By George Miguel
What a time to have been a lover of art and granted the opportunity to have a hand in the actualization of Project 1 by ArtPrize! My name is George Miguel, a recent graduate from Grand Valley State University who has run the course of an internship in the Learning and Engagement Department. It was through this position that I was better able to connect and engage with my community. I am fortunate to have joined the ArtPrize team during this exciting time in the endeavor to communicate their message through a new approach that has been carried out through the past 10 competitions. I have searched in a multiplicity of areas since “entering the real world,” and candidly express that it has taken me some time post-graduation to finally say that I belong in the city of Grand Rapids.
“Artists in Project 1: Crossed Lines have been selected because of the way they create more than objects, using public art to question and alter spaces, both physical and social. The way people move through a city—the ways in which people feel as if they do or do not belong—are the result of design decisions as well as policy decisions.”
I have had a front-row seat in beginning to internalize our message and all the work that goes into ArtPrize through the many departments that I’ve seen in action. In particular, the conduit that is the Learning and Engagement Department has demonstrated for me all the work that goes into developing such art events for the world, from the community members to the neighboring nonprofits that have participated thus far in volunteering and helping us to complete Project 1. Our events attract art lovers from around the world! This fact excites and leads me to truly believe that if art or “design decisions” within the transformed urban spaces of Grand Rapids in a way catalyzed euphoric belonging for me—a first-generation-college-graduate and the first of many things in my family—then so it can for others.
For example, something as fundamental as your desired arrangement or new design for your room will not just affect you, but will design you right back! On a larger scale, the design decisions of Project 1 aim to highlight the lines that we wish to cross in this community. Beyond my own experience, this project is able to have a monumental impact if art and message can intertwine successfully for the grand experience to belong.
In retrospect, my time at ArtPrize has been meaningful in clarifying and finding a place in my heart for what we have been trying to communicate. As people we are the sum of our experiences and need Art, it is wonder-full, rich in discovery and the exception of beauty. It has had me think of Picasso’s words, “we all know that art is not truth, art is a lie that makes us realize truth,” when I begin to overthink anything. From milestone to milestone I will continue to pursue the things I love and work parallel to my passions. I am absolutely sure in saying that my time at ArtPrize has fit such a frame.
My name is George Miguel… and I belong in this community.
Me llamo Jorge Miguel y pertenezco a esta comunidad
Jorge Miguel ‘in bi an, Akateko winaj jin’an
For more information on ArtPrize’s internships which are underwritten by Deloitte and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.