The ArtSharks of the Muskegon Area Arts Council heard nine extraordinary proposals today at Dreamer's Blues Bar. All of them are worthy of funding, and yet, the evening was a winner-take-all event. The judges for the ArtSharks were prestigious and included Michael Belt, Arthur Fogg, Brenda Moore, Paula Tillman and Donna Johnson. VanderWier is known for kinectic sculpture, and he's actually placed in ArtPrize before. He also teaches at Muskegon Community College. And he wowwed the judges with his vision for the Lakeshore Trail that travels the Lake Muskegon Shore from the Muskegon Environmental Research and Education Society preserve to Pere Marquette Beach.
VanderWier knows how to make a wind turbine look artistically pleasing. And he likes the idea of the trail having footlights to guide bicyclists and walkers home from trips to the beach or down to the city center. And he knows that no one has constructured a trail of sustainable sculpture that works like a string of power plants. He can see it in his imagination. No one else can. He's talked to the City of Muskegon. He's talked to the staff of Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, and they scratched their heads. The ArtSharks totally got it, and gave him his first funds to carry out the idea. The Sharks were pleased to be the first money for this project that surely will transform the way trails are maintained in the world. We can't wait to take a walk as the free, sustainable electricity illuminates our way.
ArtSharks returns to Dreamer's Blues Bar September 21st at 1:30 PM in the afternoon.