President Haas, Laker Marching Band, Dance Company to kick off ArtPrize 10

The Laker Marching Band performing during the 2017 ArtPrize opening ceremony.
The Laker Marching Band performing during the 2017 ArtPrize opening ceremony.
Image Credit: Kristina Bird
A rendering of "Locked and Loaded" by Kimberly Walker.
A rendering of "Locked and Loaded" by Kimberly Walker.
Image Credit: courtesy of Kimberly Walker
A blue man sculpture, part of the entry "The Man in the City: A conversation of numbers" can be seen on the roof of the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences during ArtPrize.
A blue man sculpture, part of the entry "The Man in the City: A conversation of numbers" can be seen on the roof of the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences during ArtPrize.
Image Credit: courtesy of the West Michigan Prostate Health Alliance

The air in downtown Grand Rapids will be filled with the thunderous sounds of the Laker Marching Band and cheers for the GVSU Dance Company as the two ensembles help kick off the milestone 10th anniversary of ArtPrize.

The ArtPrize kickoff event will take place Wednesday, September 19, from 7-9 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids near the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

The Laker Marching Band will begin the festivities with a performance at the Eberhard Center on Grand Valley's Pew Grand Rapids Campus at 6:15 p.m. before marching in cadence across the Blue Pedestrian Bridge through downtown to Rosa Parks Circle.

The band and Dance Company will then perform a second time at 7 p.m. under the direction of President Thomas J. Haas, with Louie the Laker revving up the crowd.

The Grand Rapids-based competition draws more than 500,000 visitors to West Michigan in the fall to enjoy works by more than 1,000 artists from around the world. It was announced earlier this year that ArtPrize will transition to a biennial event following ArtPrize 10.

Since ArtPrize began in 2009, art has been exhibited in museums, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, the Grand River and many other locations, including the campuses of Grand Valley.

The university has served as an official venue each year the 19-day event has taken place, and now showcases a single entry exclusively at the Eberhard Center. This year, that piece will be "Locked and Loaded" by Ohio-based artist and United States Army veteran Kimberly Walker. The piece consists of 46 military-issue duffle bags representing 46 cases of sexual assault in the military. Walker said that through her research, she discovered that none of the cases were disclosed to the general public.

"The Man in the City: A Conversation of Numbers," a city-wide ArtPrize entry, is partially on display on the roof of Grand Valley's Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The piece, created by Detroit-based artist John Sauvé and entered in conjunction with the West Michigan Prostate Health Alliance, is meant to use art to inspire men to better understand and engage in their personal health, specifically their prostate health. This installation consists of multiple seven-foot steel sculptures located at 12 venues in Grand Rapids of a man painted blue, representing prostate cancer awareness.

Also, more than 50 former ArtPrize entries now reside in Grand Valley's permanent art collection, which consists of more than 16,000 pieces of art. To explore all of the ArtPrize pieces in the collection, visit gvsu.edu/artgallery/ArtPrizeArt

ArtPrize takes place September 19-October 7.