ArtPrize piece focuses on the Flint Water Crisis

One artist is using only bottled water to wash, drink and clean for the duration of ArtPrize.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - ArtPrize Nine puts a number of political and social issues on display. One artist is depicting the Flint water crisis by only drinking and washing with bottled water during the 19 day competition. 

Keyon Lovett is a Flint native. "I decided to bring the Flint water crisis here to ArtPrize." said Lovett. "For three weeks, I made the decision to live here in this abandoned building using bottled water to wash, cook and clean."

For three years, many people in Flint have relied on only bottled water to avoid lead contamination in their water pipes. Lovett is imitating life in Flint for his ArtPrize entry. 

"For ArtPrize, I thought it would be great to have people walk into a space that is using bottled water as its only source to everything you need to do as far as washing, cleaning, cooking. So viewers can get the actual 3D life experience of what a household has to go through in Flint, Michigan," said Lovett.

People who viewed Lovett's piece could feel the emotion behind it.

"It's very emotional just to think about the children and the families that are going through that. It's heartbreaking," said one spectator of Lovett's ArtPrize entry. 

"we can turn on our faucets and have drinking water that is perfectly fine. Two and a half hours away, on the other side of the state, they don't have that," said another viewer of the piece. 

A part of Lovett's piece is in response to the government's handling of the crisis.

"It's baffling to see our government is neglecting what's going on," he said. "I'm just trying to win for Flint. Whatever happens here is for Flint not for me."

The piece is called Home Sweet Home and it is in the Cultura Collective at 333 Rumsey St. 

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