WHERE TO TAKE KIDS DURING ARTPRIZE TEN

(Plus 20 Interactive Exhibits we Think Kids Will Love)

ArtPrize runs SEPTEMBER 19 – OCTOBER 7, 2018

Use this list & map and of attractions to navigate ArtPrize with children!

ArtPrize is for all ages, and that includes kids! Children love this city-wide event that encourages curiosity and imagination.

But if you want to bring your kids to one of the biggest art events in the world, how do you decide where to go and what to see?

We’ve combed through hundreds of entries to find the ones that would most resonate with kids and families and created this printable map to be your downtown guide when you come.

Other Helpful ArtPrize Resources

More info on experiencing ArtPrize with kids can be found in ArtPrize’s Educators and Families info page.

  • Print these two free, adorable Scavenger Hunts for kids to use on your visit!
  • Get Insider Tips on Where to Park and Find Bathrooms here.
  • There’s a Calendar with Family-Friendly Events here.
  • We’ll also post some of the big ArtPrize 10 Family Favorites (once ArtPrize starts, Sept 19).

FREE PRINTABLE FOR ARTPRIZE

Download your own 2018 ArtPrize Family Tour Map here!

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2018 ARTPRIZE KIDS VENUE & EXHIBIT LIST

These are the pieces that GRKIDS thought families would enjoy at ArtPrize 10.

1. Barnes & Thornburg LLP / PNC Bank 171 Monroe Ave NW

  • Fossilized Michigan – Michigan’s official state stone, the petoskey, is on display in this piece that depicts “All Things Michigan.” Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, check out what makes this state great!

2. The BOB 20 Monroe Ave NW

  • Our Time In The Infinite – Don’t be fooled, it’s just an illusion! This 3-D painting uses reverse perspective to create the illusion of movement within the piece as you move in front of it.
  • Saint Liberty – This large scale painting, nearly 7 feet tall, uses unique techniques and materials to depict the Statue of Liberty. Visit this piece to learn more about what Our Lady Liberty represents.
  • Rumble of Dinosaurs – If you have a dino lover in the family, don’t miss this display of six hand-carved porcelain dinosaurs. Not only are they fun to look at, but they teach an important lesson about extinction, too.
  • Straight Lines – You might see beautiful curves and slopes in this 6×12 foot installation, but it’s all straight lines of colored string. A good reminder that perception is not always reality.
  • Metal Dragon – It breathes real fire! It’s an actual fire-breathing dragon! And it’s made out of 3,000 hand cut pieces of recycled material.
  • Coriolis – Coriolis force is integral in shaping life on Earth. It impacts things like weather patterns and ocean currents. This sculpture uses re-purposed materials, fire, and air to demonstrate Coriolis force and put on quite a show.
  • Kings of Late Night – We know Duct Tape is a miracle material, but wait until you see this. Made of over 200,000 pieces of Duct Tape, this piece intricately details eight talk show hosts in an impressively detailed work of art.
  • Peace Rising – A giant peace sign inside an even more giant sunshine, all made of bright yellow steel, inspires us to work toward peace every day. Take a photo with the sculpture and share it uring #peacerising.
  • My Achilles Heel – We’re not sure what he’s making this year, but we’re expecting something amazing from the man who brought us the giant red dragon in 2015.

3.  Grand Rapids Public Museum 272 Pearl St NW

  • Enchanted Moments – Change your position and you’ll change your perspective with these huge vinyl wall decals. Physically experience this art when you walk around it, step onto it, and move through it.
  • Beez kneez Pleez – A reminder of the critical role bees play in nature, this large ceramic sculpture depicts hard work, happiness, and industriousness.
  • The Entomologist – Ever wonder what it’s like to be a little bitty bug? Step inside this super-sized steel sculpture of a giant hand reaching to the ground to collect insects and you’ll feel like one yourself!
  • Ode To a not Too Distant Past – A commentary on the impacts of the recession, this entry is made up of 500 ceramic houses. After the exhibition, 450 of them will be sold to raise funds for Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids.
  • Mandala Light Field – Four large translucent banners painted with four Bodhi leaf mandalas are arranged so visitors can walk through the room and experience multiple colors at once. At night the installation will glow.
  • Geode – This installation uses video mapping, soundscape, and visual projection to create a crystal-like shape that glows like a mineral geode. Walk around and through these mesmerizing fabric and metal sculptures.
  • Stilts – Life-sized aluminum figures stand on 20-24 foot steel stilts, towering above the viewer.

