Art is in the air—quite literally some hanging off buildings—as ArtPrize takes over downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. For over two weeks, 1,713 artists from around the world transform the city into a giant gallery. Art is all the buzz amongst the residents and the some 250,000 visitors.
Unique to ArtPrize, voting is left entirely up to the public. Week 1 allows unlimited voting to determine the top ten artists. Week 2 gives everyone a single vote to narrow the ten to a winner awarded the $250,000 top prize.
If you’re in the area enjoying ArtPrize, stop by the HUB, a Herman Miller lounge for artists, volunteers, and the public to relax, put up their feet, and continue discussing the art they’ve seen.
And while you’re there, be sure to check out ArtFile, a collaborative project between Herman Miller and students in the UICA ArtWorks youth program.
Herman Miller’s role in ArtPrize continued on Saturday, October 2, by sponsoring a guest lecture by world renowned artist, architect, and dedicated environmentalist Maya Lin.
She captivated an audience of more than 200 people at the Grand Rapids Art Museum with a presentation called “Projects and Processes,” which focused on the past 10 years of her work and her latest endeavor called What is Missing?.
What is Missing? is a memorial commissioned by The California Academy of Sciences. A large bronze “listening cone” lined with reclaimed wood, it’s designed to function as the first component of a multi-site, multimedia artwork dedicated to raising awareness about endangered species and habitats.
Lin also created the What is Missing? Foundation to help people understand how they can make a difference for the planet and how to balance their needs to conserve our natural resources.
Thanks to an idea from our Presence Marketing team, the volunteers working at The Hub during ArtPrize are wearing the latest in eco fashion. If you look closely at their aprons, you’ll see that we created them from the same fabrics we use on our chairs.
In a quandary about what to do with extra fabric from our Greenhouse seating production facility, the team decided to literally put it to work. With the design and sewing expertise of the Greenhouse cutting department, more than 100 volunteer aprons now are a part of our sponsored space at The Hub.
It’s a project that required the help of several people, including Jill Woods who works at the Greenhouse. Adds Jill: “I was thrilled to be one of the links in this effort to connect the community, the workplace, and people in a collaboration that ultimately will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors during ArtPrize.”
By day we’re Herman Miller employees. By night we’re collaborators on a large art installation in this year’s ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
With mutual interests in art and design, and a desire to create a piece of art that represented the city of Grand Rapids, Chris Hoyt and I began working on our piece last April called Collectively Skated.
Collectively Skated includes a wall and ceiling made of 44 canvas-covered skateboards suspended in mid-air to demonstrate an examination of the physical and ethnographic texture of our city.
Along the way our family, friends, and co-workers from Herman Miller came together to help us pull it off. In fact, 15 people from Herman Miller’s Stitchers Club came together during lunch one Thursday to help us sew!
If you’re able to visit the city during ArtPrize, from now until October 10, stop by to see Collectively Skated at Premier, 14 Weston St.
2009 photograph by Brian Kelly courtesy of ArtPrize
Herman Miller’s former President and CEO Max De Pree once advised us all to “make room for people who have unusual and creative gifts.”
Enter ArtPrize—the international art show and competition based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids is a burgeoning city that is making its mark among design and innovation circles. It also happens to be minutes away from our Zeeland headquarters.
ArtPrize provides us a fantastic opportunity to support creativity within our local community. In fact, we’ll be sponsoring a central resource center for ArtPrize called The Hub, which is located downtown in the Old Federal Building.
From September 22 to October 10, The Hub will host a visitor center, voter registration area, artist lounge, and volunteer offices—all furnished with our products.
ArtPrize and its prize money—totaling $449,000—have proven to attract a tremendous amount of talent and votes, but they also attract a community excited about art and its city. It’s a great event and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.