Inspiring through education
GVSU charter school students visit ArtPrize, enter artwork
About 2,000 students from Grand Valley State University’s charter schools made it out to Grand Rapids for the third ArtPrize Education Days this year, which is hosted by GVSU’s Charter Schools Office.
The ArtPrize Education Days allow charter school students the opportunity to go to ArtPrize as a field
trip and learn a lesson in art.
Amirah Vosburgh, manager of programs and marketing at the Charter Schools Office, said the field
trip is beneficial for the students, especially in tough economic times.
“For the students, they have the opportunity to visit a college campus and have a chance to have a
hands-on art experience when art programs are scarce,” Vosburgh said. “It is also great for the
university because they have 2,000 potential future Lakers on campus.”
This year, the students learned about the history of whispering poetry tubes and had the chance to
make and decorate their own. Some of the art that the students created will be displayed between the
Eberhard Center and the blue pedestrian bridge until the end of ArtPrize.
The Charter Schools Office pays for the art presentation and lunch for the students and reimburses
the schools for bussing needed to get to Grand Rapids, which can cost more than $1,000 for some of
Vosburgh said the event is also a great opportunity for GVSU students.
“Internships can be built around the program,” Vosburgh said. “Hospitality folks, College of Education,
a lot of different students would benefit.”
The West Michigan Academy for Arts and Academics in Spring Lake sent more than 300 of their
students to the event over the three-day period. WMAAA selected their third- through eighth-grade
classes to go, each day sending two of the grades.
Students from WMAAA are familiar with ArtPrize already, said Carolyn Gilmore, arts coordinator of the
She said her students have had entries in ArtPrize twice before. With the help of mentors, the students
made their own art to enter in the internationally-recognized competition.
“They’re connecting what they’re learning in school with real life,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore also said that the diversity of the competition in ArtPrize shows the students more mediums
of art than they get the chance to learn in class.
“It is very important for us to take the kids out to see art in the community,” she said. “They are
inspired, they produce their own artwork and they see art that is reachable for them.”