Dresses Made from Dictionaries and More from Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2021

Dresses Made from Dictionaries and More from Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2021

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 10, 2021)

Grand Rapids, MI – Art is a big deal in Grand Rapids, and each year the community blossoms with creative installations. Art dons the walls of buildings inside and out. Businesses host artists.  The parks, bridges, stores, restaurants, public spaces showcase creativity.  There are also concerts and artist demos, vendors, and plenty of mingling to be had as thousands come stroll around and take in the sights.

Grand Rapids was also host to the Michigan Municipal League’s annual convention, giving Oakland County Times a chance to also check out part of the city and the arts on display.  Inside the Amway Grand Hotel’s historic lobby was an enchanting display of dresses constructed out of vintage dictionaries.

Rebecca Humes is a photographer from the Grand Rapids area who started creating dresses out of old dictionary pages as an interesting feature for her photography business.  The poofy paper creations look surreal in natural landscapes, and models donning dresses at libraries also make for fun photo shoots.

“I love finding old dictionaries and flipping through them to see all the little details,” she said.  “I go to thrift stores and estate sales, and people I know find them for me.  I love being able to take something that people don’t use any more and giving it new life.”

Around town art inspired those who found things to relate to.  One little girl who had been excited to happen upon a circle of brightly painted brontosauruses in the 5/3 Plaza on Lyon Street grew downright giddy when she spotted the pink one with the lab coat and stethoscope.  “It’s a doctor!” she squealed as she ran up and give the concrete creature a hug.  “It’s a doctor like I’m gonna be!”

The series was created by Kelly Anderson to raise awareness of professions impacted by COVID-19.  There was one dino for each industry: Medical, Resturants, Arts and Entertainment, Banking, Retail and Shopping, Farming.

Another popular attraction was the giant mural of the Great Lakes made by photographer Tom Gifford. The project is called “HOMES,” with one letter for each Great Lake, and the images that make up the lakes being from photographs he’s taken there. Visitors lined up for their turn for a photograph standing in the black silhouette of Michigan’s mitten surrounded by bright lake shore pics.

For more on the annual competition and exhibition, check out https://www.artprize.org/.


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