4.  Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum 303 Pearl St NW

  • Dare to Dream Big – In this bronze sculpture, a cat sees a lion when he looks in the mirror. What do you see? What big dreams do you have? Write them on the chalkboard nearby, then make them come true!
  • Liquified – It’s not made of water, but it looks like it! This life-sized sculpture of a woman is glossy and iridescent, and even includes a glow-in-the-dark dress.
  • Air Fountain – As you watch these shimmery fabrics dance and fly, you’ll wonder how they do it. But with no obvious source of air flow, it can only be magic!
  • Flutter – With these 12 large window panes painted with colorful butterflies and trees, the artist wants you to feel joy, love, and hope. The sun shines through, creating translucent art.
  • This Land was Made for You and Me – A large display of acrylic on canvas paintings depicts the history of our national parks. Visit this display to be inspired about the beauty of this country.

5.  Ah-Nab-Awen Park 303 Pearl St NW

  • The World Beneath the City – Once again, Ah-Nah-Awen Park is displaying something larger than life. Giant red crocodiles appear to crawl from the river toward the museum, and bring with them a message about caring for our earth.

6.  Gillett Bridge 42.967562, -85.675402

  • Oscillation – This over-sized crystal-like installation emits a sound when you draw near, and changes pitch as you interact with it. You’ll be inspired to make music or dance with other visitors, creating a community through art.

7. UICA Outside: Westside 288 Pearl St. NW

  • Mural A wall mural outside the UICA represents the culture and beauty of the Westside neighborhood. The artists live or engage in the community and collaborated with other residents and local artists to express the fabric of the community through this piece.

8. DeVos Place Convention Center  303 Monroe Ave NW

  • #pretty project – Using social media and #pretty, the artist turns the photographs shared with this hashtag into beautiful paintings.
  • World at War – Made of recycled tires, this larger than life sculpture of a man rests on a mound of everyday items discarded by people. It will ask you to pause and consider the decisions you make about waste.
  • Mastermind America – This American flag is like none other you’ve seen. Within it, look for the animals, foods, logos, and other things that make this nation unique.
  • African Menagerie – Seven panels of oil on linen feature 209 animal species from the continent of Africa. Can you spot them all?
  • The Descent – This five-and-a-half foot stainless steel sculpture of a human skull will captivate audiences big and small.
  • Horizon – A giant floating ring formed by 200 display portals is inspired by the Grand Rapids skyline. Visitors can manipulate the portals, explore the horizon, and reveal details, colors, and shapes.
  • The String Project – Photos of people from around the world holding a white string depict the richness of diversity, and the connectedness of all people. Real time photos taken during ArtPrize will be displayed on TV screens, adding to the overall project.

9.  Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center 400 Monroe NW

  • Disease Does Not Discriminate – Walk through this interactive installation that shares the stories – through hand prints, photos, and words – of those who have suffered in silence from mental illness, or lost someone who has.

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10. Horizon Bank 250 Pearl St NW

  • A-Z an Animal Alphabet – Twenty-six animals in twenty-six different paintings represent the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet.

11.  Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center

  • Pacific Quilt – This over-sized and intricately stitched quilt is made of the beautiful blues of the ocean. Its unconventional shape, representing the flows and currents of the sea, spills around the room.
  • The Word on the Street – At first glance, they appear to be ordinary street signs. But upon closer look, they contain positive affirmations like “Breathe” and “You Are Enough.”
  • Animal Land – Look around the museum and you’ll see digital video projections, both indoors and out, that display life-like animals removed from their natural environments.
  • Flag Exchange – Fifty weathered American flags from all fifty states, draped from the ceiling, tell the story of their previous owners. Look closely and you’ll see the name of the state of each flag’s origin embroidered along the edge.

12.  Grand Rapids African American Museum 87 Monroe Center

  • Innovating a Legacy – Four oil paintings tell the important stories of four African American women inventors from the early 20th century. These portraits show the innovators in the act of inventing.

13. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum 11 Sheldon Ave NE

  • Monsters Go Round Two – Returning for a second year, this exhibit features over 100 professionally illustrated interpretations of children’s drawings of monsters. And the artist will continue rendering new pieces throughout the event!
  • Between the Earth and the Sky – Explore this sensory garden created collaboratively by young people and individuals living with memory loss. 110 concrete planters, full of herbs planted in this inter-generational collaboration, are interlocked to create a large experiential garden.
  • Circle of Fifths – Twelve steel rods of varying heights, painted in the color of the rainbow, will engage you through music. Use the foot mallets to create your own musical masterpiece.
  • Barter Boat – This traveling pop-up trading post engages audiences through the act of barter, oral storytelling, and visual art. You are invited to trade for curated packages and question something’s worth when money is not involved.

14.  Amway Grand Plaza 187 Monroe Ave NW

  • Edge of Extinction – A life-sized welded metal rhino brings awareness to the northern white rhinos and other endangered species.
  • The Phoenix – Made of scrap metal, the phoenix symbolizes renewal and rebirth. At 10-feet tall with a 17-foot wingspan, this powerful bird will inspire you to rise up when knocked down.
  • In the eye of the beholder – Step inside this eye made of thousands of illuminated fiber optic strands. Touch the strands and spin the pupil – a globe of the earth – and “the eye of the beholder” will take on a whole new meaning.
  • Abiding in the Shadow – A large 3-D mountain holds deer and wolves made of barbed wire. While the deer seem vulnerable, their ominous shadows tell another story.
  • Grand Rapids, the Center of My World – Six iconic Grand Rapids locations are depicted in 360 degree panoramic photographs. They appear to be tiny worlds floating in space.
  • Angel – Nearly nine feet tall, toe to wingtip, this recycled metal and steel angel will tower over you.
  • Sun Pop – For the third year in a row, these intricately carved wood sheets will be on display. Only this year the exhibit will be even larger at 8″x8″.

15. Homewood Suites 161 Ottawa Ave NW

  • Some Give All – These six large wooden figures – five people and a service dog – tell the story of those who serve this country. These pieces tell us about the men, women, and animals who risk their lives to save others.
  • Earthship – Made of wood and other mixed media, and standing 16 feet tall, this sculpture of a man is a celebration of life.
  • Loco-Motion –  This replica of a Vintage Steam Train engine is made almost entirely from musical instruments. You’ll see clarinets, trombones, keyboards, drums, and more!
  • Lake Michigan Unfreezing – If you love Lake Michigan, be sure to check out this photography series showing a time lapse of the big lake’s melting ice. Along with the visual, an audio loop plays the mysterious sounds of the frozen water.
  • Mild America – This massive hibernating bear looks almost real and even appears to breathe!
  • =ZOID= – At 20 feet long, this mural contains all kinds of interesting details that depict micro-bio-morphic energies at macro scale.

16. First (Park) Congregational Church 10 E Park Place NE

  • Critters – Kids will love this display of several whimsical “critters” imagined by the artist. Are they monsters? Robots? Aliens? You decide what you see!
  • Five – Representing the five lives lost in a tragic vehicle/bicycle accident in Kalamazoo, this 6 foot tall bike includes five vibrant flowers honoring the lives lost.
  • Lions – The King (and Queen and Princess) of the Jungle are larger than life in this hand-woven quilt made of  dozens of different fabrics.
  • Be Pawsome – Adopt! – Made of brightly colored steel and enamel, this large dog is meant to bring awareness to the importance of animal adoption.
  • The Marvelous Musical Scientific Sight and Sound Machine – Make music and sound! See lights flash, wheels spin, and your voice on a TV! Interact, experience, learn!

17.  Kendall College of Art and Design 17 Pearl St NW

  • The sum of its parts – Standing tall at 32 feet, this structure is made of 700 interlocked buckets weaving their way through scaffolding. A light system illuminates the serpentine installation, changing color and moving like a three-dimensional drawing.

18. Grand Rapids City Hall 300 Monroe Ave NW Apt 4

  • HUG – Help Uplift Goodness when you stop by this safe space to give and receive hugs. Be sure to leave an imprint and take a photo to leave at the exhibit, adding to the growing collection of embraces.
  • The Aurora – Including synchronized light, music, and motion, this optical sculpture rotates and creates beautiful and colorful illumination.

