The  Collectors Show provides 30% of the energy that sustains it and Art Prize provides the other 70%.   Initially I participated in Art Prize with idealistic, utopian ideas of what it meant for humanity. However,  progress is slow and my  ideas about the event and for art aren’t going to go away. The Collector’s Show offers exciting development in bridges art can provide.

Paul Resika, "Redon", oil on linen, 30" x 24"

Paul Resika, “Redon”, oil on linen, 30″ x 24″

I was pleasantly surprised by this event; it was refreshing to hear that the team involved in the “Collectors Show/Fall 2016” seems to have similar ideas to mine about the importance of art in human lives. I walked in as Michael Coleman was giving a few notes about the show. He asked the audience how many of us knew the lyrics to “Hotel California”.  The people who did raised their hands. He then asked of that group how many people knew what those lyrics  meant. No one affirmed their understanding. Art is ephemeral like that as are human relationships. Art Prize’s executive Director,  Christian Gaines, spoke next about the partnership. Finally Tyler Loftis gave a few remarks many of which are in the following content.

Jodie Dilno, "Mirror, Mirror", acrylic on canvas , 15" x12"

Jodie Dilno, “Mirror, Mirror”, acrylic on canvas , 15″ x12″

Along with notable diversity of the work is notable quality. Tyler curated the show himself so he got to experience each piece first-hand.  He has a natural ability to “sense” how the pieces will go together best. All of the works are two dimensional and include the mediums of paper assemblage, collage, beading, drawing and painting. A few of the pieces test the strict display expectations placed on art by tradition.

Deandre Norman, "Sad Clown", mixed media, 48" x 24"

Deandre Norman, “Sad Clown”, mixed media, 48″ x 24″

The number one thing Tyler hears people say about art, as many people working around art have heard, is that they know nothing about art. That art as it is traditionally understood is not part of the culture in grand Rapids is why Art Prize is able to flourish there, in Tyler’s opinion.  Art Prize is fairly simplistic. It is not difficult to participate and there are not many boundaries hindering one from doing so. The non traditional approach allows the event to be  as diverse as it is.

Tyler Loftis, "Chris", oil on canvas, 28" x 22"

Tyler Loftis, “Chris”, oil on canvas, 28″ x 22″

What compels these artists to create and make is being said by the work. The artist doesn’t need to explain what is there as much as people need to trust that they have the “answers” from the artist in their intuitions already. In this way, all people are encouraged to think critically without needing experts to tell them.

"Still Life", Doris Lee, oil on panel, 10" x 15.5"

“Still Life”, Doris Lee, oil on panel, 10″ x 15.5″

In the show itself men and women are represented nearly equally and nations from different part of the globe are represented. Tyler doesn’t know what this event or Art Prize will be in the future but he guesses that they will have an impact on art in the world.

Rrick Beerhorst, "The Distracted Reader", oil on canvas, 29.5" x 29",

Rrick Beerhorst, “The Distracted Reader”, oil on canvas, 29.5″ x 29″,

The show is up until 8 at the Harris Building located at 111 S. Division, Grand Rapids, Michigan. A version of it happen twice a year.  Stay tuned for future articles!