ArtPrize, the radically open art competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, announced its award winners on Friday night. Ann Loveless of Frankfort, Michigan took the top prize of $200,000 for her entry of an art quilt entitled Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore. This award was based on a vote of the public and had to beat out over 1,500 other entries. Also, the quilt was on display at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. Because of the federal government shutdown the museum closed down on October 1st. The piece was already in the Top Ten and was moved into a tent outside the museum so that the public could view it.
Along with the public vote there are juried awards. A panel of eight internationally renowned arts professionals decided on awards in six categories. This year’s grand prize of $100,000 went to Ecosystem by Carlos Bunga of Sant Andreu De Llavaneres, Barcelona, Spain. Bunga’s work was part of the Site:Lab venue at the former Grand Rapids Public Museum. Ecosystem reworked the existing natural history dioramas using cardboard and paint to create new associations.
Second place in the public vote, winning $75,000, was Polar Expressed by Anni Couter, of Flint, Michigan. Third place and $50,000 went to UPlifting by Andy Sacksteder of Port Clinton, Ohio. Fourth through tenth place in the public voting each receive awards of $5,000. Fourth place was Dancing with Mother Nature by Paul Baliker of Florida. Fifth place went to Jason Gamrath of Seattle for Botanical Exotica a Monumental Collection of the Rare Beautiful. Sixth place was Earth Giant by Benjamin Gaszi of West Virginia. Connecticut artist Robin Protz took seventh place for Myth-or-logic. Eighth place went to Finding Beauty in Bad Things: Porcelain Vine by Fraser Smith of Florida. Ninth place was Taking Flight by Michael Gard of San Francisco. Tired Pandas by Nick Jakubiak of Michigan took tenth place.
The other juried award winners each take home $20,000. The Three Dimensional award went to Cooley/Lewis of Tennessee for Through the Skies for You. The Two Dimensional winner was Kyle Staver of New York for Europa and the Flying Fish. Shahzia Sikander of New York won the Time Based award for The Last Post. The Urban Space Award went to J.D. Urban of New York for united.states: an everyday people project. A special award for the Best Venue went to Kendall College of Art & Design at Ferris State University. A non-cash prize called the Ox-Bow Residency award went to Greg Bokor of Massachusetts for Erase.
ArtPrize officially closes on Sunday, October 6th. However, much of the art will remain in place for a few weeks and some may even find a permanent home in Grand Rapids.