Tuesday, October 01, 2013

ArtPrize puts stamp on Grand Rapids, MI: Beer City USA

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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 ArtPrize puts stamp on Grand Rapids MI Beer City USA

In the few short years of ArtPrize putting a stamp on downtown Grand Rapids, the city has seen another transformation; the one that has resulted in national recognition with the city’s title as Beer City USA. This year’s ArtPrize has solidified the relationship even more with Founders Brewing Co’s sponsorship and first ever Official beer of Art Prize, the Inspired Artist Black IPA.
And along with art inspiring the brews, in turn the great brews have resulted in a significant number of artists choosing beer-themes as the subject matter on which to base their artistry.

As in past years, many breweries and Michigan-beer friendly bars have hosted art as official ArtPrize venues. This year, previously participating venues like Founders, Hopcat, and the B.O.B. were joined by many new venues including Mitten Brewing and Grand Rapids Brewing Co. Not to miss exhibits at Founders include “Ninkasi,” a stained-glass tribute to the Sumerian beer goddess. The Sumerian goddess is also the subject of the brewing-themed exhibit “Hymn to Ninkasi 2013”on display at the  Grand Rapids Brewing Co. While not beer-themed, the B.O.B. is always known to host some of the most over-the-top exhibits of the year, and this year is no exception with the fire-breathing dragon “Gon KiRin” already short-listed in the top 25.

This year’s ArtPrize is schedule to run through Sunday, October 6th, 2013. Public voting on the Top Ten continues through October 3rd.  The Top Ten most popular exhibits currently eligible for voting have been announced and can be voted for via the following link:

http://www.artprize.org/entries/?promoted=top-10

The prize for the 1st place winner is $200,000 cash, as well as additional prizes for other top vote-getters and categories. One winner already announced that may be familiar to many is Molly Bouwsma Schultz of Blue Molly and FBC All-Stars (the all Founders employee band that performs each year at Founders Fest.) St. Cecilia Music Center awarded her performance of “In My Heart (To The Moon)” $2,000 as top popular vote-getter in the Rock/Blues category.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.