Monday, September 26, 2011

“I Believe I Become” ArtPrize Entry at DeVos Place

A team of artists and carpenters from Buist Electric and Rockford Construction installed a massive student mural at DeVos Place as part of this fall's ArtPrize competition. With support from several local businesses and two local artists, a team of student artists from Grand Rapids Public Schools has created a mural to showcase their interpretation of "I Believe I Become."

"The students created the concepts for six large panels that show what I Believe I Become means to them," said Georgia Taylor, local artist and creative director of the project. "We created initial studies digitally, then projected them onto the panels. Then the students sketched and painted their interpretations."

"I Believe I Become" is the rally cry for Believe 2 Become, a local education initiative now in its second year. The Believe 2 Become initiative serves students in the four neighborhood zones in the Grand Rapids area. About 15,000 children live in the four zones.

Underwriting for the "I Believe I Become" student ArtPrize project came from Buist Electric. "We were thrilled to be able to make this possible," said Steve Longstreet, President. "We recognize that students are our community's future. When they set goals, believe in themselves, and work hard to learn and achieve, we are all better for it."

Other supporters include Rockford Construction, which provided studio space and installation support; Standard Lumber, which provided the plywood panels for the art; Modern Hardware, which provided primer and paint; DeVos Place, which is hosting the mural; Grand Rapids Public Schools, which provided the use of a digital projector; and Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation, which served as fiduciary for the project.

Local artists Georgia Taylor and Marco Riolo are working with student artists from Grand Rapids Public Schools. Students on the creative team are Sophie Rodriguez, a junior at Creston High School, and 2011 Ottawa Hills graduate Maurica Stewart. Students on the production team are Robert Daylie, Zaylie Bebee, and Luiz Farfen. The mural will be on display at DeVos Place during ArtPrize.