Students from NBC Middle School took a trip to ArtPrize on Sept. 25. The group of 110 eighth grade students toured the city and also got to meet with a group of guest artists from Chicago.
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, students from NBC Middle School attended ArtPrize in downtown Grand Rapids. Through the acquisition of a grant, a donation from a private donor and the collaboration of school and community members, the 110 eighth grade students at Montague Area Public Schools were able to participate in this unique art and cultural experience.
In the morning, students enjoyed an educational program at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) where they met with a group of guest artists from Chicago. The group, ABCD 83, showed a video documenting their creation process, brought in small samples of their work and answered questions. Their ArtPrize installation entry featured found objects and reclaimed wood, and integrated sound and video. After meeting with the artists, NBC students explored the multiple floors of the UICA building to view other art work.
At noon, students sat on the grassy banks of the Grand River to observe more art, eat lunch and share experiences. Sydney Butler described what she noticed, “ArtPrize was a very vibrant and beautiful place, sort of like a big playground. There was music playing, people everywhere, and most of all many gorgeous masterpieces.”
In the afternoon, students were organized into smaller pods with 13 volunteer parent chaperones and explored downtown Grand Rapids. Among the crowds of people, tall buildings and live concerts were monumental sculptures, murals and art with interactive opportunities. One particular sculpture, named “Norm”, was a favorite of the students. It featured a dragon’s body formed from recycled and salvaged metal.
Some of the more popular ArtPrize venues frequented by students included the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Gerald R. Ford Museum and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
After assessing the educational and cultural value and success of this experience, NBC Middle School plans to make this trip a recurring event each year.