GRCC professor enters ArtPrize for third time

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Tagliati at work on his entry for ArtPrize this year.

By Jennifer Stout – Collegiate Staff

For Filippo Tagliati, Associate Professor of Photography and Video at Grand Rapids Community College, ArtPrize is the busiest time of the year. Tagliati is not only a professor, but a third time ArtPrize artist.

Growing up in Italy, Tagliati discovered his desire for taking pictures.

“When I was about 12 years old my mom gave me a small camera, and it turned into a personal hobby for many many years then turned into a passion,” Tagliati said. “Then, as I got older it became more than a passion.”

In 2004 Tagliati moved to America to see if his personal hobby could turn into something more. Eventually he arrived in Grand Rapids to become a photography professor at GRCC. For ArtPrize this year, Filippo is doing something different. His piece is a 3-D installation meant to transform the building it’s placed in.

The 126-year-old building used to be a church, an elementary school, parochial school, storage unit, and even a food pantry at one point. The centerpiece of his installation is an 86-by-14 foot long billboard wrapping around the side of the building displaying the abandonment and decay on the inside of the building.

Filippo said his goal is, “to create something you have never created before”.

“In this case SiTE:LAB gave me an abandoned building that looked horrible and I knew nothing about but I still needed to make an installation,” Tagliati said. “I came up with the idea of how I could build a giant billboard like I have never created before.”

Tagliati hopes his piece makes an impression on visitors and inspires them to question what the installation really is and to eventually want to dig deeper. He has been working on the installation since March.

“You have to be very organized,” Tagliati said.

Tagliati wants artists interested in ArtPrize to know that the competition is open to anything and everything.

“You do it because you enjoy to do it, not because of the money,” Tagliati said.

The building is located at 333 Rumsey St. Operation hours are Mon.-Thurs. 5-10 p.m., Fri. and Sat. noon-10 p.m., and Sun. noon-6 p.m.

“It is very important that everyone go out and enjoy art,” Tagliati said to those thinking about attending this year’s ArtPrize competition.

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