More Art Upstairs

In our latest Mosaic Community event, we teamed with ArtPrize and Celebration Cinema on November 30 to host more than 500 Grand Rapids Public Schools students for ArtPrize OnScreen, a two-hour session that included the screening of the documentary “More Art Upstairs” and a talk back with director Jody Hassett Sanchez and ArtPrize exhibitions director Kevin Buist.

Mosaic Community events include opportunities ranging from afterschool curriculum to industry guest speakers and film screenings that provide a platform for student/professional interaction, storytelling, and diversity.

More Art Upstairs” follows four accomplished artists as they compete at ArtPrize, a populist experiment that inverts the equation of who gets to decide what art has value by letting the general public vote on which works will win much of the $500,000 in prize money – the largest award in the art world.

The film’s characters embrace the ethos of the competition but grow weary of having to repeatedly explain their approach and worry about going home empty-handed. Will this unmediated experience change how the public thinks about art? Will it reshape how our characters make and exhibit their work? “More Art Upstairs” melds humor, extraordinary behind-the-scenes access, and a nail-biting competition to explore these questions.

More Art Upstairs- Trailer from Joshua Woltermann on Vimeo.

After the screening, students pondered the questions: What is art?  And how does art impact daily life? Buist challenged students to think about who decides what is art.

Students asked Sanchez about her approach to selecting characters and the process of editing the documentary.

The conversation then moved toward the topic of careers.  Sanchez talked about the importance of music and the impact it has on a scene.  She noted that aspiring composers can start honing their craft by using accessible programs like Garage Band.  Sanchez acknowledged that aspiring composers can jumpstart their careers by working on short films.

Represented schools included (CA Frost Environmental Science Academy, City, Grand Rapids Montessori, Innovation Central, Ottawa Hills, Union, Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy, and Southeast Career Pathways.

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