One of the most interesting exhibits at Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan were the largest chairs and table this author has seen in his life. The chairs and table were perched on top of the Blue Bridge between Fulton and Pearl Streets in Grand Rapids.
Local architect Stephen Fry, President of Concept Design Group conceived the original idea for this project. Having admired the talent and work of Sarah Grant & Stick's for years, Steve contacted Sarah to propose a joint collaboration. Concept Design Group and Sticks decided to erect a huge dining table and chairs atop the Blue Bridge. The table and chairs were painted with imagery of things that are found in Grand Rapids. Imagery covered the tabletop, legs and underside of the pieces so that pedestrians and occupants from the surrounding high rises could view the work as well as from underneath as they walked under the sculpture on the bridge. Concept Design Group securely affixed it to the bridge while being careful not to damage the bridge.
The Table itself was approximately 28 feet by 30 feet by 20 feet tall and sat on the main trestles of the bridge. The work was constructed of MDO plywood on a steel and structural wood framework, then hand painted images were added. The sculpture was lifted into place using a 200 foot long crane. Lighting was added to add interest and draw attention to the piece during evening hours. We are also looking for a permanent home for the piece when ArtPrize is over. Using over 6,000 sq. ft. of plywood and weighting over 30,000 pounds, this piece should draw plenty of attention and conversation for the first year of Artprize. Sarah won eighth place and $7,000 for her sculpture in Art Prize. It has been moved to the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center (Salvation Army) as a permanent home.
Sarah Grant, the artist, is the owner and founder of Sticks. Sticks is a collaborative art studio that produces handcrafted furniture with painted imagery and messages. Sarah was born in Rochester, NY, and was raised in Ames, IA. She graduated from the University of Iowa earning a BFA in Drawing and Intaglio Printmaking, an MFA in Intaglio Printmaking and Painting. In 2009, Sarah was named an honorary alumni of Iowa State University. Sarah was an adjunct professor at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. She concurrently was a teacher for the Des Moines Public School‚s Talented and Gifted Program; the Iowa Arts Council Artist in Residence Program; and the Des Moines Art Center. Sarah‚s abstract paintings are currently represented at Olson-Larsen Gallery in Des Moines.
Artist statement: "Sarah and Sticks are committed to creating artwork that is timeless in its designs and meaningful in its overall message. Our designs are visually impactful with the vibrant use of color and imagery. Our designs communicate to the public with life affirming messages. As a collaborative art studio, our work offers a synergistic creativity that draws upon the creative minds and inner beauty of many talented individuals coming together to create works of art that have universal appeal. We offer the finest level of craftsmanship and the highest measures of creativity. Our team has the ability to craft structural pieces of all shapes and sizes. Our work is crafted and designed with the specific needs of the space and the emphasis of the project in mind. We are committed to our craft and always welcome opportunities that allow us to design artwork that will make a lasting impression."