Last week over 200 students from Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) became professional artists when their work was officially installed at the Amway World Headquarters in Ada, Michigan.
The work started over four months ago when students from Grand Rapids Montessori, Coit Creative Arts Academy, Cezar Chavez, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center and Grand Rapids Museum visited ArtPrize. The students explored different venues and spoke to working artists. They started a conversation about art and what it inspires.
Once they returned to their classrooms, the students were then charged with a very special commission. Amway requested the students to help create artwork for its world headquarters in Ada, Michigan. Using Amway’s four pillars of Hope, Freedom, Family and Reward, the students began designing their own masterpieces. Amway CFO Mark Stevens explains: “At the same time, we asked the students to take some themes that are very important to Amway and to incorporate them in their work. And these aren’t just any themes…Freedom, Family, Hope and Reward. These are really the values of the company.”
Amway provided students a canvas with which to create their artwork. The students created 400 pieces of artwork, that were then juried to be a part of the new mural installation. In total, 250 pieces of artwork were chosen.
All the hard work was celebrated at a grand opening reception for the young artists and their families on February 21st. Amway rolled out the red carpet for these budding artists. The students arrived to hear cheers from the Amway team. Between food and a photo booth, families explored Amway’s headquarters and learned more about this local business. Everyone gathered at 6pm at the foot of the grand staircase for a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The excitement was palpable, and the kids began to chant: “Cut the Ribbon! Cut the Ribbon!” With monstrous applause, the ribbon was cut and everyone streamed to the second floor to see the new installation.
Students proudly pointed out artwork and took pictures. It was truly a night to behold!
The artwork will remain at Amway’s Headquarters until February 2018. See the VIDEO!
Project Envision was a collaborative project between GRPS, ArtPrize and Amway, with fiduciary support provided by the Student Advancement Foundation.