The Rapidian

Local artists battle to build the Creston community

At the sixth annual Art Battle for Community, local artists raise funds for the Creston neighborhood.
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Erik Picardo paints for ABC

Erik Picardo paints for ABC /Pete Tabberer

By: Abby K.

On May 2, local artists met at Sazerac Lounge for one of the year's most anticipated battles in the Creston neighborhood. The Sixth Annual Art Battle for Community brought neighbors, artists, and public figures like Mayor George Heartwell together to laugh, share a drink, and raise funds for the Creston Neighborhood Association (CNA). This year, artists captured "A Bird's Eye View of Grand Rapids" in unique and colorful ways. Inspiration and interpretations varied widely, from first-time participant Georgia Taylor's abstract painting of the path of a butterfly through the neighborhood to Jacob Zars' painting of an old postcard from Creston.

After the artists put the finishing touches on their works, the host of this official "Hello, Neighbor" event, Rapid Growth's Tommy Allen, auctioned off the pieces to an enthusiastic crowd. Public figures like Mayor Heartwell and Ruth Kelly bickered playfully as they bid for the works of their choice.

At the end of the night, Phil Artz won the battle with his abstract depiction of a waterscape in shades of blue. "I don't paint much, but for the community, I'm down with doin' it," Artz said. Jacob Zars' impressionistic painting of an old photograph from a postcard of the Creston neighborhoood came at a close second.

In third place, Erik Picardo's abstract geometrics captured the "diversity of landscapes in the neighborhood," earning Picardo the tradition third prize of a bucket o' beers and a giant pizza. Although this year's battle is over, the funds raised from the sixth annual Art Battle For Community will continue to support the CNA's work to strengthen community in the Creston neighborhood. 

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