19. Gerald R. Ford Federal Building US Courthouse 110 Michigan Street NW

  • Worlds Apart – A large mermaid and a dragon reach for each other despite being worlds apart. Use #Artprizeworldsapart if you share this exhibit on social media!
  • Time for Art – Created for its exact latitude outside the courthouse, this sundial is 24″ in diameter. It accurately tells time and incorporates a variety of plants and flowers.
  • Rogue Wave – If you’re captivated by the ocean, you’ll love this massive pair of aluminum waves overtaking a sailboat in the courthouse yard.
  • Set Your Goals on Fire! – A mixed media, interactive installation asks visitors to set goals for themselves, then set them “on fire.” This may be an exhibit where kids are asked to just watch.
  • Empress – This seven foot tall aluminum empress sculpture, with moving kinetic hair, represents power and strength for all people.

Extra Credit

  • Between the Waves at WestSide Project 600 1st Street – Walk through these massive waves made of fabric that mimic the real movement of the water and be reminded of summers on Lake Michigan or your favorite seaside spot.
  • Marley at Lions & Rabbits 1264 Plainfield Ave NE – You’ll be amazed at the detail of this life-sized regal lion made from fabric and leather.
  • US at Muse Gr 727 Leonard St NW – A large display of signs purchased from individuals experiencing homelessness, this installation draws attention to the country’s continued struggle with this important issue.
  • SiTE:LAB  at 415 Franklin St SE – Over a dozen artists and artist groups are taking over this space and creating art in many different ways, including performance and time-based.
  • 10 at Downtown Market – A series painted panels give a nod to 10 years of ArtPrize while having fun with plays on words and a child-like whimsy.

Interactive Art & Art Kids Can Touch

  • Peace Rising | The B.O.B. | A giant peace sign inside an event more giant sunshine, all made of bright yellow steel, inspires us to work toward peace every day. Take a photo with the sculpture and post it with #peacerising.
  • The World Beneath the City | Ah-Nab-Awen Park | Once again, Ah-Nah-Awen Park is displaying something larger than life. Giant red crocodiles appear to crawl from the river toward the museum, and bring with them a message about caring for our earth
  • In the eye of the beholder | Amway Grand Plaza | Step inside this eye made of thousands of illuminated fiber optic strands. Touch the strands and spin the pupil – a globe of the earth – and “the eye of the beholder” will take on a new meaning.
  • The Marvelous Musical Scientific Sight and Sound Machine | First (Park) Congregational Church | – Make music and sound! See lights flash, wheels spin, and your voice on a TV! Interact, experience, learn!

ArtPrize kids

  • The Entomologist | Grand Rapids Public Museum | Ever wonder what it’s like to be a little bitty bug? Step inside this super-sized steel sculpture of a giant hand reaching to the ground to collect insects and you’ll feel like one yourself!
  • Circle of Fifths | Grand Rapids Children’s Museum | Twelve steel rods of varying heights, painted in the color of the rainbow, will engage you through music. Use the foot mallets to create your own musical piece.
  • Monsters GoGrand Rapids Children’s Museum | Submit a monster design, and the artist may select yours to turn into a fully rendered illustration. You can’t touch the art, but you can watch it being created, and maybe even submit a design of your own!

ArtPrize with kids

  • Enchanted Moments | Grand Rapids Public Museum | Change your position and you’ll change your perspective with these huge vinyl wall decals. Physically experience this art, when you walk around it, step on it, and move through it.
  • Geode | Grand Rapids Public Museum | This installation uses video mapping, soundscape, and visual projection to create a crystal-like shape that glows like a mineral geode. Walk around and through these mesmerizing fabric and metal sculptures.
  • Mandala Light Field | Grand Rapids Public Museum | Four large translucent banners painted with four Bodhi leaf mandalas are arranged so that visitors can walk through the room and experience multiple colors at once. At night the installation will glow.
  • Dare to Dream Big | Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum | In this bronze sculpture, a cat sees a lion when he looks in the mirror. What do you see? What big dreams do you have? Write them on the chalkboard nearby, then make them come true.
  • Flutter Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum | With these 12 large window panes painted with colorful butterflies and trees, the artists wants you to feel joy, love, and hope. The sun shines through, creating translucent art, and a “Look and Find” activity asks you to locate and identify several butterfly species in the mural.

