Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize 2015 opens Sept. 23 and continues through Oct. 11. A total of 1,550 works of art in 162 locations will be on display during the sixth annual exhibition. Partnering with writer Geralyn Macklin as “The Gilkey Girls”, AAAC member Maggie Flynn has an entry that you can see online here. Just a taste of the images and words in this ArtPrize entry: “There was a path she followed into the rising sun. A compass, sure and steady, marked the way that she should run. A cricket as her inner voice was something she would need. It sang of dangers, odds, and triumphs, the signs that she should heed. Her dragonfly keyed open doors and lit the path so well; …” See it all here. Here is what the Gilkey Girls have to say about this project. My name is Geralyn Macklin. It has been an honor and a challenge to put words to Maggie’s beautiful vision of how to make a life. I teach the fierce fourth graders of Room 123 by day, and pretend to be a grownup by night. My husband and I helped each other raise 5 kids and they’re all out there tryin’ hard, just like we taught ’em. I’m Maggie Flynn. My art prize entry for this year is entitled “The Compass Cricket”. The poem was written by my dear friend and colleague Geri Macklin who gave lovely words to a concept I could only express visually. The idea behind this came from a stressful time in my life last year when I was going through a painful divorce. I had a little cricket in my heart that kept chirping “something is not right” and I refused to listen to its little sharp warning. The story evolved from there. I believe it is truly a universal idea about believing in yourself and giving yourself permission to trust your gut instinct. It is my hope that this lovely little story will help remind people to do just that. Geri’s words are the stitching that hold together this picture quilt. Her nimble way with words always amazes me. It’s my hope and vision that all children learn to listen and trust their chirping cricket to help guide them through this life.