Before You Go, an audio-based art installation featuring a vintage phone booth on the Blue Bridge is the public grand prize winner of ArtPrize 2021.

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The creators, mother and son team Monica Pritchard and Christian Reichle will take home $50,0000.

For months the pair interviewed people in West Michigan and beyond, gathering stories and reflections on life, death, and the things in between. A vintage phone booth acts as the primary installation and invites visitors inside to hear excerpts from the interviews.

The creators tell Wood TV 8, Before You Go was inspired, in part, by the recent death of a family member.

Reichle says,

“(The death) has encouraged us to want to reach out and encourage other people to have the conversation that we would all like to have but don’t always get the chance to."

Prior to the start of ArtPrize, Pritchard told Wood TV 8 that the idea was also inspired by her work running a law firm and her interactions with elderly clients,

I kind of fell in love with the clients and realized that a lot of them are wanting to share their story but not necessarily feeling comfortable sharing that story or feeling like  anyone really wants to hear their story.

Moments after their win, Reichle shared with Wood TV 8,

[We're] Very, very grateful. Very grateful for the opportunity to be here, for everybody that’s helped us make this happen and make the project happen.

ArtPrize is running through Sunday if you'd still like to visit Before You Go... well, before it goes. If you're unable to make it to the Blue Bridge downtown Grand Rapids, you can call 1-888-665-2036 to hear some selections from the interviews.

The public grand prize winner was determined by online engagement, as were the Top 25, which you can check out here.

Wood TV 8 has more on the juried award winners here.

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