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‘Yes, I am real’: Evertt Beidler takes Grand Rapids by storm, wins ArtPrize award

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Evertt Beidler’s wild ride continues.

Earlier this year, the Sylvania Campus (12000 S.W. 49th Ave.) art instructor debuted his “Moves Manager” exhibit in the North View Gallery at the campus, wowing students, faculty and staff. In October, Beidler was named the recipient of the Ox-Bow Residency Award at ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“It is a huge honor,” said Beidler, a resident of Southwest Portland. “Being included in the ArtPrize competition was a unique experience. I traveled there with John Hutton, who appears in the ‘Moves Manager’ video, and we conducted live demonstrations of my walking machine for thousands of people over the course of three days while the video played for thousands more in the theater at the UICA.”

Click picture to play the short film by Brian Kelly Films, which follows Evertt Beidler on the streets of Grand Rapids, Mich.

His work is on display at the gallery and theater in Grand Rapids, and while there for the awards ceremony Beidler and Hutton participated in numerous events that stemmed from his participation in the competition. His favorite was utilizing his mobile artwork in the streets of Grand Rapids, attracting curious onlookers, who peppered him with questions such as, “Are you real?” It was documented by Brian Kelly Films with an amusing and entertaining video (click picture to play).

“It was intimidating to be on the streets in an unfamiliar city that was in the middle of a gigantic event but we managed to become somewhat of a fixture in the competition,” Beidler said. “I was proud that we avoided being labeled a mere spectacle. We carried ourselves like a mobile gallery, in many ways we were performance commandos. It was a really exciting experience. The content for my work comes from daily life and it was thrilling to display it for viewers in real time and in real space. The attendees of ArtPrize seemed to understand what we were trying to do and my work was received with a lot of enthusiasm.”

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Interim Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section e... more »