will just stumble into. It takes a little deliberation, locating the small elevator that will transport the viewer to the building’s fifth floor. Before entering, the viewer is instructed to push the “yes” button, and upon arriving on the fifth floor the doors at the back of the elevator open to reveal a very well-organized and meticulously thought out space.

“We’re not as difficult to find as it may seem,” says Brant Raterink, High Five’s curator. “Look for all the red arrows on the sidewalk.”

Even taking the brief search to find the space into consideration, High Five as a venue is one of the more rewarding venues to visit. As a viewer, it’s not difficult to find a path throughout the show that will fluidly lead from one piece to the next.

Raterink says the cohesion of the space results partially from his awareness of the challenge viewers would have locating it.

“I knew we needed to offer pieces that made a bold visual statement to grab the viewer’s attention, but I also sought out pieces that added a contemplative component- something that would get the crowds talking, individuals thinking and engage people in a way that caused them to want to stay.”

Because of the sheer amount of space the venue offers, the bulk of the pieces are larger installations. From Mark Rumsey’s Deshabille, an immense collection of paper chains suspended from and across the ceiling to Julie Friedman’s Eutopia, a somewhat chaotic twelve-foot-by-six-foot paper cut depiction of a garden.

“I love the way we have been able to take a raw, vacant commercial space and bring it to life,” Raterink continues. “Many of the artists were able to tailor their installations to take advantage of the unique features the space offers and in turn we have a wonderful collection of site-specific installations.”

For Raterink, ArtPrize provides an opportunity to inspire the community to give art and its use of space some extra critical thought.
“The most important part for me is that the community is being engaged and for us to be able to offer that both from an artwork perspective as well as an innovative use of space,” he says.

“We must remember that ArtPrize is ours and we [the citizens of Grand Rapids] have the ability to mold it into what it can and will be in the future,” says Raterink of the event. “People are watching this event right now and that means it’s up to us to own and prove it[s] viability. ”

High Five is located in the Riverfront Plaza Building at 55 Campau downtown. As Raterink says, just follow the red arrows on the sidewalk, step into the elevator and press “yes” to see the venue’s larger-than-life installments.

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