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News Updates from Grand Rapids, Hanoi and Gloucester, MA

On 08, Oct 2009 | One Comment | In Et cetera | By man-admin

Mosaic Mural “Imagine That!” Claims
$100K Second Prize at ArtPrize

(Grand Rapids, MI) We were thrilled to learn that Imagine That, a bricolage* by Tracy van Duinan, captured the $100,000 Second Prize at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI. Van Duinan is an artist/educator with the Chicago Public Art Group.

Photo courtesy of Molly Burns, Molz Photography

From the van Duinan’s Artist’s Statement:

Imagine That! celebrates the creativity and imagination of children. The three central figures represent children from all walks of life. Painted and tiled circles depict the wonder of kids at play. The mural also includes a scavenger hunt and word find to promote exploration and discovery.

A community mural, this piece includes small paintings created by children, teenagers and adults during workshops at the Children’s Museum and Grandville Art Center. These groups also placed tiles in the mosaic.

This mural is meant to be interactive and ever changing. Look closely, you will always find something new, like a child’s artwork or a quote. Viewed from a distance, you see something reflected in the mirrors that wasn’t there a minute ago: a passing car, a red shirt, trees blowing in Veteran’s Park. The reflection also changes with the passing of time. Morning to evening. Summer leaves change to Fall colors. Just like our children, the mural is never the same from one moment to the next.

Where to see it: The Grand Rapids Childrens Museum, 11 Sheldon Avenue Northeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

* If you are like us and you’ve been wondering what “bricolage” means, here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

Bricolage, is a term used in several disciplines, among them the visual arts and literature, to refer to the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things which happen to be available, or a work created by such a process.

First Prize of $250,000 was awarded to Ran Ortner for his oil painting Open Water #24. For more about ArtPrize, check out our post from September 22nd.

* * * * * * *

“Concerns about overt commercialization, historical ignorance and haphazard design are dogging a half-completed project to create a 4.3-kilometer mural for Hanoi’s millennium.”

(Hanoi, Vietnam) This headline from the Thanh Nien News definitely caught our eye. We’ve been following the progress of the Hanoi mural, the brainchild of journalist Nguyen Thu Thuy, for several months now.

What started out as an internationally acclaimed community project designed to celebrate the city’s birthday and turn an eyesore of a dike into a thing of beauty is now facing controversy over the placement and size of sponsor logos and the appropriateness and/or artfulness of design elements.

Frankly, we’re with the project’s proponents when they respond to these complaints as follows:

1) Without private funding, this project would never have happened. Promises were made and should be kept. It’s a time honored practice.
2) This is a community mosaic project. The designs were created by local and international artists as well as local children. The mural reflects the living vibrancy of the community and that is art.

To read the article in its entirety (and it is a good read thanks to reporters Huong Le – and Nguyen) click here For previous MAN posts on the mural, go to August 7, August 10, and September 26th.

* * * * * * *

What was once a mere rumor is now confirmed.
MAN editors verify the existence of Roman mosaic in New England.

(Gloucester, MA) On September 16th, we reported the unplanned excavation of a Roman mosaic in Gloucester, MA. In the tradition of great journalism, MAN editors Bill Buckingham and Nancie Mills Pipgras traveled to this fair city to see if the rumors were true.

We are happy to report that yes, Virginia, there is a Roman mosaic in Gloucester. And it is smack dab in the middle of a street a mere half-block from the Town Hall.

Exhaustive scientific testing and scholarly research were conducted. We left no stone (or Mosaic Rock) unturned in our search for the truth.

The editors of Mosaic Art Now are now satisfied that A) The mosaic is real, B) It is in Gloucester, MA, and C) It is Roman. Sort of.

Enjoy — Nancie

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  1. Ed Kinsella

    Thank you. I have been curious what is happening in mosaics outside of what we are commonly exposed to in the USA and the Western Europe. Thank you for writing a 3rd piece about the Hannoi mural. Fascinating.

    If you can, I would be ever grateful to see more posts about historical or contemporary mosaics in Mexico, Central and South America, in Russia and Eastern Europe, in Africa, and in Asia. I have seen a few photos of what some contemporary Japanese mosaic artists are doing and it really blew me away. However, the info on mosaics abroad is scarce as far as I can tell.

    On another topic, I have to send kudos to Tracy van Duinan on the terrific Grand Rapids mural. So great to see it. When I saw the first photo of the young lady, I thought that it was a great artwork on its own, but then I saw the other 2 children and was similarly impressed with them as stand-alone entities. But seeing the 4th photo and discovering that these 3 figures are a part of a huge mural really was a joy. I love the huge images of the children looking upwards. I also love the message the picece sends, which is embodied in the title "Imagine That" as well as in the artist's statement which you quoted. Thank you and congratulations to Tracy van Duinan on this monumental achievement.

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