Due to the government shutdown on Tuesday, the Gerald R. Ford Museum was closed for business, meaning many of the ArtPrize entries inside have been locked in.
However, two of the top 10 were among those inside, and with some preparation, they were able to stay on display outside the museum.
“About a day and a half before the shutdown, Ford said this may happen,” said Nathan Boggs, husband of Anni Crouter who was the artist behind Polar Expressed. “The day before we had everything ready, you could see that things were not going to work out well.”
Ann Loveless, who created the Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore, was taken off guard by the shutdown.
“I didn’t think it would really happen,” she said.
The museum did what they could for the artists, coming up with ideas and assisting in moving the pieces to the tent outdoors, which was put together cooperatively by Loveless and Crouter.
“The panels are ours, and the tent is theirs,” Boggs said. “…and the Ford helped us tremendously to get them out and coordinate this.”
However, the setup isn’t perfect.
“It makes me a little nervous at night,” said Loveless. “As an artist I have to sit here and guard my work, or we zip down the sides and then people are kind of mad because they come here and can’t see it.”
There are also some concerns about the weather over the next few days.
“We’re kind of sitting beneath the porch,” Boggs said. “So as long as it isn’t driving rain.”
For today, however, the outdoor venue is being well received.
“I think people love it outside,” Loveless said.