Philanthropist Rick DeVos has described ArtPrize, a public art competition within the city of Grand Rapids, as a "celebration of creativity." DeVos developed ArtPrize five years ago and it's been instrumental in the continued economic and cultural development of downtown Grand Rapids. The ArtPrize competition and exhibits epitomizes the characteristics of human flourishing. That is one of the reasons it makes sense for the Acton Institute to lend its support and get involved as one of the display venues.
ArtPrize, which takes place from September 18 – October 6, is an instrumental event for education and cultivating entrepreneurial skills. The 19 days of public exhibits and art competition is completely free to the public. A total of $560,000 is available to winners at ArtPrize. The public participation and interaction with the art pieces has proven to be extremely attractive and I've witnessed the popularity of ArtPrize explode in the Grand Rapids community over the years.
In our new building, we are proud to feature the art work of Mary E. Anderson, Mic Carlson, Daniel Jacob, Phil Jensen, and Jenny Lynn. The art on display will include sculpture, textiles, and oil paintings. Three of our artists hail from Grand Rapids and the others are from California and the state of Washington.
When we made the decision to acquire and renovate an historic building, one of the reasons was to increase our visibility in the Grand Rapids community. Last year, ArtPrize attracted 400,000 visitors to downtown Grand Rapids. Our involvement with ArtPrize, which we hope to continue on an annual basis, will allow us to welcome thousands of new visitors to our building. In fact, the Acton building features a 2011 ArtPrize winning mural on the exterior (East) wall.
I have asked some of our staff to volunteer to be present to talk about the art work on display but also be available to talk about the ideas and mission of the Acton Institute. We hope that a number of visitors will take a deeper look at our work as we are able to showcase a very professional looking and attractive building within the community.
As an organization, we've wanted to be a participant in ArtPrize for a number of years. Thanks to the generous support from our donors, we are now able to take advantage of this opportunity and show that we are fully invested in this community in every sense of the word.
In 2013, apart from ArtPrize, art is featured prominently throughout our new building, including in our new Prince – Broekhuizen gallery adjacent to our 200-seat auditorium. We hope our friends and visitors are inspired by the art and you find the pieces as a reflection of the beauty of our Creator.
Kris Alan Mauren