It’s been a really interesting year for artists in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This year was the launch of a new annual art competition called ArtPrize. It’s put on by the young, creative son of a local billionaire family. The idea is that there is an enormous amount of prize money given away to the top ten public vote getters and there is no formal curation process. Anyone can enter who can find a place to show. Some venues implemented their own jurying systems. I showed at one such venue, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. (uica.org) This is an organization I care very much about and normally I am not able to apply for shows since I serve on the curatorial committee.
For ArtPrize I created a series of scrims that attached to the window frames of the large windows on the north half of the building. I machine embroidered the applique parts and hand stitched the rest of the lines with yarn.
For this piece I was thinking about the specific type of loneliness that occurs when someone is surrounded by people. A large-scale public work of art provided a unique opportunity for me to explore this type of loneliness. I intended to demonstrate the difference between having people nearby and having people close, between mere proximity and actual connection with people.