Don’t forget that you have until Sept 18 to enter to win a Trolley Ride around ArtPrize along with 4 Children’s Museum passes!  Enter here

[clear]We’ve taken the GUESS and the STRESS out of ArtPrize for families!

We scoured over 1,500 ArtPrize entries to find those that appeal most to families….

Then we put those 21 stops on a map and created a walking tour of the must-see exhibits!

We think they are amazing, kid-friendly works of art and hope you will too!

Please take a moment to thank the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for sponsoring the 2012 Kids ArtPrize Tour!

Grand Rapids Childrens Museum Kids Art Prize Tour Sponsor
The Kids ArtPrize tour is sponsored by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. They hope you’ll stop by to help celebrate their 15 years of play on Sunday, September 30 for Kids’ ArtFest: A Birthday Celebration. From noon-5pm, it’s five hours of FREE playtime just for you!


The tour begins and ends near the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Just follow the numbered points along the route below and you’re off!

We’ve also included a few places that were a bit far to walk to (purple points on the map)…but these venues also hold art that will wow your kids.  Try to work them into your adventure if you can.

How to use the interactive map:

  • Hover your cursor over any of the numbers on the map to see the location name.
  • Find the corresponding number below the map for an explanation of art at each stop.[line]



Exhibit Details

#1: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
303 Pearl St NW Grand Rapids MI 49504

  • The Nanny–  ceramic tiles cover Ms. Hedgehog “The Nanny” pushing her occupied baby carriage. Monica Walker
  • On Thin Ice –  an arctic themed diorama with a live size Polar Bear, Arctic Hare, Snowy owl, and an Arctic Weasel. More animals like an Arctic Fox, 2-3 Seals, 8-10 Penguins, and a life size Walrus are also planned for this piece. Justin La Doux
  • Captain and the Kid–  A life sized nautical themed bronze sculpture. The old captain is stooped, holding his cane and gazing out to sea. His arm rests protectively around a young sailor boy, as they share a secret vision beyond .  Andy Sacksteder
  • The Peguin Project–  48 life size Penguins with their young in an aquatic environment. Inspired by the March of the Penguins the pod cooperates for survival. by Paul Nilsson
  • The Chase–  This 3 demensional visual portrayal of a scene in nature lets the viewer get into “The Chase” between wolves and moose . It is entirely scuplted using clay, foam, steel and mache inside the subjects. by Jamie Outman, Paul Thompson, Joseph Miles, Andrew Harris, Dennis Harris
  • A Second Chance at Life – This project consists of a life-size sculpture of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton made up of 75% re-cycled materials with a clay overlay mounted on a fabricated steel frame and simulated concrete base. Gary and Travis Fields
  • Hooked on Michigan –  colossal fishing lure (20′ X 6′ X 6.5′) is a tribute to the creativity in the “Great Lake State.” Daniel Cascardo
  • My Rescue – 15.5 ft 3-D red dog made of steel made to raise awareness of rescue animals.  Martha Cares
  • Wired – a full-sized sculpture (standing 72 inches) of a person made of wire. David Masten

#2: Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown
310 Pearl Street NW Grand Rapids MI 49504

  • Mother Nature – This sculpture is 9 foot high, 12 foot wide put together like a puzzle. This includes a waterfall and 15 carvings of animals and nature with real-looking rocks all out of white ash (hardwood). The carvings are: 1 fox squirrel, 3 pine trees, 2 eagles, 5 fish, and 4 bears. Charlie Volk
  • Charmer – This is 14 foot cobra snake that will raise and lower out of a metal woven basket periodically. Rick Moore

#3: Grand Rapids Public Museum
272 Pearl Street NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504

  • The Sea Worm Named Lagarfljtsormur–   a 17 foot long sea worm sculpture based on Icelandic folklore, the Lagarfljótsormur. Alexander M Clinthorne
  • Chopper at LARGE – This is a giant motorcycle made of “found” and fabricated metal , that has been welded and metal finished. It is soon to be sand blasted, powder coated and custom painted. “Ape Hanger” handlebars will be added. This motorcycle sculpture is meticulously detailed to represent a functioning custom chopper.
  • Making a Wish –  A 16 foot dandelion. The stem and seed head frame are to be made of stainless steel alloy and the bouquet is made of custom designed, hand cut kiln formed glass. Craig Mitchell Smith

#4: Blue Bridge/Grand River

65 Front St. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504

  • The Sturgeon – The Sturgeon is a fish bone designs with a twist. It is a mobile approx. ten feet long and ten feet tall. A gentle breeze or the touch of your hand will make look like it is swimming. Ron Harris
  • Stick-to-it-iveness: Unwavering pertinacity; perseverance – 40 foot long art made of metal and tree branches installed on the surface of the Grand River near the Blue Walking Bridge’s SW end.  Richard Morse

#5: Riverfront Plaza Building High Five
55 Campau Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Column Within–  This sculpture has light that is filtered through moving water fills the inside of the column. Viewers are invited to step inside the column and be surrounded by the dancing shadows. Andy Behrle

