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New bike racks coming to downtown

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Along with all the art this week in downtown Grand Rapids, you may also be noticing new bike racks.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is installing 39 new bike racks to make for about 730 bike parking spaces in downtown.

Short-term bicycle parking typically aims to serve visitors to restaurants, shopping areas, libraries, office buildings, parks, and other destinations where the typical parking duration is two hours or less.

Ford graffiti artist joins ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-ArtPrize 2012 starts Wednesday, and The BOB is once again among the 162 venues.

This year the building will feature an anonymous artist who already created a stir downtown. His entry, called "Vandalism" is similar to graffiti previously painted on a Ford Freeway overpass and along the Grand River. The ArtPrize artist's new creation is an image of former President Ford and former First Lady Betty Ford. It appears on the Fulton Street side of The BOB.

If the anonymous artist wins ArtPrize, he'll have to identify himself to claim his prize.

Circus train getting close; Animal Walk time

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The circus is coming to town, so of course, so does the train and the parade of animals.

A friend of WZZM on Facebook says that as of 12:30pm, the train was nearing Kalamazoo.  That puts the train in the Hughart train yard at about 3:00pm.

As of right now, circus officials are estimating that the animal walk will take place around 7:30 or 7:45pm.  This is subject to change and we'll have updates as they become available.

The Ringling Bros. Animal Walk will begin near the intersection of Graham and Ionia, heading down Ionia and turning onto Oakes and into the back of Van Andel Arena. The best place to view the walk is along Ionia, and, for safety reasons, the public is asked to stay off of railroad property.

An elephant from the circus will also be out in front of the Van Andel Arena on Wednesday at about 11:30am creating a painting for ArtPrize.  The public is welcome to that event.


ArtPrize artist crafts bear out of pine needles

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - There are more than 1,500 ArtPrize entries this year and one was driven 1,700 miles to be part of the competition.

The piece is called 'Out of the Woods' by Richard Carpenter and it is on display at the J.W. Marriott. It is an eight foot tall bear made from hand-woven pine needles. Its eyes, mouth, nose, claws, and paws are all hand carved from wood.

Carpenter is from Idaho and to get his piece to West Michigan, he loaded it on the back of his truck and drove the 1,700 miles.

"He took me eight months to make, I've made several before, but this is my largest and most impressive one," says Carpenter.

Carpenter's bear is hollow for the most part, but inside are current newspapers, a bumper sticker, and a few other things. He says it's a sort of time capsule.

It took seven months for Carpenter to complete the sculpture.

ArtPrize piece vandalized, thrown into river

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - ArtPrize 2012 hasn't even begun and already one artist says someone vandalized his entry.

Edward Casagrande's entry, called Bridging Humanity is a collection of sculptures, located on the Gillett Bridge, which spans from DeVos Place to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Casagrande says over the weekend someone tore off a piece of his entry and threw it in the Grand River.

VIDEO: How to register for ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - It is arguably the premiere event in West Michigan, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Grand Rapids. ArtPrize begins Wednesday and runs through October 7.

But of the many visitors who visit Grand Rapids to view the art, many will not vote. WZZM 13 Sarah Sell is one of those people. Watch the video above to see how to register.

Each vote will help determine who wins the $250,000 grand prize.

ArtPrize statue hung from buildings

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Artists around town are putting the final touches on their entries.

Monday morning, artist Henry Brimmer launched his statue "Gravity Matters Little" above downtown at Ionia and Monroe Center.

The eight-foot human figure is attached to cables and dangles between Select Bank and the Clear Channel Building.

The artwork is also fit with a video camera to give you a 24-7 birds-eye view of the city.

Overall, there are 1,500 ArtPrize entries this year.