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Kendall College of Art and Design, 13 ON YOUR SIDE collaborate for ArtPrize 10

The piece transforms the interior of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum into a garden space from which 13 ON YOUR SIDE talent can broadcast the news.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The West Michigan community embraces ArtPrize, so the folks at 13 ON YOUR SIDE can’t help but join in the celebration.

Embracing the creative spirit for the fourth year in a row, they teamed with Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) to create not just a news desk like in years past, but a fully functional performance space that is also an entry in the competition.

"ArtPrize is so unique - there is nothing else like it," said Janet Mason, 13 ON YOUR SIDE President and General Manager. “The artwork and conversations with the artists stimulate the senses, and at the same time, we get to show off our beautiful, vibrant city. We are proud to be a partner of ArtPrize and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.”

This year, 13 ON YOUR SIDE wanted to do something different, to move beyond the desk and create a performance space, so once again they turned to KCAD, their artistic partner over the years.

KCAD Professor Bob Marsh said, “I am truly appreciative of the relationship that has been fostered between 13 ON YOUR SIDE and KCAD. The opportunity to work with a client, consider a budget, deal with the logistics of fabrication, and have the work realized by a set deadline are relevant and exceptional experiences to have as an undergraduate art major.”

Artist Emma Riley began working on the project months ago under the supervision of Professor Marsh. She is a junior studying Sculpture and Functional Art. She has skills in stone and wood carving, clay and metal fabrication, and various mold making techniques which made this project perfect for her.

“I was thrilled and nervous about the project,” said Emma. “This partnership exposed me to working with a budget as well as a federal entity; it sharpened my time-management and problem-solving skills and enhanced my self-confidence and level of professionalism. I'm really delighted at how everything turned out and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with 13 ON YOUR SIDE."

The piece transforms the interior of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum into a garden space from which 13 ON YOUR SIDE talent can broadcast the news. There are various performance areas as well as a space encouraging interaction with the audience.

The artist’s statement:

“Floral Transmit” explores the connection between local news and the community it serves through a natural representation using artificial flowers and greenery similar to local and Midwestern plants.

This installation grows throughout the space of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum showing how the station grows throughout the surrounding community and captures the attention of the audience. Guests will stay connected through the televised news taking place from the set while viewers interact with the installation by taking photographs with/of the art piece and uploading those images to social media.

This idea embraces the core, connected tenets of the 13 ON YOUR SIDE brand—keeping you in the loop (the newscast) and celebration of an important West Michigan event.

“Floral Transmit” explores the powerful bond between local news and the natural community environment within which it resides.

“I enjoyed taking inspiration from some of my favorite theater productions and films like Annihilation,” said Riley. “It had such a rich visual environment with mutated vegetation that it inspired me to look around at our Midwest greenery and come up with a plan. I had fun carving foam and covering the forms with flowers, Astro-turf, and more.”

The installation can be found on the second floor of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and will serve as the news set for 13 ON YOUR SIDE throughout the event.

On the first day of ArtPrize, Wednesday Sept. 19, 13 ON YOUR SIDE Mornings, My West Michigan, 13 ON YOUR SIDE at Noon and the evening shows will be broadcast from this space. Weekdays after that, the focus will be on the noon and evening shows.

Visitors are encouraged to come out and visit with talent and staff and watch the news in action. They may even get a chance to be on TV!

For the second year in a row, the set is an official entry in the ArtPrize competition. To vote for it, click here.

And there is a documentary on the making of the set here:

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