ArtPrize

Monster validation: ArtPrize artist showcasing kids' art

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One ArtPrize artist is reaching into the minds of children for his entry this year.

"I get excited about kids drawings. I get excited about things that everybody makes but in particular kids," said Aaron Zenz.

As a children’s book author and illustrator, Zenz knows kids and monsters. He thinks combining the two is the perfect recipe for ArtPrize 10.

"I'm celebrating their art in the best way I know how which is making a piece of artwork myself," he said.

During the last school year, Zenz reached out to seven Grand Rapids area schools, asking students to submit their monster designs. He was flooded by 3,000 entries.

"Kids drew me monsters. And then what I did was, I looked at those designs and I worked up a piece of artwork based off that design,”  he explained.

Friday, Zenz visited East Oakwood Elementary School to unveil which monsters he chose to incorporate in his work.

"I'm not fixing these, I'm not improving them and I'm not even saying things like I'm bringing them to life because this monster has plenty of life in it,” Zenz said.

Zenz says their his work is really a celebration of their “fan art.”

"Their art is amazing already. It's a way of validating that. It doesn't become special because it's up in a window at ArtPrize. I think it shines a light on how special it already was,” he said.

Zenz's "Monsters Go" entry will be on display at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. He'll be taking children's monster art and creating his version of them daily through ArtPrize, which runs Sept. 19 through Oct. 7.

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