ArtPrize Seven, Technology and YOU

“The Great Race” Artist: Michael Peoples

With ArtPrize in full swing, Downtown Grand Rapids is full of artists, tourists, buskers, shoppers, and vendors. This was my first trip to Grand Rapids for Artprize, and it was everything I expected and more.

One of the first things my roommate and I noticed as we wandered to Rosa Parks Circle (RPC) to start our Artprize walk was that everything seemed to be about sharing. The screen on the RPC stage was keeping a running tally of the votes collected for Artprize. We also stumbled upon a FOX 17 reporter interviewing an artist about the website glitch, presumably for this article. However, if I am like most Artprize goers (which WOOD TV 8 suggests that I am), most voters will not cast their first round vote until they have seen more entries than can be seen in just one day.

Artist Judith Braun and her 2015 entry “As Above”
Artist Judith Braun and her 2015 entry “As Above”

Another big tech integration that my roommate and I took part in was interacting with WOOD TV 8. They have been broadcasting all week from the front window in the Grand Rapids Art Museum right outside RPC. This has been very effective for generating lots of social network PR for both Artprize and WOOD TV 8. The anchors have been taking pictures for Instagram all week and the the project overall has been very effective. While we were too chicken/lazy to take a picture with them, we watched people take photos and then upload them straight to Instagram.

One of the more interesting things to me is that a lot of the artists were with their works talking to people about their process, materials used, inspiration, and about their other works. Not only were they talking about their works, but they also handed out cards with a picture of their work along with their voting code. Judith Braun, creator of “As Above”, did a marvelous job with this. Her warm and bubbly personality made her a fun person to speak with, and the cards she was handing out featured a picture of her with the charcoal on her hands that she had used to create “As Above”.

“As Above”
“Technician 3” Artist: Charles Jevremovic

The ArtPrize App itself is very intuitive. From the moment you find it in the app store, the whole process for signing up, seeing all the venues, and voting is very simple. Developers allow users to link their Artprize profile with Facebook so that signing in/up is quick and painless. Once you have connected your Facebook, the only other step to voting is to enter your phone number and zip code in the app so they can confirm where you are. The whole process from start to finish can be done in 5 minutes (10 if you’re my mother). The app is well-organized and helps you find things you know you want to see with the map. More importantly however, the app helps you to discover the stand-outs and see live events with the “visit” and “discover” section.

There are some great pieces at ArtPrize this year and, while I have my favorite to win, there are many great contenders, and the Juror’s Shortlists are a great way to see the exhibits you know you wont want to miss.

So get downtown, see some of the amazing works, download the app, and VOTE!

References

Francis, E. (2015). ArtPrize kicks off despite technical glitches. Fox17. Retrieved 29 September 2015, from http://fox17online.com/2015/09/23/artprize-kicks-off-despite-technical-glitches/

Instagram,. (2015). WOOD TV8 on Instagram: “Come on down to Rosa Parks Circle to pose with your favorite people from 24 Hour News 8. Include #ImOnTV8 in your photo and it could make…”. Retrieved 29 September 2015, from https://instagram.com/p/8Bzs1RQTyW/

WOODTV.com,. (2015). ArtPrize site, app up after 6.5-hour outage. Retrieved 29 September 2015, from http://woodtv.com/2015/09/23/artprize-7-website-app-down-due-to-outage/

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