A Michigan State MFA
alum and art instructor at Delta College, Benjamin Clore is
participating in ArtPrize for a second time. His work, entitled
“Reconstruction,” is a large installation that will be featured on the
Blue Bridge, which stretches over the Grand River in the middle of the
downtown. “It’s the oldest railroad bridge in Grand Rapids. We wanted to do
something that relates to that history,” Clore says. He designed an
abstracted railroad car that will sit on the bridge, and will feature
seating and artwork done in the style of urban graffiti often found on
The work is a collaborative effort. Clore
designed the piece, but then tapped into local expertise to fabricate
the work, including an engineer, the local historical society, a
concrete fabricator, and others. “With the economy being so bad, I
wanted to use as much local industry as possible.”
the piece is being built on-site, it has already gotten the attention
of the community. Clore tells about some curious kids who asked the
contractor if he was building a bridge on the bridge. He laughed and
gave a vague answer. Hours later, the kids returned with a small bridge
they built, and asked if it could be placed on the site to create “a
bridge on the bridge on the bridge.” Who says kids can’t grasp abstract
ideas? (Showing on the Blue Bridge, between Fulton and Pearl Streets.)
Sally Martin Stewart, “Untitled":
Stewart is participating in ArtPrize for the first time. Her goal was to
find a venue whose mission matched the theme of her work.
Her installation is a
series of gold-leaf plaster casts of breasts, which will hang, cup-like.
Stewart’s “breast nests” will be at the Annie R Studio, which is
hosting an exhibit on behalf of the Ella Bullis Foundation to raise
awareness of pregnancy, premature birth and neonatal care.
“It’s been an interesting process. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be,” Stewart noted.
In what way, considering that the process seems simple: artist and venue match up, artist hangs work, public views work?
was work trying to get everything together on time, coordinating with
the venue, finding a way to work my time with their time in hanging the
are worth the work. In addition to gaining more exposure for her work,
Stewart is energized by the community and the camaraderie.
that many artists together and creating an entire city of art.” She
loses the words to capture the feeling. “I just couldn’t believe it.
It’s exciting to be a part of that.” (Showing at Annie R Studio, 14
Weston St. SE.)
Michelle Word, “Ovate":
Michelle Word is an MSU alumni and second-time ArtPrizer. She teaches at
MSU, and in addition to helping to coordinate Clore’s piece on behalf
of MSU, Word is also exhibiting.
Her work, “Ovate," is a
mixed media/ found object piece, which will be featured at the Women’s
City Club. Doing doubleduty has forced Word to change how she works.
work is usually very tedious and takes quite a long time,” Word
explains. “I’ve actually been setting some time limits and trying to do
things quicker. I don’t over-question what I’m doing.”
completed the installation on Sunday evening, bestowing a title only
when it had taken its final form. (Showing at Women’s City Club, 254
East Fulton St.)