web_tb_TACvdi

ArtPrize Takes Form at Ferris

Ferris will be one of the featured venues in the 2010 ArtPrize compeition

by Published: Sep 15, 2010
Mural Begun on Kendall College: Kendall College of Art and Design is becoming the platform for a 2010 ArtPrize project. Jeff Zimmermann is the artist who will be completing the mural. Photo courtesy of Terry Johnston

Mural Begun on Kendall College: Kendall College of Art and Design is becom­ing the plat­form for a 2010 ArtPrize project. Jeff Zimmermann is the artist who will be com­plet­ing the mural. Photo cour­tesy of Terry Johnston

Kendall College of Art and Design, an affil­i­ate of Ferris, is the can­vas for a new piece of work tied in with the ArtPrize project in Grand Rapids.

ArtPrize is a form of art com­pe­ti­tion that takes place in Grand Rapids. It is designed to be a type of arts fes­ti­val that is also geared toward being a social exper­i­ment that involves the com­mu­nity in art. Artists sub­mit one piece of work or use a venue in down­town Grand Rapids to show­case their art and the pub­lic votes to decide the winner.

This year Kendall College decided they wanted to be a venue for an artist. The col­lege approached an artist named Jeff Zimmermann, whose work had been seen in ArtPrize before, and asked him if he would be inter­ested in doing a mural.

“It was a bor­ing beige wall for such a long time,” said Sarah Joseph, direc­tor of exhi­bi­tions at Kendall. “It was cry­ing out for something.”

Pop Culture Paintings: The Kendall College mural features large contemporary pop culture and portraits. The paintings show real people from around the community. Photo courtesy of Terry Johnston

Pop Culture Paintings: The Kendall College mural fea­tures large con­tem­po­rary pop cul­ture and por­traits. The paint­ings show real peo­ple from around the com­mu­nity. Photo cour­tesy of Terry Johnston

Zimmermann is orig­i­nally from Chicago and he is rec­og­nized nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally for his large murals that show­case con­tem­po­rary pop cul­ture and por­traits. He is also known for paint­ing real peo­ple in his murals from the places he visits.

“[Zimmermann] believes in includ­ing peo­ple in the com­mu­nity in his work,” said Joseph. “Everyone in the mural was some­one he pho­tographed from the community.”

On art​prize​.org, Zimmermann stated that he would ven­ture out into the Grand Rapids area to pho­to­graph locals and use them as ref­er­ences in his artwork.

“The imme­di­ate envi­ron­ment and its inhab­i­tants help bring gestal­ten to my murals,” said Zimmerman. “This is key to the artis­tic process and, for me, cre­ates legit­i­macy. It’s nice to pon­der things with the com­mu­nity, over time, through a work of art.”

Zimmermann gives a descrip­tion of what he aspires to cre­ate at Kendall on art​prize​.org which says he wants the murals to be con­tem­po­rary, engag­ing, and dynamic in color.

“If a mural is suc­cess­ful, the pub­lic will share ideas and dis­cov­er­ies they’ve made with oth­ers around them, or an idea will stick in their mind,” said Zimmermann. “Public art already has an advan­tage as it’s under­stood to be ‘of the com­mu­nity’ and there­fore its per­cep­tion comes democratically.”

Pop Culture Paintings: The Kendall College mural features large contemporary pop culture and portraits. The paintings show real people from around the community. Photo courtesy of Terry Johnston

Pop Culture Paintings: The Kendall College mural fea­tures large con­tem­po­rary pop cul­ture and por­traits. The paint­ings show real peo­ple from around the com­mu­nity. Photo cour­tesy of Terry Johnston

Zimmermann intends his pieces to be neu­tral in nature and hopes that they will “spark dia­logue” and not nec­es­sar­ily pro­vide answers.

The mural is set to be com­pleted on Sept. 22, which is the open­ing day of the new ArtPrize com­pe­ti­tion. ArtPrize events will be tak­ing place until Oct. 10, which is the clos­ing day of the 2010 com­pe­ti­tion. n