Eyes on the Prize 2010

Rain Cloud (Grand Rapids) by Stephanie Imbeau (@ Peaches Bed & Breakfast): Imbeau reached out to me on Twitter last week and if she hadn’t, I might have missed out on something special. Her bulbous formsmade from lost and found umbrellas are lit from the inside and glow like lanterns at night. During the day, they have a different sort of playfulness about them, taking on the appearance of jumbo beach balls and colorful tents. You can lie down on the grass and poke your head into openings at the base to see the armature and chaotic web of umbrella sticks and handles that comprise the piece, which was constructed with the help of two neighborhood residents. “Umbrellas are an accessible visual cue regardless of class or education; everyone uses them or at least is familiar with them,” says Imbeau. “I find it a shame that in my little corners of the world these fantastic creations only come out when the weather is miserable.” A 52-foot tall version of this sculpture was installed in London last year, connecting the material to England’s rainy climate. Now, that’s something I’d love to see near or in the Grand River one day.