Grand Rapids ArtPrize is touted to be the “World’s Largest” event of its kind and tens of thousands of people flock to the streets daily to see over 1,500 works of art on exhibit and vying for over half a million dollars in prizes. Many of the ArtPrize installations will include music, lighting, and demonstrations that mix the works of art with the performing arts. In addition, ArtPrize has busking stations where street musicians and other buskers can set up and perform for the pleasure of the passers by.
Tali Farchi and Royce Deans, creators of The Artist Table, will be showing and performing their artistry at the DeVos Place. Their exhibit, “Kitsch to Kunst” vote code #56159, is a collaborative art project where you can see the progression as they take mundane/overused clichés and work them over to create innovative works of art.
Just outside The B.O.B. you can see the Billy Mays of busker arts with “Cosmo Joe’s” amazing spray paint art shows Vote Code: 57122. With a practiced patter and paint, in five minutes he will produce a beautiful sunset or sci-fi scene suitable for display in your office or home. He sells them starting at $10. His show is a must see at ArtPrize but if you can’t make it to the B.O.B. check out the video.
About a block away from The B.O.B. is Rosa Parks Circle on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Monroe Center. Here and further up Monroe Center during the summer months you can find musicians performing and they are out in force for ArtPrize. Members of the Kent County String Band were on the street this weekend performing just next to Jimmy John’s. Two members were off as the band was taking a break. When asked if they had any original music, the remaining three rose to the occasion. After a quick discussion they played an original that only the writer/composer knew. Check out James, Tony, and Ronny as they perform Ronny’s original song, “Cherry Shine” unrehearsed. James and Tony only heard the song for the first time as they played.
Just down the street performing with a backlit glow from Wood TV Channel 8’s ArtPrize coverage, two high school musicians, Isabel and Kaitlyn performed a cover of “Rivers and Roads” and many other favorites.
A bit further down from Rosa Parks Circle on Monroe Street, in front of the PNC Bank Sammy Casares and Alysha Shah set up their informal stage. Sammy sang and played while Alysha dazzled with dance and hula hooping. In addition to her street performances Alysha belly dances and teaches the hula hoop and spent time doing so with folks as they picked up her spare hoops. Alysha’s energy is infectious as she performs to Sammy’s rendition of “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” at ArtPrize 2014.
With buskers there is no list of performers or performance times but head over to Rosa Parks Circle and Monroe Center Avenue during the evenings and weekends of ArtPrize and enjoy the potluck of performances.