GRAND RAPIDS - (WZZM) - Believe it or not, over the last four years many ArtPrize pieces have found their way into Ripley's Believe it or not museums. This is because of art buyer Edward Meyer, Vice President of Exhibits for Ripley Entertainment. His job is to find the strange, the amazing, and the unusual art pieces and purchase them for Ripley's museums of oddities and wonder.
Ripley's has 32 museums in ten countries and four continents around the world, so he needs lots of art all the time to keep the museums fresh and interesting.
Edward comes to ArtPrize saying, "this is the best venue for us as buyers of art." Edward explains, "we get the chance to see 1,500 art pieces all with in walking distance. We made a list of 78 that we thought were worth seeing."
Ripley's is particular about what they want to buy. For example an oil painting by Van Gogh, Edward explains "wouldn't display it even if they gave it to me."
But if the Van Gogh painting is made out of drier lint like Laura Bell's piece in the Marriott, "This is a piece that is perfect for Ripley's Believe It or Not!" explains Edward.
The pieces that Ripley's likes are those with interesting mediums. A Mother Teresa made of bread, a fish made of balloons, a bird made of rubber, and an eagle made of forks and spoons all top Edwards current buy list.
When Edward does find a piece he likes he will negotiates with the artist until a deal is struck, but what he spends-- well, that is between the artist and Ripley's.
Edward really likes what Grand Rapids is doing with ArtPrize. "I don't think I have ever been to any city except Florence, Italy where everybody is involved. I don't think there is any city in America that is having that happen for them. What ever ArtPrize is doing they are doing it right 100%."
If you are have an unusual piece of art that you think would be good for Ripley's Believe it or not you can email Edward Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.