I’ve thought and thought on how to describe ArtPrize in Grand Rapids to the unfamiliar. The best description I can come up with is that for art and craft lovers it is the equivalent of Disney World.
The anticipation of what is awaiting you visually around the next corner only compares to standing in line at a theme park waiting for your next ride. The thrill of discovery. Your senses overwhelmed by the sight of the art pieces, the comments of the crowds as they came upon a piece of art they either liked or hated, the taste & smell of the wonderful food found wafting in from all over town, and the feel of goosebumps when you come upon an amazing find.
Last year we spent only a day and a half in Grand Rapids. It was only time enough to see the bigger venues. So this year we decided to spend three days. We are so glad we did. We were able to get farther out from town and see places that we might never have seen otherwise.
ArtPrize is designed to send you on a exploration the entire city. We had the opportunity to see some amazing venues including museums, hotels, restaurants, churches and parks to just name a few. The creators of ArtPrize have developed a plan to bring you to town for the art show, make you familiar with various locations and then hope you will be back to visit.
It worked with us. Last year while exploring ArtPrize we came upon Leo’s Restaurant. We were very intrigued by it, but didn’t take time to eat at that time. We deliberately sought it out this year and had a wonderful lunch. My crab cake melt was excellent and their homemade Parmesan waffle fries were very tasty.
One of the most memorable venues we came upon was Fashion Has Heart. The entry was Corporal Hoffman Series. It combined a wounded warrior with an art designer who, through their work, told the soldier’s story. A touching tribute to those people who put their lives on the line for us.
St. Cecilia Music Center was a real find. It was established in 1894 and much of the concert hall is still as it was during that time. It was also the location of the Top 5 music award winners of ArtPrize.
Fountain St. Church was an art piece in itself. Throughout the Sanctuary are mosaics, paintings, wood carving and stone sculptures. They offer tours and it is something we will put on our list to do in the future.
Dinner one night was at Bistro Bella Vita. They pride themselves on their Mediterranean countryside menu. Randy splurged and had Duck Two Ways. The breast was so moist he actually thought he was eating beef for a second. I had the Harvest Ravioli. It was sweet potato ravioli with roasted vegetables. I was surprised how much I could taste the sweet potatoes in the ravioli. The vegetables were roasted to perfection.
Grand Rapids certainly knows how to do it right. They are continually bringing in events to keep the city active and thriving. As ArtPrize was coming to a close, Rascall Flatts was having a concert. It is a city on the move in the right direction thanks to their citizens with a vision.
Accommodations and a gift card were provided. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are my own and those of my family.