ArtPrize apologizes to Grand Rapids artist group

ArtPrize issues apology to group of artists

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., - ArtPrize apologized to the Grand Rapids artist group, Cultura Collective, on Sunday Oct. 1 for leaving its installation off the venue map and not properly directing visitors to the work.

"We absolutely missed out on the opportunity to tell one of the most important stories at ArtPrize," said Executive Director Christian Gaines.

Cultura Collective's installation, "Undocumented/Indocumentado," is on display near the corner of Rumsey St. and Grandville Ave. in southwest Grand Rapids. The installation was also left off the juror experience guide.

"Even if an intern was copying over the winners from last year, we would've made it [in the guide]," said Steffanie Rosalez, Cultura Collective's curator.

ArtPrize quickly put the venue on the map when the event began and urged Sunday visitors to take the Dash to the installation. But the Cultura artists missed out on some attention in the public vote.

"It was just naturally disheartening," said artist Colby Roanhorse. "It was really tough to put in all this work and not get as much of the recognition."

The votes are not as important as the message -- giving voices to disenfranchised communities -- that didn't receive enough attention, Rosalez said.

"We need that audience, specifically the demographic of Artprize," she said. "We want these people to come in and think about how communities are affected by development."

Cultura Collective placed "Undocumented/Indocumentado" in buildings that will be torn down next year in a rebuilding project.

"We wanted to do something to honor that and make it feel like a sacred place one last time," Rosalez said.

ArtPrize has a lot of questions it needs to answer, Gaines said.

"[We have to ask] how we can encourage all people and all neighborhoods and all communities to really have a voice," he said.

Rosalez said the questions are important, but mean nothing if ArtPrize doesn't follow through with action.

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