Where's Ira Glass when you need him?
August 19th, 2009
The arrival of Daan Hoekstra on Monday, August 10th driving in from his home in northern Mexico got me thinking about the great stories that ArtPrize will provide! It is about the art - yes! It is about showing the world our wonderful city - yes! BUT what didn't dawn on me until Daan's arrival and learning a bit about his life, was the richness of the stories that each artist will be bringing to Grand Rapids! Daan is a gifted artist and we are fortunate to be connected with him offering up the east facing exterior wall on the Grand Rapids Community Foundation's building for his beautiful mural. His story is very interesting and I'm sure that more will be learned as the weeks pass. His website shows a bit of his story. This would make for a good entry in This American Life on NPR! And then The Man in the Van Project is rolling this way! The other artist we are hosting is Aaron Heideman who is working on an inspirational project that is quite unique. In fact, his journey is attracting a great deal of interest on the part of people participating in his effort providing their thoughts on the impact that the recession has had on their lives as well as Aaron's own journey. He is traveling across the country in a van that he purchased in his home state of Oregon for $350 and is collecting compelling and heartbreaking stories of how people are coping or NOT coping well in this economic climate. His website provides a glimpse in his life and when he rolls in to Grand Rapids, I'm sure his story will be quite intriguing! So while ArtPrize is about so many things, I am also interested in the stories. What is the motivation behind the artists' decisions to participate in addition to the prize money? How is it that the artists decided to make their creations here? More to be uncovered! What an opportunity!