Jul 28, 2009

Meet the Artist: Gretchen Minnhaar

Gretchen Minnhaar in her loft studio in downtown Grand Rapids

The excitement for ArtPrize is finally gaining some steam as the deadline for matching artists and venues comes to a close at the end of the week. ArtPrize is awarding the world's largest art prize to the piece selected as the best by a public vote by the visitors to the two-week event and not by a panel of esteemed art critics. Over a thousand artists from all parts of the globe are signed up to date.

The JW Marriott Grand Rapids is one of the many downtown venues hosting artists to showcase their art. So far, we have committed to showcasing the work of several artists including the work of Argentinean born architect, Gretchen Minnhaar.

"Parkour" is the French activity of fluidly moving from one point to another - through jumping and acrobatically maneuvering one's way through urban obstacles such as sides of buildings, stairwells, railings and roof tops. Using famous buildings around the world such as the Eiffel Tower, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and of course, the elliptical shape tower of the JW Marriott Grand Rapids as the background, Gretchen painted parkour "jumpers" scaling these famous landmark buildings. A series of 34 paintings will grace the rock wall entrance of the JW - awaiting hotel visitors as they enter the lobby of this globally themed hotel.

ArtPrize runs from September 23 through October 8, 2009. The first prize is $250,000 and the rest of the top 10 artist will split the remaining $250,000 - for a grand total of $500,000! ArtPrize is definitely one "giant leap" for Grand Rapids.

A prevue of "Parkour"

A bird's eye view of a Buenos Aires park from her
apartment deck inspired "Saturday in the park."

Global Faces

A clay model

People Walking


Anonymous said...

This is very cool. I definitely look forward to seeing the works of art at the JW.
There is a painting over on Ionia Street that I see almost every day on my way to lunch/dinner that I just love. I recently found out that it is from a Grand Rapids artist that is featured over at the Amway Grand named Paul Collins. I thought it was cool finding that my favorite piece out of all of them at the gallery was from a local artist.
Are there any artworks being presented at the JW from local artists?

George Aquino said...

Paul Collins has a gallery in the corner of Pearl and Monroe just right behind the Senator Vandenberg statue. The JW"s theme is art inspired by Grand Rapid's sister Cities of Perugia, Zapopan, Bielsko-Biala, Ga District and Omihachiman. We commissioned local photographer, Dan Watts, to photograph the sister cities. His photos graces every room in the hotel. Also the skywalk gallery between the Amway and JW showcases Dan's photos. We also feature local artist works in our Founder's Suite, concierge lounge, admin offices, cafeteria and six.one.six restaurant. The origami inspired pieces behind the bellstand and the first floor meeting rooms are works by an artist originally from Big Rapids. Thanks for reading my blog.