ArtPrize artist supports Eagle Village with entry

GRAND RAPIDS — Although he hails from Grand Rapids, busker, musician and street performer Matt Kilroy, 57, is using his talents for an Osceola County cause during this year’s ArtPrize, which runs through Oct. 6. With competition and its popularity as a catalyst, Kilroy hopes to spread awareness and raise funds for Eagle Village in Hersey, which works with children between the ages of 11 and 17 who have emotional and behavioral issues. Kilroy’s style of street performing was inspired by buskers he saw in Ireland about one year ago. Putting his talents together, he has created something unique and entertaining for all ages. “I think it’s like the perfect storm,” Kilroy said. That perfect storm consists of his background as a Celtic musician, focus and concentration from his experience as a sixth-degree black belt and breathing and relaxation techniques from his time employed as a respiratory therapist. During his performance, Kilroy dresses like a bronze statue, holding any type of instrument ranging from percussion to strings. Sitting perfectly still, he only comes to life when a tip is placed in his jar. Once the tip is “used up,” Kilroy returns to a statuesque state. Brochures and business cards will be available for ArtPrize attendees to learn more about Eagle Village. Kilroy said he and his wife enjoy giving back to charities that have the same beliefs as they do, which includes providing opportunities to children and teenagers who have had disadvantages in life. After working with children for years through scouting, martial arts and more, Kilroy said Eagle Village was the perfect cause for his efforts. “I knew I wanted to do ArtPrize, but I wanted to do it for a reason,” Kilroy said. “I thought I’d give all the tips I make to Eagle Village.” His goal is to make $10,000 in tips during the event, which takes place Sept. 18 through Oct. 6. If he makes it to the Top 10, Kilroy will donate 50 percent of his winnings to Eagle Village. No matter what happens, Kilroy is looking forward to participating in this year’s ArtPrize. “It’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s so many things,” he added. “I’ve never done anything like this in my life.” His entry is “The Irish Street Musician: Celtic Kilroy,” and can be seen at Kilwins Chocolate and Ice Cream, located at 146 Monroe Center, Suite 146 during the event. You can find an example of his art by searching “Celtic Kilroy” on YouTube.