Art Prize – Part 2: The Artening.

See? I told you I’d be back. Read part 1 here if you missed it. 

However, I did realize that in my last post, I didn’t pull any receipts out of my receipt pocket and so I will do so now. 

The first one I pulled out was from the Wise Men Distillery. You know what a receipt looks like so I will not take a photo. Full disclosure, this was probably my least favorite stop of the trip. It was an adorable pocket of a place, but the drinks were made that generic “Oh hey we just wanna slap a label on some booze” booze. Not quite the experience we were looking for. 

But oh well, it was still an adventure. And I’m glad we stopped because they had an exit onto a lobby with some just breathtaking Art Prize pieces. 

That I, of course, forgot to take photos of. I didn’t say I was perfect on the photo-taking this time. I’m tryin’!

Okay, but here is a random photo:

This is actually kind of perfect, because, from a vibe standpoint, this was my favorite accidental stop of the night. It was tucked inside the lobby of a very fancy hotel that had incredible pieces of art in it. 

The Lumber Baron Bar consisted of little more than a rounded bar with 8 or so seats and a couple couches and arm chairs scattered around the rest of the room. It was a tiny place. And it was LOUD, but somehow, whenever Mickey talked, I could still hear him perfectly. 

Yeah, it was the kind of place with sound elegance. The rest of it was elegant AF, too, even though they had Malort on the menu. I tried to order it just because of the trashy/classy juxtaposition, but they were out, so I got a Japanese whisky instead. 

My favorite memory of this bar is watching someone stealthily roll up the thin cloth coasters on the bar and drop them into a bag at their feet. Some real slick work there, guy. 😉 

But then there was the art in the lobby.


This was one of multiple pieces by a very smart paper artist. She encouraged people to take pics with her art for social media, marking exactly where one should stand for the best pics with her work – and a QR code to share the pics directly with the artist. 

Plus, that art is gorgeous, isn’t it?

This was another piece of hers. The wingiest of wings. 

Okay, but also in the lobby of this very fancy hotel was a massive bridge display:

Just bridges upon bridges, all of them looking like they’ve been made out of the same material as the actual bridges they are meant to replicate. 

The artist also made a quarter scale ferris wheel, based on the very first ferris wheel ever.

You can peep it in the background of that pic. There were two folks manning this display, an older gentleman and a woman, who I assumed was his wife. 

It wasn’t. It was his daughter and she spent 15 minutes just gushing to us about her father’s work. How detailed he got with it and even the history of the Ferris Wheel. She said at the time it debuted at the World’s Fair, most buildings were only, like, 4-5 stories high. Can you imagine? That giant wheel must have seemed otherworldly. 

Then she also went deep on the loading procedures for the original ferris wheel, but I was also trying to take in the display visually with my eyes, so I didn’t really catch all those details. 

Ok, I’m done with the random pics now, cause there’s a few things I want to hit on. 

First – this was just a random container in the street filled with art that we ran into at night on the way back to the hotel and no one was guarding it but everyone was also respecting it. I love seeing that. 

Here is more art from the same container:

And now onto the reason we even went to Art Prize – Swilk!

PIctures do not do this justice. They are much more delicate and detailed in person. 

I was not prepared for there to be additional light and sound components, but there were! The lights simply highlighted the string work, ensuring each twist and knot was highlighted. 

Ohh, in this shot, the pink inside almost looks like someone sitting criss cross applesauce! In each display, the sound wasn’t much. No big orchestrations or anything. 

It was just tonal moody sounds that kind of reflected the mood of each piece. 

I loved seeing them in person so much. They were even better than I could have expected. 

Ok, I *did* pull out another random receipt from my receipt pocket and you’re in luck, because I wanted to talk about this anyways!

The receipt is from Railtown Brewing Co in Dutton, Mi. On the way home, we decided to just find a random place to eat lunch at. No planning, no expectations. 

We’d been bopping around throwing out ideas as we saw them, but then I saw it, a very tiny sign that said, “Railtown Brewing Co.” with an arrow so I said it aloud and we decided to go to there. 

If you remember my Pretty Little Pints days, you’ll also remember my rally cry of “FEST BEER BEST BEER”. Well, that stands true to this day, even if I’m drinking 99% less than I was then. 

But I’ve had a couple Fest Beers as they’ve popped up on our adventures and they’ve made me really happy. I love me some beer-flavored beer. 

So I was stoked when I saw “Railtoberfest” on the menu – a Marzen! My favorite style of Oktoberfest beers. It was red and delicious and gorgeous. 

Then we looked at the food menu. Once I reached something called a “Dip Flight” on the appetizer section, I knew I need look no further, so I stopped. 

Then I went back to look at the beer menu, because I love reading names and descriptions and stuff. 

What did my eyes spy? ANOTHER OKTOBERFEST BEER.

Was this place created specifically with me in mind? Dip flights?! TWO FEST BEER BEST BEERS?

So, Igesturedd to the barkeep and asked them to bring me Freight Train, the other Oktoberfest Beer (official style: Fest Beer). Yes, even though I had a still half-full beer. She brought it to me and I tasted them side by side and then my dip flight arrived. 

And I was the happiest Jacki ever. 

(Pictured from L-R starting in the upper left – Pimento Cheese Dip, Elote Dip, Pico de Gallo, and Spicy Queso. The Elote was the best one, but they were all excellent. )



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