As ArtPrize® 2013 gears up to take over Grand Rapids, Mich. Sept.18-Oct. 6, a local photographer’s work will put the beauty of Michigan on prominent display in the heart of downtown.
Two photographs by Grand Rapids-area native John O’Brien have been selected for an exhibition at Riverview Center, an office building at 678 Front Avenue adjacent to the historic Sixth Street Bridge and Grand River Walk. An estimated 200,000 vehicles pass the site on any given day, and O’Brien’s work will be seen by many more as the event brings hundreds of thousands of art lovers to town.
ArtPrize is an international art competition with an unprecedented $200,000 top prize decided entirely by public vote. For 19 days, art pops up in every inch of the city, and O’Brien is thrilled to represent his hometown as artists from around the world converge on Grand Rapids to show their work, spark conversation and vie for the valuable cash awards. "I never thought I would be selected to be part of such a great event,” O’Brien says. “It has been a humbling experience for me. I excited and nervous to be showing two of my favorite photos."
O'Brien grew up in Grandville, Mich. and inherited his love of photography and the outdoors from his father, Jack O’Brien. Although much of his photography reflects the landscapes he first discovered and explored in his youth while camping throughout Michigan, John has brought his camera on extensive travels through Italy, France, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Caribbean.
Today, O’Brien lives in Northville, Mich. with his wife, Terri, and daughters, Lauren and Darbi, who grew up in front of their father’s lens and helped deepen his appreciation of the power of photography. Terri entered her husband in ArtPrize, and Riverview Center immediately jumped on the chance to display Tracks on Tin Shanty Bridge Road and Forgotten Window.
Riverview Center is one of many venues in Grand Rapids that will organize exhibits for ArtPrize as a way to support the arts and be a part of the exciting event. They not only chose to display O’Brien’s photographs, but used Tracks on Tin Shanty Bridge Road in the marketing piece to promote their venue’s participation in ArtPrize 2013.
To support John O’Brien’s work during ArtPrize, vote for number 54774. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Street Marketing at (248) 347-4350.