SITE:LAB Rumsey Street Project for Art Prize 2015

There was a call for volunteers this week and I answered.  Artist Diana Shpungin came to Michigan on August 11 to begin the graphite portion of her Art Prize 7 project for “Drawing Of A House”.Drawing Of A House (Triptych) is a large scale, multi faceted work consisting of drawing, sculpture and hand drawn video animation, functioning as one over all monumental installation for SiTE:LAB.

What is SiTE:LAB? SiTE:LAB is a nomadic all-volunteer arts organization that has organized over 20 temporary site-specific art projects, usually in underutilized downtown buildings in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Below, the artist, Diana Shpungin, opens boxes of graphite for the volunteers.

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Below, a volunteer sharpens a pencil that will add clearer accent lines to a fill layer of softer graphite. Thanks to fellow artist and mega volunteer/Artist, Michael Peoples, for grabbing my camera to get a shot of me at work.


My hands were pretty interesting looking by the end of the day. (Self-Portrait; hand)


Below left, Diane’s ‘studio team’ from NYC. They were dedicated artists and a delight to work with. Right, a local mother and daughter volunteer team. There was also a group of High School student volunteers from an Art Camp being run by the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (Another outstanding local Arts organization.).

DSCN1860eWP   DSCN1861eWPBelow left, clapboard closeup. Below right, Diane handing out graphite to High School Students. As time consuming as this part of the project was it was the easiest phase to date. The house was part of a neighborhood block that Site:Lab had taken on for this years invited artists. The house had sat vacant so it needed to be cleaned, shuttered, and base coated in black. There is a tremendous amount of heavy cleaning and construction/plumbing/electrical work that goes in to every Site:Lab project before the Artists even show up.

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This day of work was messy fun. We followed the shade around the house while soft summer breezes kept the heat down. There was quiet conversation as well as a zen like dropping in to be part of the project. U.I.C.A. even shared lunch with us. It was a perfect art day and a fabulous precursor to the coming art season.

News article on Rumsey Street Project
More on the marvelous work that is SITE:LAB :
More on Diane’s project:

More on Art Prize 7:
You too can get involved today by emailing

19 thoughts on “SITE:LAB Rumsey Street Project for Art Prize 2015

    • my hands got tired and the whole process of drawing became Zen-like I couldn’t stop looking at my hands. It was the most beautiful they have ever been. The simplest movements became art. I wanted a shot of both hands so I passed my camera to a fellow artist.

    • Over the years they have done some incredible repurposing of abandoned old buildings. Two of their last 3 projects caught the attention of developers and were brought back to life.

    • Art Prize is going to kick into full swing here. Also, my walk will be on display in Art Walk in Grand Haven and Earth’s Creative Edge (Site specific floral art in a 10 acre woodland) will be going on in September. Early fall seems to be ‘Art Season” in West Michigan.

  1. Your blog is amazing ! I’m going to spend some time reading lots of your posts! Your photos are fabulous and it is such a different way of life to mine. This is why I love blogging- you get to see so many different places and learn so much!
    So glad you liked my photos x

    • Thank you. I did not know whether to be an art photo blog or a blog of place. Writing teachers tell us to write about what we know. I find this area endlessly fascinating and very different from the farm fields then mountains of my youth.

      • My modus operandi is to write about something that I enjoyed enough to photograph- a positive experience which either takes me out of myself or inspires introspection.
        You don’t need to follow anyone’s guidelines as your blog is one of the most stimulating and appealing I have seen.

      • Oh, bless you! People have told me I need to pick a theme and stick to it and I am so very interested in what is going on around me that I am interested in everything. I have so many posts in mind with photos ready to watermark and upload but…oops…life! I did a bit of race committee tonight, crewing on a regatta tomorrow and am getting ready to go down and jump in Lake Michigan because it’s warm now and I have been too busy sailing and kayaking to actually swim. 🙂

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