Yeah, I’m a believer. I believe that Art is cool, but I’m not an artist. I’m a Michigan Citizen from a great town called Grand Rapids, The “Furniture City”. Starting on Wednesday September 23 2009 there will be a new competition called ArtPrize in town and I am loving the buzz and activity it is creating.
Typically I blog about social media, or strategy, or tactics like twitter and facebook, but this is different. This is about integrating art and social media, about using the new tools to reflect what we do in real life, faster and more efficiently. The organizers of Artprize originally claimed it was going to be an American-Idol-Style voting, what I didn’t realize was how much they were planning on leveraging Social Media. When I realized that the artists basically had to earn their votes in what ever means they could I saw the potential for social media. So that’s when I got involved. I am passionate about social media and business, I believe that all businesses could improve with the correct usage of social media. Just like these artists who are vying for a vote could get more votes with the correct usage of social media. – more on that here: micro blog on artprize
I wanted to write something about ArtPrize, to show why I care, and why you – those who care about social media and business – should care about ArtPrize. This is my attempt and showing why you should care.
Around 1262 Artists who submitted artwork for this competition. Only 10 people will win money from ArtPrize; there will be over 1200 losers. With those odds there has to be something more than just the money here. Why would artists submit to inevitable failure? Yes, they have a 10 in 1262 chance of winning ( Less than 1%) But they have a 99.3% chance of failing. I believe its about so much more than the money, In fact, I’ll go on record saying there are 1262 different reasons.
Oh yeah and if you want to see all of the 1262 entries in the first week of voting you will have to see 180 new pieces every day.
Creative use of space around us
Between the “We’re all connected 2.0” and the “Setting the Table” entries I like how the space we see every day is now being occupied by something to react to. Like it or hate it, the art is better than the blank wall.
Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd
I have a client visiting our office this week. I told him about artprize and how he should participate while he is here. The more positive things happen in and around our city the more there is to tell people about our city.
Plus, take a walk downtown this week, you will see significantly more people here than normal. It already started yesterday, on a Sunday no less.
Art versus Christianity
Oftentimes the western church, which is well represented in this town, doesn’t appreciate art, therefore life here is more about practicality than about beauty. I fall into this habit way too often. Artprize has however brought a new appreciation for art, and its definition to our community.
Is it about you or me?
In general this world is full of people concerned about themselves. Believe it or not, the first week of this competition feeds the ego of everyone in town. It’s about what I think is art, It’s about what I like and don’t like. It’s about whom I know and who knows me. It’s about talking to (I) on social media. That is how votes will be earned. Stroke those egos artists and you may go places.
Say what? Most people in the US don’t seem to know how to use their cell phone other than to call, unless they are on a smartphone and can do email/websurfing. What I’m getting at here is commonly called texting. there are a couple of ways to vote for artwork: online, or via a mobile device. The majority of artists have displayed the code you need to text in order to vote for their artwork. Bring on user education! I’ve heard some other plans for local organizations to use sms. To them I say “bring it”!
Local and International
At the same time? Local friends who live, work and essentially model the starving artists mentality in and around Grand Rapids, are on an equal playing field with those who are traveling here from Sweden or Denmark. Come on medium sized town USA, let’s show the world what we can do and call it Art.
Do you want to see a local win? Or a “foreigner”?
Try this: Go downtown, take the bus or something. Then walk, see if you can find all the artwork for artprize. I bet two things:
- You can’t find em all!
- You’ll find permanent installs of art that you didn’t know were there. (If you go before they are labeled)
Go on, go map-less. It’s a great adventure especially before the competition begins.
When I think of Art I used to think of things you can hang in a museum. But then I started working for a creative firm and found many cool things in art which occur in time and space. Not just space. Thanks to event art, like Rob Bliss’ Artprize entry, art is no longer static in my mind. This is why I am looking forward to the events that occur in time and space, not just space.
Social media and art
Yes it does all come back to Social Media with me. This contest is really about popularity and how well you can leverage your networks. Don’t get me wrong, location and the artwork count too. But if you have over 1500 people you are connected to on a social network, and you can get them to vote for you plus a percentage ask their networks to vote for you… well then you have a leg up on someone who doesn’t have that large of a network. The most popular person has to have a good art piece to win. But without popularity I doubt that artist would win.
I have seen some really great artwork and without knowing the story behind it I probably won’t vote for it.
If you use social media to get your story heard then perhaps I might be more inclined to vote for it. Most art is communicating a message, But I’m terrible at deciphering it, so help me out, tell it to me via social media.
For those of us using Social Media for Business we have a lot to learn from this event. Watch, consume, read, vote. After it’s all done perhaps we’ll know how to leverage social media for our business in a more authentic way. Lessons will be learned.