Over 430,000 votes, the most ever, were cast in the first round of voting for the 2013 ArtPrize. The Top Ten vote getters have been announced. These 10 pieces will compete for the $200,000 grand prize in voting that runs until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 3. The public prizes and juried awards will be given out at a gala event on Friday evening. There’s still time to come to Grand Rapids and take a look at these ten works of art and help decide who gets to go home with the big prize. Voting information is available at the ArtPrize web site.
Uplifting is a bronze sculpture by Andy Sacksteder of Port Clinton, Ohio. The piece depicts a man lifting a woman as they dance in the water. The sculpture captures the fluidity of the muscles, the movement and the water. Uplifting can be viewed in front of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Botanical Exotica a Monumental Collection of the Rare beautiful
Jason Gamrath’s ArtPrize entry is entitled Botanical Exotica a Monumental Collection of the Rare beautiful. The piece is a monolithic garden of giant orchids made of glass and steel. Gamrath hails from Seattle and has been working as a glass sculptor for 10 years. His piece is on display in the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Dancing with Mother Nature
Paul Baliker’s wooden sculptures have been a perennial fan favorite at ArtPrize. Last year his entry took 8th place out of the more than 1,500 pieces. This year Dancing with Mother Nature is environmental in nature, “depicting both the beautiful and the beastly”. Baliker is from Palm Coast, Florida and his sculpture can be seen at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore is a 20 foot wide landscape art quilt of the Lake Michigan shoreline created by Frankfort, Michigan artist Anne Loveless. She has been creating art quilts since 2005. This is Loveless’s third entry into ArtPrize. The quilt can be seen in the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Myth-or-logic is a 3D bamboo sculpture suspended on lines by Connecticut artist Robin Protz. The sculpture is not one solid piece so that as a viewer walks around it the piece seems to morph into various shapes. This is Protz’s third entry into ArtPrize. Myth-or-logic is on display inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
Earth Giant is an eight foot tall sculpture, made of natural materials, of a large man fishing in the Grand River. Created by West Virginia University senior Benjamin Gaszi, the giants sits outside the Grand Rapids Public Museum seemingly drifting off the sleep with his line in the nearby river.
Finding Beauty in Bad Things: Porcelain Vine
Finding Beauty in Bad Things: Porcelain Vine is the second “quilt” in the Top Ten. Except it’s not really a quilt, it’s a wood carving. St. Pete’s Beach, Florida artist Fraser Smith has been carving trompe l’oeil quilts since the mid-1980s. This one was inspired by an invasive, yet pretty, vine he saw at ArtPrize last year. The carving is on display at the DeVos Place Convention Center.
Polar Expressed is a series of three large paintings of a polar bear. Flint, Michigan artist Anni Crouter painted the three 48” by 72” canvases using acrylics. She specializes in art depicting animals and hopes to raise awareness of the changing environment. Polar Expressed can be seen inside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a 13 foot tall, lighted, winged figure. Taking Flight by San Francisco sculptor Michael Gard seems to float above the entrance to the DeVos Place Convention Center. The figure is made from recycled aluminum wire and is lit from within by 1,200 LED lights.
Tired Pandas by Nick Jakubiak follows a recent trend in ArtPrize of making art out of recycled materials. The Battle Creek, Michigan artist’s piece is made from recycled tires, although he usually works in oil on canvas. The 10 foot tall Tired Pandas is on display at The B.O.B.