Art dealing with social issues at ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Each year there are ArtPrize pieces that touch on social issues. In 2014, they range from gun rights to dog attacks.

At Calder Plaza, there are about two dozen crosses. Each one represents a person who has been killed by a dog. We found Christa Beukema looking at the exhibit Wednesday morning.

"Putting faces on it is powerful," she said. "It brings up something that people don't always think about."

The dog breed and circumstances of the attack are listed next to the victim. The piece is called "Out of the Blue."

"I think it's just making people aware of the dangers of our pets sometimes," says Sid Babula.

Over at the UICA, there are pieces that touch on gun issues. One is called "Gun Country" (pictured). Right next to it is a piece called "There's Something Happening Here," featuring cut-outs depicting military men. From down below, they look like snipers.

"I think that's the cool thing about art: you can make social statements, and it's more powerful to have a piece of art, instead of just words," says Isaac Miller.

Over at Fountain Street church, the building is filled with art relating to social issues.

"I enjoy Fountain Street Church because they tend to have pieces that are edgy," says Kelly Keur.

One piece there is called "Just Listening" -- it's about the NSA spying scandal. Another one is about North Korea and it's called "Last Supper in the DPRK."

Other pieces include videos and photography from the Middle East. One piece touches on the subject of human organs for sale.

"It's more powerful in the form of art," Miller says of the discussions about current issues.


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