Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs as Art

In this year’s Art Prize 2014 competition in Grand Rapids, several artists are incorporating signs into their artwork.  How perfect is that, given this week’s Word Press photo challenge?

In this first photo, the sign is the art.  In this installation on display at the Kendall College of Art and Design, Steve Lambert has created an interactive display in which viewers vote on whether they agree or disagree with the statement “Capitalism Works for Me.”  After Art Prize, Lambert’s work will go on display throughout the United States during the presidential campaign.  He hopes his work engages and amuses audiences and encourages people to start conversations on difficult “hot button” topics.  During the first week of Art Prize, capitalism was “working” for 344 viewers.  (I need to circle back to the site to see the current score.)  To learn more about Steve’s work, click on this link.

Capitalism Works

Capitalism Works for Me, Art Prize 2014 entry, Kendall College of Art, Grand Rapids, MI

Artist Dan Tague uses American currency as his medium in his artistic exploration of money and power.  Using several folded dollar bills, Tague creates messages such as “Made in China,” and “Live Free or Die.”   He then creates huge digitized images of the dollar bills.  Through his work, he explores the appeal and power of money.   To learn more about this artist, click on this link. 

Dan Tague, "Live Free or Die," Art Prize 2014 Entry, Kendall College of Art and Design

Dan Tague, “Live Free or Die,” Art Prize 2014 Entry, Kendall College of Art and Design

The Mexican-American Salvador Jiménez-Flores tackles the themes of assimilation and identity in his work, “I Am Not Who You Think I Am,” on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  His series of ceramic busts of Mexican men and women underscored with hand-lettered messages reveal the malaise of the immigrant who lives in the”white-bred” (or “white bread”) Midwest and endures stereotypes like the “Europeanized Latino.”   To find out more about Jiménez-Flores and his work, click on this link.

White Bred

Salvador Jiménez-Flores, “I Am Not What You See,” Art Prize 2014, Grand Rapids Art Museum

In this installation at the Gerald Ford Museum, the sign is the artistic vehicle. Tonya Nielsen has created a massive 12-foot high 3-D sculpture of the word “Now,” which is decorated with over 1,300 clocks.   The artist states, “the number of clocks and size of the sculpture is meant to be imposing. Its purpose is to create questions and stir wonder in the hearts of the viewers.” To learn more about Tonya and her work, click on this link.

Now, Art Prize 2014 Installation at the Gerald Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, MI

Now, Tonya Nielsen, Art Prize 2014

Do any of these works of art and messages “speak to you?”  Which one?  Why?

We love the annual Art Prize festival in Grand Rapids, which is a wildly popular event where thousands of spectators view and vote on over 1,500 works of art in the 19-day festival spread all over the city.  Over $200,000 is awarded to winning artists in both the popular and juried categories.  To learn more about Art Prize, click on this link.  Over the next few months, I’ll be posting images of my favorite works.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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