ArtPrize map

  • Oscillation | Gillett Bridge | This over-sized crystal-like installation emits a sound you draw near, and changes pitch as you interact with it. You’ll be inspired to make music or dance with other visitors, creating a community through art.
  • Horizon | DeVos Place Convention Center | A giant floating ring formed by 200 display portals is inspired by the Grand Rapids skyline. Visitors can manipulate the portals, explore the horizon, and reveal details, colors, and shapes.
  • Disease Does Not Discriminate | DeVos Place Convention Center | Walk through this interactive installation that shares the stories – through hand prints, photos, and words – of those who have suffered in silence from mental illness, or lost someone who has.
  • Between the Earth and the Sky | Grand Rapids Children’s Museum | Explore this sensory garden created collaboratively by young people and individuals living with memory loss. A hundred and 10 concrete planters, full of herbs planted in this inter-generational collaboration, are interlocked to create a large experiential garden.
  • Barter Boat | Grand Rapids Children’s Museum | This traveling pop-up trading post engages audiences through the act of barter, oral storytelling, and visual art. You are invited to trade for curated packages and question something’s worth when money is not involved.
  • HUG | Grand Rapids City Hall | Help Uplift Goodness when you stop by this safe space and give and receive hugs. Be sure to leave an imprint and take a photo to leave at the exhibit, adding to the growing collection of embraces.
  • Illusions of Depth | Studio D2D – The Harris Building | Stand in front of this installation and each of your eyes will see a different image at once.  The brain creates a 3-D illusion of depth.
  • Transcendence | Studio D2D – The Harris Building | Transcendence is both art and science. It is like a beautiful rainbow spinning inside of a peaceful tornado. During designated interactive times and with the artist’s help, kids can play with the spinning art form and add materials to the installation that will change its appearance.

  • Between the Waves WestSide Project | Walk through these massive waves made of fabric that mimic the real movement of the water and be reminded of summers on Lake Michigan or your favorite seaside spot.
  • Creation | Zoup – Medical Mile Food Court | Students artists and adult artists with special needs collaborated to create colorful painted spin-art circles and put them all together to make big wave patterns. Some lower-hung panels will change color with the heat of their hand prints.

* Venues with this asterisk may include pieces around which some guests with children may wish to exercise caution.

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By |2018-09-17T09:12:12+00:00September 16th, 2018|Categories: ArtPrize, City of GR, Guides, THINGS TO DO|7 Comments

About the Author:

Shannon Z
Shannon is a working mother who carefully balances a full-time career in the nonprofit sector with the exciting (and exhausting) job of raising two children. When she’s not working, doing her part to run the household, or spending time with her kids, she’s an avid reader and amateur yogi.

7 Comments

  1. Suzanne September 24, 2017 at 10:19 am - Reply

    If you want to stay away from the crowds A great place to visit this year is Peppinos Pizzeria behind Van Andel. .They have a family friendly atmosphere and the art works are larger than life including a colorful insect display and Michigan,Michigan state football field with minions. Across the street is Western Michigan univ and they have several unique pieces including a tapestry rug created with sand. Also there is an all day $5 parking lot nearby I think its Area 4.

  2. Mandy September 22, 2017 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this map and information! Unfortunately, the streets are such a light gray, they don’t show up with my black & white printer. Bummer.

    • Mandy September 22, 2017 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      I’m also not sure which is the “stroller friendly” route and which is the “bigger kid” route. It only says “Route One” and “Route Two.”

  3. Britt September 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Don’t forget to check out “Dream Big” in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott! There are a couple steps to get up to the dream catcher to add your own feather/dream to it, but it’s also entirely visibly to enjoy from the main door with no steps or barriers in the way!

  4. Melanie September 15, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Thank you for the warning about DeVos. It’s one of the places we usually all go because there’s a lot of entries. Sometimes I get to go walk around ArtPrize without the kids first, but sometimes I don’t. I appreciate the tip so we can plan a kid-friendly route!

  5. Robin September 12, 2017 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Will there be a map available with these location, similar to last year? We used it for our 4th grade field trip and love it! Thank you:)

    • Melody V
      Melody V September 13, 2017 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Yes, the map and Art List is now available to print. Enjoy!!

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