ArtPrize 2017 Exhibit

WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES:  BE KIND

When you attend ArtPrize in G.R., be sure to check out this collaborative effort from students in Newaygo County!

Video About the Project

“WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES”: General core message

“Walk a mile in my shoes” is our community’s effort to make kindness more common.
Our goal is to raise awareness about empathy and reduce bullying and harassment.

The artwork encourages people to embrace empathy and kindness in our daily lives.
We want all children to feel safe so they can be themselves and realize their fullest potential.
We are having a national conversation about bullying, intimidation and how we should treat each other, especially those who are different and those with whom we disagree.
“Walk a mile in my shoes” also invites adults to lead by example and make kindness a priority.

We are grateful to the community for coming together and creating a powerful reminder for all of us that kindness and empathy can make a positive difference.
Many communities struggle silently with depression, mental illness, anxiety, addiction and other behavioral challenges – all of which require a compassionate community response. 
Our project is a true collaborative effort that looks at these challenges through the eyes and the imagination of children.
We invite everyone to join in on sharing kindness, not only with children but with everyone we come in contact with during our day.

One way to promote empathy during ArtPrize is by supporting “Walk a mile in my shoes,” voting for it #65300, and donating to this important project by contacting Newaygo County Council for the Arts-Artsplace at 231.924.4022.
Visitors can also watch a documentary featuring Newaygo County students who talk about empathy, kindness and bullying.
Visitors can join the conversation by writing their thoughts about kindness on “foot notes” that they can put inside shoes displayed as part of ‘Walk a mile in my shoes.”

STATS & FACTS

ArtPrize Nine: Sept. 20-Oct. 8.

LOCATION: City Water Building by the Richard App Gallery, 1101 Monroe Ave. NW Grand Rapids Monroe North.

WHAT IS ‘WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES’

“Walk a mile in my shoes” features six panels of acrylic-on-canvas paintings, with each panel measuring 8 feet wide by 4 feet tall and depicting various shoes, braces, prosthetics and footwear from different nations, cultures and eras, arrayed around letter blocks that spell out “Walk a mile in my shoes.”

Six 5-foot tall displays for the decorated shoes that are designed and built by welding students at the Newaygo County Career Tech Center.
Orange bracelets for children and adults who view “Walk a mile in my shoes” that include the project’s mascot, a smiling bee named Ike N. Beeme (pronounced “I can be me); the phrase “be kind;” and the ArtPrize entry number for the project, #65300.
A mini-documentary featuring testimonials from children and youth ages 5 through 19 about their thoughts on kindness and their experiences with bullying.
Invitations for visitors to write about what kindness means to them on pieces of paper that they can place in the individual shoes, and which will be compiled as part of a children’s activity book.
The Newaygo County art project also spurred local educators to create lesson plans on empathy and kindness that could be seamlessly woven into classroom curriculum.

DATA ON BULLYING (MDE)

Nearly 60 percent of 9th graders in Newaygo County reported seeing students physically assaulted in the past 12 months.
1-in-3 high school students countywide reported feeling sad and depressed every day.
1-in-10 said they attempted suicide at least once.
In middle school, 1-in-5 students reported seriously considering suicide.
1-in-3 students reported being bullied.
More than 80 percent of middle-schoolers have heard others called mean names.
52 percent of Hispanic and Latino middle-schoolers reported feeling sad and depressed every day, nearly double the countywide average.

ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place Sept. 20-Oct. 8 in Grand Rapids, Mich. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.