ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids

The Eyes Have It by pairadocs
The Eyes Have It by pairadocs

Our favorite Michigan art event, ArtPrize, kicks off its third year in Grand Rapids this Wednesday. ArtPrize runs September 21 – October 9, 2011. It’s billed as a radically open art competition that is open to any artist in the world who can find space and it is one of the most dynamic expressions of art in the world.

In their excellent ArtPrize 2011 Guide, mLive reports:

The first ArtPrize drew an estimated 200,000 people to downtown Grand Rapids, more than 37,000 of whom cast more than 334,000 votes in the exhibition with work by 1,262 artists. ArtPrize 2010 drew as many as 400,000 people who voted 465,000 times for 1,713 works of art.

…Some 1,582 works of art go on display in 163 venues downtown plus Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park a few miles away.

ArtPrize 2011 poster by Square One Design

ArtPrize 2011 poster by Square One Design

Click through for some cool stories on 2011 such as news that Facebook creative director Ji Lee is entering for 2011 and a feature on 2011 ArtPrize venues.

The heart of ArtPrize is the public vote, and you can pre-register right now at FYI, if voting is the heart, than the lungs of ArtPrize are participation and presence, and to activate your account, you have to go to Grand Rapids (which explains the phenomenal support that GR businesses and organizations provide the event).

ArtPrize on FacebookSome great places to go for ArtPrize media include the ArtPrize Tumblr, the ArtPrize Facebook, ArtPrize Twitter and #ArtPrize on Twitter,  and the  ArtPrize YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, a few cool videos we found include a check-in at yesterday’s ArtPrize artist reception at the B.O.B., an analysis of the public’s vote (and taste in art), a tour of ArtPrize neighborhoods, a look at the new ArtPrize HUB, and the cost of ArtPrize to artists. Below is the featured video from ArtPrize’s channel, a look at 2010 from Brian Kelly. Hopefully Brian will be kicking out more great videos this year! we hope all you photographers will post your ArtPrize photos in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr!

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival ~ August 20th

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, 2010 by KatSwinehart
Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, 2010 by KatSwinehart

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival on FacebookThe 2011 Traverse City Wine & Art Festival takes place Saturday, August 20th from 3-10 PM on the beautiful front lawn at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, rain or shine. It’s Michigan’s premier celebration of wine, art, food and music, offering an incredible opportunity to taste wines from 24 wineries as you dance, dine, and see extraordinary performers, art and artists.

The wines & wineries are the heart of the festival and the large wine tent is dedicated to featuring well over 100 wines from the Leelanau Peninsula, Old Mission Peninsula and – for the first time – Benzie County. Attendees can choose a tasting or full-glass pour and have a chance to talk with the winemakers and winery reps to learn more about the wines. The 2010 vintage is spectacular, and this is a fantastic opportunity to try the riesling, pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot blanc, cabernet franc and a host of other varieties that are making a lot of noise at wine competitions around the country!

The festival also features a great lineup with some of Michigan’s finest musicians. Michigan jazz/folk great Claudia Schmidt kicks things off  and then joins Rachel Davis and Shout Sister Shout. It will be the first time Claudia and Shout Sister Shout have taken the stage together, an event that promises to be one of those “better not miss it” nights. Steppin’ In It goes electric and will keep you dancing into the evening. There’s also a wide range of performances including dancers, performance artists and the Sweet Adelines.

tcwfposterIn addition to a wide selection of art for show & sale and gourmet food from many of the region’s finest restaurants for purchase, there’s even a chance for YOU to get into the act with “Fashion Is Art”. This new feature that invites you to don your most innovative attire for a chance to win the Grand Prize, a spa weekend for two at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa. Get tickets & lodging package information at and check their Facebook for a ticket deal that ends TODAY.

To enter to win a pair of tickets to the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival and to be entered in every one of our Festival Summer giveaways, just join our email list using the form below!

Here’s Shout Sister Shout for your listening pleasure!

ArtPrize Happenings: Concerts, Presentations & Parties

Absolute Michigan will be on location at ArtPrize and bringing you regular updates In addition to seeing all the art at the venues around the city, ArtPrize 2010 features numerous happenings all over the city. Before we get into that, however, here’s a great Opening Montage by filmmaker Brian Kelly that we came across this morning!

ArtPrize 9 22 2010 by RichardDemingPhotography
ArtPrize 9 22 2010 by RichardDemingPhotography

OK, hope your blood is moving now. Here’s some highlights to help you get your feet moving…

One of my absolutely favorite musicians is Michelle Shocked and she’s in Grand Rapids tonight at 8 PM. If you can get there, don’t miss   at the Wealthy Theatre.

