While Michigan isn’t known as a Mecca of art on the world scene, in recent years it has been making the world take note with the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize. In the Fall, ArtPrize brings art and artists to Grand Rapids, Michigan from all over the world with the lure of over half a million dollars in cash prizes to the top entrants.
With the beautiful artwork and the artists that come to Michigan for ArtPrize als0 come tourists to view and vote on the art and to meet the artists
Some artists like Tali Farchi, an ArtPrize participant from the Netherlands, traveled to Michigan for ArtPrize for the past couple years and have developed a following that has her travelling to Michigan for other art shows during the year. She and her partner, Royce Deans from Traverse City, have begun doing workshops with their Artist Table group.
On her most recent visit, she and her Artist Table partner Royce Deans, had a showing of their art at the Richard App Gallery and then did a presentation for the Cultural Council of The Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids, painting to the big band, dixieland, blues and klezmer music of the Grand Rapids band, the Hall Street 6.
Before she returned to the Netherlands, they followed this with an eight hour live model workshop where the attending artists drew, painted, or pastelled the images of a series of live models they had during the day.
When one of the models didn’t show up Tali stepped in and posed for the session. After eight hours of painting the participants left in their wake scads of art and warm hearts, sad at the parting. “It is my heart! It is my love!” Tali said as she collected her things and prepared to return home.
In the same manner as Tali, ArtPrize is leaving such gatherings in its wake.
As important as ArtPrize is to the West Michigan art community, Michigan has art activities year round and from top to bottom and coast to coast. Many of them began long before ArtPrize, such as the Art and Craft fairs in Frankfort, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Summer Art Fair in South Haven, and Art in the Park in Warren, Michigan. Really though there are too many art festivals to mention and all worthy a visit so if you, like Tali Farchi, like to travel for your art’s sake, check out the many art festivals going on in Michigan this year and see some new sites as you pursue the arts and artists!
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