As ArtPrize Seven comes to a close, I wanted to thank everyone involved in this year’s event, including the artists, visitors, venues, volunteers, sponsors and event organizers, for making this such a colorful and engaging art experience. It brought excitement to our community, and inspired visitors from around the world.
As a leadership sponsor and Grand Rapids-based company, X-Rite Pantone was honored to be such a big part of ArtPrize Seven, an art event like no other. Much of the X-Rite Pantone community participated in the event as volunteers, visitors and online followers.
ArtPrize’s Jori Bennet, Director of Sponsorship for ArtPrize recently commented that “X-Rite Pantone’s all-in approach to its sponsorship of ArtPrize this year extended well beyond the colorful and whimsical activation of the Pantone Pathways. Over 70 local X-Rite Pantone employees signed up to volunteer during the event, the highest participation we have seen from any individual company to date. It’s incredible to have a partner truly get behind ArtPrize in a way that extends well beyond a traditional sponsorship role, but to also engage on a much deeper level in the community and with their own people.”
I’m proud of the way our company has embraced this event as a way to build community and to talk about the intersection of art, color and science. Many X-Rite Pantone employees volunteered as wayfinders, providing directions, advice on great places to visit art and other general ArtPrize information. This gave them the perfect opportunity to talk to ArtPrize visitors about how color inspires us all, from artists to consumers.
When I spoke at the opening of the ArtPrize HUB last month, I said we would know our sponsorship was a success if visitors and the community at large began to think about and discuss the role color play in art and in our everyday lives.
I believe we accomplished our goal. As I walked around the city, it was nice to see kids and adults enjoying the playfulness of the Pantone Pathways, hopscotch, and crosswalk applications. The friendly and vibrant use of color for these applications drew visitors of all ages to start skipping along the colorful Pantone swatches. By taking a recognizable sidewalk application like a crosswalk and injecting it with color, visitors could re-enact their own Abbey Road photos and share them with friends.
Not only did people experience color in new ways, but Leatrice Eiseman’s critical discourse discussion got people talking about the color, art and design. (If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to attend, you really should check it out.)
She spoke of opening minds to color trends and ideas from around the world: “We do know that the world of art influences the world of design, and we know that artists have often used the world of design as inspiration. It’s really a two-way street.” Modern color management technology has helped us integrate these “unexpected uses of color and design” into the real world. Lee encouraged her audience to think about color through the lenses of many different industries and cultures, and to find inspiration in unexpected places.
In fact, Leatrice Eiseman’s discussion got the local media thinking about color. The Rapidian, a Grand Rapids public news source, and GRTV interviewed a few spectators as they were viewing Michael Peoples colorful installation of The Great Race (one of the top 100 public favorites for ArtPrize Seven). As the video highlights, the use of color helps tell the artist’s story and it speaks differently to each person interviewed.
Our artist blog series highlighted Peoples, as well as three others who integrate color to define their art. Jose Carlos Casado uses color to deal with violence, Ann Lemanski’s use of color and photos explores the relationships between man, nature, and the world we inhabit today, and Ruben Ubiera utilizes the interaction of color and light to bring his art to life.Ubiera was also one of the top 100 public favorites.
While ArtPrize Seven may be over, it has left a lasting impression in the minds of visitors of the role color plays in art and in our everyday life. The Pantone Pathways remain as a fantastic reminder of the many neighborhoods that make up our city, and encourage people to continue exploring and talking about color.
Again, we thank everyone for making this event so memorable, and we look forward being a part of ArtPrize Eight next year!
Ron Voigt, President of X-Rite