Neighborhood Parties start today. Westside is an untraditional night at the movies TONIGHT Thursday, September 23 (8 – 10:30 PM). Hillside is Friday, September 24 (5 – 7 PM) and spotlights the talent of Grand Rapids’ theatre district for a beer-tasting happy hour. Center City is Saturday, September 24 (7-10 PM) will feature the first of three concerts in the ArtPrize 2010 Concert Series. Hillside is Sunday, September 26 (2 – 4 PM) and is an all-ages and family event with a community canvas and ive folk-rock music by Chicago-based band Common Shiner. Monroe North is Monday, September 27 (8 – 10 PM) and is Game Night with artists and public squaring off in competition.

ArtPrize Concert Series The ArtPrize Concert from 7-10 PM takes place at Rosa Parks Circle (Monroe Ave and Monroe Center) and features Surfer Blood, an indie-rock band from West Palm Beach. On Saturday, October 2, pop-singer Natasha Bedingfield headlines will perform with special guests: David Archuleta and Hot Chelle Rae.

Artist Beili Liu's "Lure/Forest" by paulh192
Artist Beili Liu’s “Lure/Forest” by paulh192

ArtPrize Speaker Series will be held at The Hub and features 8 days with distinguished art experts, artists, designers, and more. Evening events include a cocktail hour and cash bar and daytime events have lunches available for purchase.

The Top 10 Announcement takes place at 6 PM on Thursday, September 30 at Rosa Parks Circle. Following the announcement, Grammy-nominated act Five For Fighting will perform select songs.

The ArtPrize Winners Announcement takes place Thursday, October 7 at 7 PM.

The ArtPrize Art Fair at DeVos Place will allow you to browse or buy artwork from over 50 registered ArtPrize artists.   It takes place September 24-26.

Michigifts: Pewabic Pottery – Detroit, MI

Pewabic Pottery -Detroit by DetroitDerek
Pewabic Pottery -Detroit by DetroitDerek

Pewabic Pottery is a living treasure and offers visitors an exciting glimpse of a little known part of American history. Founded in 1903 during the Arts & Crafts Movement, Pewabic is nationally renowned for its tile and pottery in unique glazes. Today it is a non profit ceramic art education center which welcomes 70,000 visitors annually.

Photographer DetroitDerek’s Flickr page goes on to mention:

Now a Historic National Landmark, the studio and school at Pewabic Pottery first opened in 1903. Their pottery is on display all over the world, including the Louvre in Paris.They are also famous for their special glazed tiles, some are in use at Comerica Park in Detroit with the Detroit Tiger’s English D on them, and at numerous Detroit Landmarks.

In addition to their Museum Store Pewabic Pottery’s Online Store is offering FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OF $100 OR MORE UNTIL 12/31/08!

Model D has a YouTube vid on the unique pottery that is a great watch…. So watch it!

Other resources to learn more about Pewabic Pottery:
Google timeline – Pewabic Pottery, 1900-2008

Wikipedia – Pewabic Pottery

Pewabic Vessels in the Margaret Watson Parker Collection

National Park Service’s Pewabic Pottery page

girl in the D – Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery

Check out the Absolute Michigan 2008 Holiday Gift Guide for more great gift ideas!

Shop Michigan: Your Downtown

Old Downtown by cmu chem prof

Of course Absolute Michigan is all about buying what gifts you can through the web sites of Michigan’s shops, stores and manufacturers. However, as the clock ticks down, shipping times mean you’re probably going to have to finish up offline.

Our Michigan shopping section can help there too with hundreds of listings from all over the state for antiques, beauty & clothing, beer, wine & beverages, books, music & video, hobbies, toys & games, home & garden, jewelry & gifts and sporting goods in towns all across Michigan. even listings from elsewhere might help you think up a gift for that especially difficult special someone.

Keep the drive short and shop within Michigan’s communities and you’ll also be helping your community and state. As Think Dexter First explains:

A locally owned, independent business returns approximately 80 percent of each dollar spent back to the community. Local, independent businesses assist the community through a “multiplier effect”: one dollar spent at a locally owned business will return five times that amount within the community through city taxes, employee wages and purchase of materials and supplies at other independent businesses. In addition, these businesses will return that dollar to the community through school funding, social services and contributions to local nonprofit organizations.

So get out, share a smile with your neighbors and actually enjoy gift giving. More thoughts? Share them in the comments!

Berrien County, Michigan

Berrien County is located at the southwest corner of Michigan along the shores of Lake Michigan and shares a state border with Indiana. Read on for history and links!

