- Associated Press
Thursday, September 15, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - An artist plans to bring awareness to homelessness by spending about a month inside his creation during an annual competition in western Michigan.

Loren Naji will call the 8-foot spherical “Emoh” home during ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, The Grand Rapids Press reported (https://bit.ly/2cb0P3h ).

After all, “Emoh” is “home” spelled backward, and pieces of wood and debris from demolished houses were used to create the 192 panels covering the sphere.

Naji, of Cleveland, told the newspaper he wants to confront the issues behind homelessness.

“I think it’s wrong that there are human beings living on the streets,” said Naji, who is one of more than 1,400 artists competing for cash prizes in ArtPrize.

The event’s preview week runs through Tuesday, and the competition takes place Wednesday through Oct. 19.

Art will be displayed throughout downtown Grand Rapids and is voted on by the public and a jury of experts.

If he wins, Naji said he plans to donate $20,000 to a homeless organization.

Naji’s entry could get people talking about the issue, but “we have to be careful when we play at a struggle people live daily,” said Jesica Vail, program manager for the Grand Rapids Coalition to End Homelessness.


Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, https://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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