Saturday, October 10, 2015

ArtPrize Seven

ArtPrize Seven has been going on for the past 3 weeks, and it's been tons of fun as always. ArtPrize is an international art competition that takes place each fall in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, and ovbiously, this is its 7th year. During ArtPrize, the entrants compete for $500k in cash prizes: half decided by public vote and half decided by a jury of "art experts." This year, 1,550 entries were scattered in various venues spanning 3 square miles - all free for everybody to view.

The public gets to vote on its favorites in 4 categories (2D, 3D, Time-Based, and Installation), as does the jury of "art experts." Here are the public vote winners!

2-D Winner and Grand Prize Winner:
Northwoods Awakening by Loveless PhotoFiber
It is a huge forest panorama that starts out as a photograph on the left and gradually morphs into a textile quilt on the right. It took over 1,000 hrs to complete.

Our opinion: the finished product looks great, and tons of work went into it. I think it would've been more impressive if less photo-printed-on-cloth was involved - this seems a little like taking the easy way out to us. The artist also won the public vote back in 2013 with a similar quilted work of a sunset over sand dunes. We would've liked to see some other artist - with something new and different - shine this year.

3-D Winner:
Greatest Generation/Beta Team/November by Fred Cogelow
This piece features a Belgian horse and 2 "friends" carved out of a 4" slab of butternut wood. We were blown away! It's incredible how realistic and detailed this thing is, and we're thrilled that an entry with a horse in it pulled out a win! Our only issue: why the three titles?

Time-Based Winner:
Whisper by Emily Kennerk

Whisper in the microphone, and the tablewear vibrates and clinks, apparently sometimes so much that pieces fall off the table. As is the nature of this category, I think you had to be there to fully appreciate it. We don't really get what makes this such a great work of art, but then, we weren't there. If you want to see it in action, you can follow this link to a short YouTube video, but we weren't especially impressed. Whisper in Action

Installation Winner:
REACH and SPLASH by Andy Sacksteder
These two bronze statues were set up in a large fountain outside a museum. 
The girl about to swing out on the rope is "REACH"

 And the guy who is already on his way in is "SPLASH."

We were quite pleased that this entry won! We think they fit their location very well. The only thing we'd change it to make the girl's rope longer - it was sort of awkward how it just ended about a foot above her head.

Here's what the artist had to say about them:
"I've named my two bronze statues 'REACH and SPLASH' and they are my tribute to youth and spontaneity. The story they tell is of two teen aged kids who took a hike on an unknown path. When they came upon a rope swing dangling out over the water, they kicked off their shoes, reached for the rope, and took the plunge. NO plan, no preparation, no hesitation. No swimsuits, no towels, no lifeguard, no worries! ... I hope that 'Reach and Splash' will make you smile, and remind you to enjoy the moment that you are in."

Well, that's it for the public vote winners! We aren't going to bother commenting on the juried winners - today, anyway. Like "Whisper," we didn't appreciate any of them all that much. We guess that means none of us are cut out to be professional art critics...

Our next post will be about our favorite pieces from this year. Any fellow animal lovers out there will probably appreciate lots of our picks!

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