A little monkey fun

Dale Rogers MonkeysIn case you didn’t know, today is opening day for ArtPrize in Grand Rapids – and some of you probably remember how last year, I got all geeked out about ArtPrize because face it – it may just be the most awesome thing about west Michigan (Okay, it IS the most awesome thing about west Michigan).

Well, this year probably won’t be too different, because here we are at opening day and I’ve already gone out to check out the art a few times – including yesterday BEFORE THE EVENT WAS EVEN OPEN.

There are certain pieces each year that get quite a bit of pre-opening day press. There are pieces I look forward to seeing and keep an eye out for – pieces I just HAVE to see. Year one of ArtPrize, that piece was “Nessie”, the giant Loch Ness monster that happily lived in the Grand River for months before finding a new home at the zoo. Last year, it was Beili Liu’s Lure/Forest – the red thread exhibit that I fell in love with (and ultimately placed in the Top Three of ArtPrize).

This year the piece I had been waiting for were these metal monkeys by metal artist Dale Rogers. Yesterday at lunch, while walking around downtown with my mom, we spotted the artist on the bridge, hanging the monkeys. “We’ve been waiting for the monkeys!” we told him.

He then offered to let me go up in the cherry picker with him and someone from his studio to see just how the heck he hangs those big metal monkeys.

I don’t love heights. You know this. Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge in California this summer was a nerve-wracking experience for me. This bridge? Not nearly as high (really, not even close) and yet, on a bridge, on a cherry picker kinda deal AT THE VERY TOP OF THE BRIDGE?), well, I got a little nerve-sweat.

But it was cool and it was an amazing experience, and I got to see just how the monkeys are secured on that bridge (so those of you who might be worried about the wind – don’t be – those monkeys are up there securely). And I’m ever so grateful for the opportunity, and grateful the artist didn’t immediately lower the basket and kick me off when he realized that I was going to be a slightly nervous passenger.  I’m glad I didn’t let my little height phobia thing get in my way. It was truly exhilarating and the highlight of my day yesterday. Possibly the highlight of this WEEK, even.

For this ArtPrize junkie, there truly was no better way to kick off this year’s adventure.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Speaking as the champion of all hanging monkey games in our house, I loved this 🙂

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