MACKINAC ISLAND — Phillip Rice says grouping Upper Peninsula artists at venues at the international ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids sheds a good light on the U.P.
More than 40 U.P. artists choosen to display at ArtPrize with 75 pieces of art are currently on display at Mackinac Island as part of the Crossing the Straits exhibit. Most are at the Mission Point Resort art gallery.
Rice is the program director at the Mackinac Arts Council. He said art can be used to promote the U.P.
“I think it’s really important to show the general public that the Upper Peninsula has a contingency of artists at ArtPrize and a great way to do that is through a preview,” Rice said. “By getting all of the artwork at one place in the U.P., visitors that want to learn more about it will encounter the artwork and see that there’s a lot of artists up here.”
Rice said he hopes people are impressed with the quantity and quality of the artwork on display at the island.
He took the uniqueness of the Mackinac Bridge in his own project submitted to ArtPrize. Recording different pitches of traffic crossing the bridge, he set the tones to a small keyboard that people can play.
“When you drive over the bridge it makes that tone that rings in your ears when you go over the grate. I mapped it onto a little keyboard so you can put on headphones and play a song with the bridge tone,” Rice explained.
Rice has attended every ArtPrize since it started but this is the first time he will be one of the artists in the competition.