Michigan Memorial Day Runup

The lighthouse at Frankfort MI by OddZen

It’s time to cast our net around the state and see how the media is promoting the big travel weekend.

The Lansing HUB has decided that the best way to encourage travel given the high price of gas is to focus on short trips with their One Gallon Getaways. They size them for gas guzzlers (Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg – north of Lansing), standard rides (Ionia Recreation Area, Ionia – midway between Lansing and Grand Rapids) and green machines like hybrids and motorcycles (Kensington Metropark, Milford – east of Lansing, north of Detroit). I guess if you’re thinking about letting high gas prices leave you couch-bound, this is a good option. Still, it’s always harder to get people OUT of their routines than to give them reasons to stay in them.

The weather forecasters have been doing their usual Memorial Weekend best to discourage travel. We started the week with them predicting (I think) blizzards for the weekend. The forecast has gotten progressively better, sort of like a Michigan wine, to the point where the forecasters will grudgingly admit that while you may still want to get that dogsled team or ark ready, we will indeed see lots of sun and temps closer to 70Ëš than 12 below zero. Unfortunately, many people have already made (or unmade) their plans. Almost every year I point this trend out, to no avail. For some reason, weather folks seem to feel that it’s an apocalypse if the weather isn’t sunny and 75. Last time I looked, we were in Michigan, not Arizona.

Not every organization is conspiring against travel. From the State of Michigan: Beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 25, and continuing until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, MDOT is suspending road work wherever possible, in anticipation of the estimated 1.1 million motorists who will travel Michigan roads for the holiday weekend.

The state’s Travel Michigan web site lists a whole bunch of Michigan Memorial Weekend travel ideas, highlighting Michigan’s Thumb and Sunrise Side, the west shore and the Upper Peninsula. They also have a full list of holiday weekend events. In addition to Memorial Day parades all over the state, they include the Memorial Day Weekend Antique Show at Castle Farms near Charlevoix, the Tawas City Shoreline Arts & Crafts Show and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival

The Freep has an article listing metro area Memorial Weekend events including services, parades and flyovers and the Detroit News is apparently waiting until Friday.
We had an had an article on poet Will Carleton’s visit to Arlington Cemetery that includes a lot of Memorial Day information from Michigan History Magazine. You can also read about Michigan’s first Memorial Day on Absolute Michigan, and check out this post about the Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Detroit from Michigan in Pictures.

Culinary tour of Grand Traverse County’s Old Mission

Check out Absolute Michigan keyword “Old Mission” for more web sites and articles about Old Mission.

A Vintage Year? by oddzen

Lake Magazine has a nice feature by Emily Bingham on Northern Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula that focuses on the culinary attractions of this orchard and vineyard filled peninsula that divides the East and West Grand Traverse Bays of Lake Michigan. She notes that the Traverse City region has established itself as a destination for culinary connoisseurs with first-class restaurants, a renowned culinary arts institute, the annual Traverse Epicurean Classic and dozens of family-owned farms.

“May and June are the best times to come to the wineries out on the peninsula because it’s a quieter time,” says Ed O’Keefe, whose family owns winery Chateau Grand Traverse. “There are fewer tourists and many of the wineries have new releases ready.”

The weather is still mild, and the earth is fresh with promise – hills quilted with vineyards and blossoming cherry trees, fields made green with rows of young asparagus, and wild surprises such as edible violets, leeks and morel mushrooms sprouting up in the shadowy woodlands.

Old Mission Sunset by The Real Ferg

She maps a tasty tour that winds through Traverse City restaurants, the five Old Mission vineyards and the 2 day itinerary to which I’d only add a stop at the Old Mission Tavern (Bella Galleria) and the Boathouse Restaurant (you have to at least sample their great Old Mission links page) … and the Old Mission General Store for some old-timey hard candy and geegaws.

There’s a nice map at with links to all the businesses and also points of interest like the Mission Point Lighthouse.

Speaking of wine and culinary and Old Mission, check out Joey Randall’s Village Voice for some tasty recipes and Michigan wine pairings such as this Montrachet Spinach Linguine and Brys Estate Pinot Noir. Great photos too!

All about Ann Arbor’s Argus Camera Company

Argus SS Notches by ReyGuy

I spent all my Michigan blogging time today on The Argus Camera Company of Ann Arbor, Michigan over at Michigan in Pictures. Since it is a pretty significant piece of Michigan history, it probably deserves your attention.

Vol I, No. 1: Introduce Your Michigan Business or Organization!

This is a page where we asked folks to say hello. Lots of them did!

The current version of Introduce Your Michigan Business or Organization is right there.

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