Brimmer's ArtPrize Entry Soars Above Others

Posted on: September 17, 2013

ArtPrizeFor the second year in a row, Henry Brimmer, assistant professor of Advertising, has an ArtPrize entry that will soar high above all others. This year marks the fifth year for ArtPrize, an international art competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., that takes place Sept. 18-Oct. 6.

Brimmer's entry features a 40-foot ladder suspended in mid air above Ionia Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. The ladder hangs from a cable connected from the rooftop of the First Community Bank building at 60 Monroe Center and the rooftop of the Hinman Building located across Ionia Avenue from First Community Bank. It is in the same location where Brimmer's 2012 entry, "Gravity Matter's Little," appeared.

"I like that location a lot and would like to make it something different each year," Brimmer said.

Brimmer lightly refers to this year's piece as "the case of the unusually long ladder," and on Facebook the public will be encouraged to give their interpretation and title for the piece.

"As an artist and educator, I like to do things that challenge me, and leading by example, invite my students to do the same," Brimmer said. "The idea here was to create a work of art that triggered the viewers' own story. Although I could come up with a dozen stories of my own, that is not my approach...I want to leave it up to the viewer to make up their own story - that's the way I like to look at art."

This is the third year in a row Brimmer is participating in ArtPrize. Last year, his "Gravity Matter's Little" entry featured a figure of a businessman hanging by one hand from a cable connecting the First Community Bank and Hinman buildings. The piece made it into the Top 25 out of 1,517 entries.

In 2011, Brimmer's "Touch wood" entry was a low-tech interactive project that appeared at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

InstallSizedLike last year, Brimmer worked with Widemuller and Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber Inc. (FTC&H), both based out of Grand Rapids, for this year's installation, which was completed this morning. FTC&H provided engineering support while Widemuller handled the installation. Werner, a manufacturer and distributor of climbing equipment based out of Greenville, Pa., donated the ladders, which weigh about 150 pounds altogether.
Brimmer, a graphic designer, photographer and educator, teaches art direction and photography for the Advertising + Public Relations department and has almost 30 years of industry and teaching experience.

ArtPrize is open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people and seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art.

A total of $560,000 in prizes will be awarded with the top prize of $200,000 decided entirely by public vote. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $360,000 in prizes, while an additional $200,000 in juried awards, including a $100,000 juried grand prize, decided by a three-juror panel of international art experts.

This year's ArtPrize will include 1,524 entries representing 47 countries and 45 U.S. states and territories, and is expected to attract more than 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.

To vote, you must sign up for an account. Once you are signed up, you need to check in at the event by either visiting the ArtPrize Hub, any exhibition center or another voting site or you may use the free ArtPrize app for iPhone and Android phones to check in.

Round one of voting to determine the Top Ten takes place from Wednesday, Sept. 18, until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. The Top Ten will be announced on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. Each of the Top Ten entries is guaranteed an award.

During round two of voting, those who have registered may cast one final vote, choosing one entry from the Top Ten to receive the $200,000 grand prize. Round two begins directly after the Top Ten announcement and goes until 11:59 p.m.

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