GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Voting for ArtPrize 2012 officially kicks off Wednesday with more than 1,500 pieces to choose from.
There's no doubt there are "beautiful" and "unique" pieces out there, but how do you make an informed decision? There's now an educational tour available.
Art of all sizes, textures, designs, shapes, and breeds are competing for your vote. Most of us don't have an art history degree, so how can we tell what's really great?
Start by getting in shape. Enter: Art Fitness Training.
The first thing to lose is anything you would say about a piece of art that doesn't come from what you can see with your eyes.
For instance, "I really like this."
"That's 'art fat', because it's a conclusion you're drawing really quickly, based on what information we don't know," said Art Prize Exhibition Director Kevin Buyst.
Buyst wants to eliminate all the 'art fat' clogging up your thinking process, including the names of the pieces.
"We look at the label, before even reacting to it very much. We want to know what was the artist trying to do. I just want the key to uncode and unlock the meaning of this thing so I can just move on. That's 'art fat'," Buyst said.
This class trains you to slow down and to think about what you see.
"Would it be OK to use artifical light to create shadows?" asked one person along for the tour.
"Good," said Buyst, "How would it be different?"
"How would it be different if all the pieces were white? How would this look different if they were all laying flat? Would it still look like a city?"
"When you begin to imagine that creative process and reimagine those creative decisions the same way the artist did, you gain a much greater appreciation and understanding of the work of art," said Buyst.
Art Fitness Training is a three-part tour. Each session costs $20, and they'll be held at the GRAM and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Tickets are now available: Art Prize Fitness Training Class