2012 Kids’ ArtPrize Tour: Stop #17

The next phase of our ArtPrize for Kids: Language Connections Guide for 2012. Thanks again to our friends at grkids.com for the work done on creating the Tour!

Here are picks from Stop #17 of the 2012 Kids’ ArtPrize Tour . For each, we’ve added some language prompts for building those neural pathways for all ages. Just a note – you don’t have to ask all the question! Pick the ones that work for you!!

#17: DeVos Place Convention Center/Calder Plaza
303 Monroe Ave. NW Grand Rapids MI 49503

Some overall questions for this stop:

  • How are the exhibits at this stop alike?
  • How are the exhibits at this stop different?
  • How is this stop alike or different from the stops we’ve already visited?
  • Shape focus: what types of circles can you find at this stop?

Threads of Grace 

  • What colors do you see?
  • Can you name at least three materials that were used in making this sculpture?
  • The word is Grace. Can you think of other words that rhyme with grace?
  • This sculpture was made by weaving some of the threads. Have you ever done weaving? What other things might be made by weaving?


  • What shape do you see?
  • How many spheres are there?
  • How many words can you think of to describe this piece?
  • These are called spores. How many words can you think of that rhyme with spore?
  • Have you head the word spore before? A spore is how single cell organisms make more of themselves. Kind of like a seed of a bacteria or small plant. What other science words can you think of?
  • Which other pieces does this one remind you of?
  • Does it remind you of any stories you know?

Get Used to It–  a half-circle, wooden platform covered with variably sized blocks of wood arranged so as to mimic the basic structure of a city. The city is divided by a half-circle shaped freeway, separating the downtown and its immediate neighborhoods from the fringe neighborhoods outside of the highway loop. Kyle Butler

  • What shapes do you see?
  • What kinds of buildings can you name? [skyscraper; house; warehouse…]
  • How would you describe the size of this city?
  • What do you like to build with blocks?
  • Does this remind you of any stories you know?


  • What colors do you see?
  • What is happening in this piece?
  • It’s called slurped. Is this a word you’ve heard before?
  • When might you slurp? What does it sound like?
  • What type of “food” could the artist have used other than noodles?
  • What other action words could you use to describe this piece?
  • What if the mouth was eating an ice cream cone? How would this look different?
  • Does this piece remind you of any stories you know or places you’ve been?

Paradise – painting of a large-scale, realistic landscape based on trip to the Hawaiian Islands earlier in 2012. Frank Newmyer, Jr.

  • What colors do you see?
  • Where do you think this is?
  • This painting is on three panels like the Elephants. Do you remember what that kind of painting is called? [a triptych]
  • If we were in this painting, at the real place, what do you think it would feel like? Smell like? Sound like?
  • This painting is called Paradise. Why do you think some people feel it’s a paradise? Where would you call paradise?
  • Does this remind you of any stories you know?

Rush Docks 

  • Some vocabulary: weathers (as a verb), warp, harbor, dock. What might these words mean if this piece shows the way water weathers and warps harbor docks over time?
  • How would you describe this piece to someone who’s not here? (it’s shape, size, color….)
  • Where could you usually find a dock?
  • What do you think this piece would feel like?
  • What do you think the wood might have looked like before it was weathered?

Swing Set Drum Kit – The Swing Set Drum Kit is an interactive sonic sculpture encouraging kids to build rhythmic sounds with a swing set. Three swings are attached to large colorful wheels that trigger multiple drumsticks, striking percussive instruments. A child’s realization that the sounds are directly related to their swinging is the foundation of the piece.  Dave Ford

  • What shapes do you see?
  • What colors do you see?
  • How does it sound different with different people?
  • What did it feel like to make music when you were swinging?
  • Drums are a percussion instrument because the sound is made by hitting it or striking it with a stick. What other percussion instruments can you think of?
  • How many words can you think of that rhyme with drum?
  • How many other words can you think of that start with /dr/?
  • Does this remind you of any stories you know?


Follow-up activities could include looking up information on spores, cities, Hawaii or harbors; checking out some Hawaiian music and see if it reminds you of the painting; visiting a few harbors (local lakes, Grand Haven or others on the lakeshore); creating a personal dictionary of vibrant verbs like slurped and cutting out or drawing pictures to go with the words; creating various percussion instruments from items around the house [buckets; tin cans; pots] and comparing their sounds; take a walk and look for objects that have been weathered or warped; designing a city with blocks; planning a vacation to paradise; writing a story about a trip to paradise; describing one of these pieces to someone who wasn’t there with you.

Available at Grand Rapids Public Library

Mystery in Hawaii

Fun with Verbs

Slurping and a Little Manners 🙂

Available at Kent District Libraries

Some Michigan Docks


From KDL

Fun with Drums


Next: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Stop #18 on the 2012 Kids’ ArtPrize Tour

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