#6: The B.O.B.
20 Monroe Ave NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • The Firebird – You may recognize this artist as he was in our 2011 Kids ArtPrize tour. This year’s entry is an 11 foot tall bird.Lou Rodriquez
  • Scrappie Dick – 19 ft. fish made from scrap metal. Paul Cassidy
  • Hive –  a larger-than-life bee hive from recycled soup cans. Sadie Sheldon
  • Marta–  an outdoor sculpture made of many materials. She is also a butterfly. She’s over 8 feet tall with a wing span of 9 feet. Lorna Poulos
  • Flattened (Globalization) – This piece uses 1980’s iconic game puzzle (Rubix cube) to portray the nature of globalization; the “scrambling” of the cube is analogous to the scrambling of national identity as information is exchanged across borders. Matthew Runfola
  • Eye Contact –  3 steel frames with a matched pair of glass rondels on each side. These frames rotate about their central support axis and move with the wind. Steven Bezinque
  • True Love – a 10 foot mother elephant and her baby. Ruben Ilano

#7: Huntington/50 Monroe Place
50 Monroe Ave NW Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Seahorse– a seahorse that stands 6 ft tall and measures 24 x 30 inches at the base. The sculpture is constructed with clay and resin. Craig Merchant
  • Liberty – One large image of the Statue of Liberty made from approximately 2300 pictures representing a composite of images taken from a multitude of sources which reflect the diversity and strength of the American experience. – Rip Maclay

#8: Grand Rapids Downtown Courtyard by Marriott
11 Monroe Ave. Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Clown Fish –  A 6 foot by 6 foot sculpture of a clown fish made out of thousands of uninflated balloons. James Gordon Perry
  • Edge of the Forest–  is a collaboration of multiple plants and animals all surrounding a forest gnome, who is looking out from the edge of a forest. It is a tribute to our fragile ecosystem. James Denkins
  • Fantastic Carousel of Dreams – A 10 foot tall, 11 foot long carousel made of fused and stained glass as well as metal, clay and murals.  Jennifer Rutherford

#9: Weston Open Space
39 Iona Avenue SW Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Floral Flourish – Recycled plastic bottles are painted, cut, melted and assembled into exoctic looking flowers. No two flowers are ever the same, but all are glorious explosions of color. Donna Engstrom

#10: SiTE:LAB @ 54 Jefferson
54 Jefferson SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Girafe – polished aluminum 3D puzzle that is 100″tall. Nicolas Touron

#11: St. Cecilia Music Center
24 Ransom Ave. NEGrand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Variety of Puppet Vignettes in G Major –  new puppet creations and familiar friends, this year’s brand new show is… well, not actually a “show!” Instead, each day is packed with brief spontaneous performances that are interactive, improvisational, and intriguing! These vignettes, created for all ages, will take place both inside and out.  Kevin Kammeraad and Justin Haveman

#12: Grand Rapids Children’s Museum** ArtPrize Guide SPONSORS!!
22 Sheldon Avenue NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

#13: Select Bank
60 Monroe Center Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Full Bloom – A fantasy flower in full bloom stretches its petals outward inviting butterflies to join in its beauty.  Gilbert McCann

#14: Independent Bank
86 Monroe Center NW Suite 101 Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Beary Big Ball– The ‘Beary Big Ball’ is a collection of teddy bears in all shapes, sizes, colors and themes in the form of a 9 foot ball. Rex & Michele Bekken

#15: Grand Rapids Art Museum
101 Monroe Center Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Origami– Approximately 100 sheets of 9″x9″ colorful origami paper that, when creased by hand and lit from the side by a single light fixture, will reveal in shadow the facial profiles of 100 citizens of Grand Rapids. Kumi Yamashita
  • Elephants – Series of life sized Elephants, intertwined with a menagerie of animals.
  • Drawing Apparatus – Through the use of domestic materials, this is a drawing machine that utilizes turntables and the revolutions of the records to create a multitude of designs. Robert Howsare

#16: Fifth Third Bank/Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
111 Lyon NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • My Swingin Machines – Stainless steel mobiles 1foot – 6 feet tall. Jim Wolnosky
  • Six Figures at the Bank –  a playful combination of six figures in the lower plaza of the Fifth Third Bank. Each figure is unique, yet together they express the energy that is often found downtown – people walking, talking, gettin’ where they’re headed, and looking up at the clock (trying to keep on time!) John Merigian
  • The Candidates – a combination of two full size paper mache sheep, a paper mache wagon, and multiple ducks interacting in a moment of anticipation and spectacle. Dianne Wolter

