What is it? ArtPrize is the biggest art show with the largest prize in history. Have you ever heard of half a million dollars in cash given directly to the artists? This unusual event draws viewers in the hundreds of thousands to Grand Rapids, Michigan and it’s free. Sculptures, paintings, murals, installations and time based art are all on exhibit. Usually there are at least 1500 artists represented and the entire downtown district is taken over with art.
If you want to have a say in what you think art is then register at ArtPrize and you can tell the world what you think. Votes are tallied and the winners are announced during the 3 week event. There are many categories and many ways to win awards.
My objective is to create something new each year for art lovers and critics to ponder. Since most of the artwork I produce is normally commissioned, this is a new opportunity for me to create something that is not commissioned. It’s exhilarating and fun to be part of such a huge event and have the public critique my work.
Here are all of the entries I have submitted over the years.
2015: The Curiosity of Privacy illustrates the private lives of different people and cultures in a way that may not be so private. The viewer must approach this structure to see inside the windows and through the semi-private doorways where people are shown in their daily environments. We all experience curiosity as we see different homes and buildings and wonder who lives there and what’s going on right now. But each exterior presents a different perception of what we might see inside.
2014: Sunday Afternoon in West Michigan is a mural located on the Skywalk in downtown Grand Rapids at 99 Monroe Avenue. The mural is designed to show how we enjoy and engage in some of the many notable icons of the area. These are some of the images included in the mural: Grand Haven Light House, Dunes, Fruit Orchards, Farmland, Heritage Hill, Downtown Grand Rapids, Grand River with Bridges, St. Adalbert’s Basilica, Ford, Public and Art Museums.
2013: Street Scene; invisibles. This mural focuses on the realization of how many homeless children actually live and survive in the Grand Rapids area. The mural depicts an empty building on Ionia Avenue South of Fulton Street with people reflected in the glass windows as they pass by. Does anyone wonder what’s inside the building? The juxtaposition of the location of the mural on the Amway Grand Hotel and the subject of the mural speaks to the vast difference between two lifestyles and how the homeless are invisible in our society.
2012: SOARING consists of multiple panels painted in acrylic paint with 3-d sculptural elements from a “birds eye view” of a landscape and cityscape. Our intent is to show that art can free the human spirit. Other elements in the composition include a flock of birds in metal, attached to the center at varying distances from the canvas. Panel colors shift from cool to warm and objects move in and out of focus. Brenda Sipe and I collaborated on this project.
2011: Face Me: Artbeing My concept for 2011 is based on kinetics and is inspired by my past sculpture. We are separated by technology in communication but we desire and need very human relationships. The human form is always the subject for me but it’s the action of the form that tells the story. Face Me is constructed of steel and ceramic or bronze. The body is made of steel and is all function with an industrial appearance. The face and hands are life like and are attached with an axis point that allows movement of 180 degrees. The movement is started by human touch but the hands and face are restricted from touching one another.
2010: Kanoa and The Moth is a life size bronze sculpture depicting an adolescent boy experiencing nature. He holds a giant moth in his caged hands and is about to stand on a rock and let it go free. The name Kanoa means “the free one” in Hawaiian and this multi-cultural sculpture is designed to show the innocence of youth and the roughness of the world around him.
2009: RAIN is a bronze sculpture that tells the story of a disabled girl who is standing on a rock, a picture of her faith. Her disabled arm holds a giant leaf that catches the rain and her good arm lifts her fingers to her lips with a drop of the rainwater. This sculpture was purchased by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and it now stands at the main entrance on Wealthy Street.