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Ford Federal Plaza hosts Grand Rapids ArtPrize works

September 23, 2016

An artwork bench made of license plates and signs announcing it's title with trees in background

A bench made of license plates, a mermaid, and a multi-colored crowd of teenage silhouettes are among the five artworks currently on display at the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building grounds in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as part of the eighth annual ArtPrize competition.

For three weeks every fall, downtown Grand Rapids turns into a giant exhibit as part of the world's largest art competition. The public votes online for pieces they like best, and the piece with the most votes wins $250,000.

The Ford building has participated for seven years, offering its grounds to several artworks each year. Most works selected for the Ford location have a sustainable or recycled theme in keeping with federal efforts to support sustainability.

The following are the five works currently on display outside the Ford Federal Building. Click on their linked titles to access nongovernment sites with more photos and details of each arwork.

Artwork composed of doors linked like stairs climbing a wall

Ascension by Tina Ripley links doors from abandoned Cleveland homes into a sculpture that climbs a wall, goes underground, and then pops up at the other end (left).

The Gathering by Lawrence Lewis uses a 1976 series of Michigan license plates to form a park bench (top photo).

Lady of the Lake by Melissa Machnee is a painted aluminum sculpture holding a kinetic piece on her fingertip (right).

Streets to Stability by Arbor Circle recreates stories of homeless youth in Grand Rapids with 200 life-size painted silhouettes (right).

Painted aluminum sculpture of mermaid balancing a kinetic piece all in a park settingMulti-colored life-size silhouette sculptures of 200 youth
Metal stick-figure sculptures dancing with smaller ones surrounding in a circle

Three Dancers by Joe Simon is composed of metal stick-figures that sway and dance when the wind blows (left).

Last Reviewed: 2022-03-29