#17: DeVos Place Convention Center/Calder Plaza
303 Monroe Ave. NW Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Threads of Grace – This sculpture is made of: Acrylic paint, various fabrics and fibrous materials, wire, guitar strings, glass beads. The process for construction: Fibers will be knotted, woven, and beaded by West Michigan children and adults. Mary Steenwyk
  • Spores – forms at-once appear as seed spores, tumbleweeds, thistles, and nautical mines. The sculptures are constructed of powder coated steel spheres with 400, to 475 solid half inch steel stems welded to each sphere. Christopher Weed
  • Get Used to It–  a half-circle, wooden platform covered with variably sized blocks of wood arranged so as to mimic the basic structure of a city. The city is divided by a half-circle shaped freeway, separating the downtown and its immediate neighborhoods from the fringe neighborhoods outside of the highway loop. Kyle Butler
  • Slurped – a giant wall-hung mouth sucking up a colorful noodle, which is actually a long, skinny quilt. A bowl and placemat sit on a pedestal in front, holding the noodle. Jill Rumoshosky Werner
  • Paradise – painting of a large-scale, realistic landscape based on trip to the Hawaiian Islands earlier in 2012. Frank Newmyer, Jr.
  • Rush Docks –  This 10 foot piece shows the way water weathers and warps harbor docks over time and is made of disposed cedar fences. Scott William Bye
  • Outdoors in the Calder is Swing Set Drum Kit – The Swing Set Drum Kit is an interactive sonic sculpture encouraging kids to build rhythmic sounds with a swing set. Three swings are attached to large colorful wheels that trigger multiple drumsticks, striking percussive instruments. A child’s realization that the sounds are directly related to their swinging is the foundation of the piece.  Dave Ford

#18: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe Ave. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Dining on the Grand–  a fish art piece from spoons, knives and forks all from yard sales, friends and thift stores–no restaurants! Lane Cooper
  • The Dragon – This holographic Dragon sculpture is suspended on an 8’x8-12′ horozontal frame 8′ above the floor. Robin Protz
  • Moose Bath II –  a watercolor painting of a moose in the bathtub. LeAnne Sowa

#19: Barnes & Thornburg LLP
PNC Bank Building 171 Monroe Avenue NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Norm– is a Green Dragon because he is made from 100% recycled metals. The end result is a big, bold, & lifelike sculpture (10 feet tall) John Andrews

#20: JW Marriott Grand Rapids Hotel
235 Louis St NW Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Out of the Woods a pine needle bear– A few hundred thousand needles were sorted, washed and woven to create this hand woven bear. All features are carved from wood. as in the Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Claws, and Paws.  Richard Carpenter
  • Peacock Mosaic – This piece has roughly 6,000 pins and over 17,000 sequins.  As you view the peacock from different angles, the light will catch the sequins differently and create the same illusions that a predator might see when a peacock flares its feathers. – Stephanie Wiles
  • MerMadame –     She is a mixed art media piece, constructed from a variety of materials including: wires, fabric scraps, flower petals, nail polishes, clay, paint, beads, ribbons, and glitter. Shows how re-using materials can create something so beautiful that you would never want to throw it away. Tygris Thomas

#21: Ah-Nab-Awen Park
220 Front Avenue NW Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Flight – This interactive meandering exhibit features nine Stainless Steel birds with a 12 foot wing span. Each bird is housed in a Cor Ten metal frame. The exhibit will show the delicate balance between fear, which holds us to the ground and flight, which gives us the freedom to soar and reach all of our dreams. Dale Rogers
  • My Polyethylene Terephthalate Garden –  a large garden of plastic flowers made with recycled materials. Rubina Mander

Extra Credit!  (Purple Points on the Map)

Gerald R Ford Federal Building/ Courthouse
110 Michigan St NW Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • ReCYCLE Full Circle Bike Tree Series –  Intended to be a functional bicycle rack, during bike riding weather, “RE-cycle” can park up to 4 bicycles and is U-lock friendly. This sculpture stands beautifully alone, without bikes parked on it. Sabine LeDieu

God’s Kitchen
303 S. Division Avenue Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • Hope Butterfly–  This piece is made up of thousands of paper butterflies coming from all different directions all flying upward to make a rainbow. The artist also included a treasure hunt to kind different insects in the piece. LaShelle Greene

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
250 Commerce Ave SW Grand Rapids MI 49503

  • When Art Comes to Town – The scene is Rosa Parks Circle bustling with a diverse group of people attending ArtPrize 2011, against the back drop of three prominent buildings. Christelle Cumbow

The Lyon Den
200 Ionia NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Paper Folding Paper Train and Bridge –  No use of glue, tape or any other adhesive is used to hold the train together. Instead a series of folds and interlocking paper tabs where used to create the paper trains. Rodger Neil Despres [line]

[note]To download a printable version of the 2012 Kids ArtPrize Tour, click the link: 2012 Kids' ArtPrize Tour (2136)[/note]

However you choose to do it, we hope that you and your family get to enjoy ArtPrize 2012.  This event epitomizes the things that make Grand Rapids a great place to live, work and raise a family.  Let us know how your family’s ArtPrize experience goes!

If you do our tour, we’d love to know your thoughts.  How old were the kids you took along?  How long did it take you?  Suggestions for other parents?