Our city has an annual three-week-long art competition that draws artists from all over the world and basically turns the central part of our downtown into a huge art gallery. Ever since its first year, three years ago, I have taken my students downtown to see ArtPrize. This is a highly anticipated outing every year. Today was our ArtPrize day!
There is definitely a lot of more "typical" fine art in the competition, but my students are certainly more drawn to the large, visually stimulating pieces! Public can vote - mostly via text message - for the top pieces and the eventual cash prize winner, so I always register my phone so my students can "vote up" (in ArtPrize lingo) their favorite pieces and they are a part of the whole phenomenon!
Of course, going downtown is a real treat in and of itself for my students. Because of their disabilities, most of them really never get downtown except to go to the hospital. They are amazed by hot dog vendors, tall buildings, taxis, the guy digging for something (bait? crawfish?) in the shallows of the river, and some even scream in delight as we push wheelchairs quickly across crosswalks with crazy-short 'walk' lights! Definitely my favorite outing of the year, too.