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´╗┐ArtPrize is failing to nourish good

is art? I wish I had a dime, even a nickel, for every time I have been asked that question over the course Oral Steroids Poison Oak of the past 20 plus years of my career. It would have made paying off all those student loans much easier.

Taken directly, the question has a pretty palatable answer. I think most would agree that art is a form of creativity, an outlet of human expression, a form of visual communication. To illustrate the answer, Kamagra 100 you could show innumerable images from the precious scribbles of your favorite preschooler to a canvas with Van Gogh "Sunflowers" in all its bold and emotive glory. Quite an array, but so is human creativity, expression and communication.

A related question many people think they are asking or ultimately want to know is, is good art? This is a much tougher question to answer, but not impossible to consider if you are willing to admit that while all of us are capable of making art, not everyone is equally able and inspired to make good art. We have gifts and talents in other areas.

For years, I have been searching for analogies that might help illustrate this point, and offer some comfort and insight to people who really do want to try to understand what differentiates good art from the rest. In recent years, and with the help of a few sincere friends and colleagues who happen to be very health conscious, I have settled on an idea that seems to be helpful.

You might imagine good art as an apple. It is good for you and it nourishes you. It may be crunchy or soft, sweet or slightly sour, but everything about enjoying and eating one moves your being forward. It is likely that since we were quite small, apples have made their way into our diet first as applesauce, then apple slices, then the big round gems in our lunch bags. As we matured, we came to know and hopefully appreciate that they were healthy and good for us even when we may have wanted a candy bar as a snack instead.

Beyond the scribbles of childhood and teenage doodles, art that presents itself as good when it really is not, is like a candy bar. Let pick on the Tootsie Roll. You may get some momentary satisfaction from eating one, but there is no nutritional value. In fact, I am not even sure a Tootsie Roll is real food. Certainly, indulging in these little quick fix things can be like indulging in not so good art; temporarily gratifying but not recommended by anyone worried about your well being.

I am concerned about the well being of ArtPrize both within the community and how the community is perceived and understood by the outside world. In hours of considering and reconsidering the recently revealed Top 10, it seems there are but a precious few apples I would shine and place on the desk of any of my teachers, offer to a young person I care about or share with a friend or colleague. There was great hope this year for lots of apples Proviron And Anadrol to rise to the top, but majority sentiment of the ArtPrize voters seemed to be on the side of the Tootsie Roll. Trick or treat.

In the first entry of this series, I encouraged people to ask three basic questions when looking at art: what, how and why. To be fair, I took on those very questions myself as I looked individually and summarily at the Top 10. With great honesty, I could only embrace a couple of these works as nutritious and worthy. I was looking for artistic integrity and not a gimmick. An assured sense of composition and fine craftsmanship was important. Which work would I honestly be able to turn to again and again to see and experience something that is new? Which provided nourishment visually, intellectually and creatively that went beyond a quick sugary surge?

In this my umpteenth draft of this column, I have made the decision not to call out any works by name as being either good or bad, apples or Tootsie Rolls. If you are reading this column or read any of the earlier examples in this series, it would be pretty obvious I would be directing my energy to a precious few worthy choices. Instead, I return to the questions of what, how and why?

With all sincerity, those questions keep moving and morphing in my mind. What were people thinking? How could so many seem to miss the sparkling apples across town at venues from UICA to Cathedral ´╗┐4-chlorodehydromethyltestosteron Square, Kendall to GRCC, the Women City Club to Grand Valley, the SiTE:LAB to Meijer Gardens, not to mention numerous other delectables at GRAM and the Public Museum. Were the Tootsie Rolls of the street corners and parking lots that appealing? However, what I found most heart breaking and mind aching about it all, was wrestling with the question of why. Specifically, why does this whole thing matter? Why should we care? Just let some goofy big Tootsie Roll win and we Primobolan 1ml can start planning for next year.

ArtPrize and the selection of the winner matters for several important reasons. First, it is a noble concept with extremely generous support behind it from the DeVos family but by almost every other family foundation and most of the major corporations in this community as well. In a world of great peril rife with need, this kind of philanthropy for the arts is precious regardless if the hotels, bars and "Achat Anabolisant Belgique" restaurants are full. We need to do right by the individuals, foundations and corporations that are trying to good for us. We need to do right by the legions of arts and cultural professionals and volunteers that have put incalculable hours into crafting a major arts event as ArtPrize has become.

And speaking of the commercial gains, what has been enjoyed these first few years with downtown businesses will rapidly disintegrate if great energy Cialis 10 Mg Goedkoop is not exerted on issues of encouraging quality works of art and having better conversations. When poor choices are made and broadcast, it is increasingly difficult to encourage quality artists to participate. And people will stop coming to town and going downtown. Without an emphasis on quality the whole system begins to break down and cannibalize itself like a farmer who plants the same crop in the same field depleting the ground of the nutrients. ArtPrize has the potential to reap rich rewards for the community, but all the good work and good intentions available this year are under threat of drowning in the syrupy ooze of, you guessed it, melting tootsie rolls.

There were a lot of good conversations happening this year. I heard many, read even more. But let's take a look at the end and not the means for a moment. There are some big awards being given. Remember it a prize. But like the Oscar or the Tony, the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup, only the winner is broadcast to the world and remembered. How do we want the culture of Grand Rapids to be broadcast to the world and remembered? How does this climax of ArtPrize measure up to the image we are trying to project as a center for health care, education, research, design, travel and tourism? How about them apples?

Like many, I am grateful for many of the opportunities and blessings that ArtPrize offers or has the potential to offer. There is a lot of work to be done. But this is Grand Rapids Calder City! It's also home to marvelous theater, music, a new art museum, a newer "Anabolika Definition" contemporary art center, growing colleges and universities, and one of 100 most visited museums in the world in the form of garden and sculpture park. How can you not believe in the best that ArtPrize can be? How can you not believe in the best that Grand Rapids can be?

Enjoy this final rush of the event. Keep the conversation going and choose well. Give us something good to eat.

Joseph Becherer is chief curator and vice president for collections and exhibitions at Frederik Meijer Gardens Sculpture Park and a professor of art history at Aquinas College. He also was on the curatorial team for the ArtPrize exhibition center at Meijer Gardens. This is one in series of columns on various art topics throughout ArtPrize 2011.