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Animal Land sheds light on wildlife at ArtPrize

Call it "ArtPrize After Dark."

GRAND RAPIDS - Call it ArtPrize After Dark. Because that's the only way you can view this installation piece in downtown Grand Rapids. It blends wildlife and nightlife in a way you've probably never seen before.

The next time you drive by the corner of Ottawa Northwest and Monroe Center, you won't be able to help but notice them. Through the trees, behind the street signs, starring down at you. The focus of countless cell phone pictures and an important message.

The giant owls projected onto the backside of the Grand Rapids Art Museum are the creation of Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars called, "Animal Land." They want people to get a better understanding of native species that - were it not for us - would probably be more prevalent.

"A non-human perspective experience in a space we tend to only think about ourselves," Sollars said.

Wherever they've done Animal Land, they always feature animals that live - or once lived - in that area.

"On the darker side, they're the only experience we can have with animals when certain types don't exist anymore," she said.

In this case, the owls were photographed at the Blandford Nature Center, before being projected onto the nighttime, cement pallate. An obvious choice when they saw the canvas they'd be working with.

So, while there's no parking along Monroe Center during ArtPrize, there's certainly perching allowed.

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