Over the next six weeks, more than a dozen artists will begin using ten vacant structures along Rumsey Street in Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park neighborhood for large-scale, site-specific installations.
“It will be entirely different from anything ArtPrize visitors have seen before,” said SiTE:LAB curator Paul Amenta.
Among the projects already underway in the three-acre area is a large-scale mural by Mark Dean Veca on the exterior of a former body shop on the corner of Rumsey and Grandville. The Los Angeles-based artist has previous experience with SiTE:LAB; in 2013 he created the 90-foot graphic of a coiled snake on the floor of the Old Public Museum.
“I loved working with Mark and felt his distinctive style, influenced by comic strips and pop culture, was a great fit for this particular building and location,” said Amenta. “It is going to be a big bold piece that will unequivocally let the community know where The Rumsey Street Project is located.”
Also underway is the conversion of the former rectory of St. Joseph the Worker Church into a three-dimensional drawing by Brooklyn-based artist Diana Shpungin. Over a month-long period, volunteers will completely cover the surface of the building with graphite pencil.
Although located outside of the ArtPrize boundary, SiTE:LAB was granted special permission to use the property owned by Habitat for Humanity of Kent County for 2015 and 2016. In 2017, Habitat for Humanity is planning a major neighborhood development project for the space.
SiTE:LAB is a three-time winner of the juried ArtPrize award for Best Venue, and has hosted installations at The Morton House and the Junior Achievement building on Fulton & Division.
ArtPrize 2015 begins September 23 and runs through October 11.