Saturday, October 11, 2014

Art Prize 2014

Grand Rapids Skyline
ArtPrize is BACK!  And back with a vengeance.  
Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids
In the past years, it seemed that some of the pieces that got the most attention were the ones on a gigantic scale, regardless of the actual artistry involved in several other pieces of smaller physical dimensions (see "The Pig" at the BOB from previous years).  ArtPrize can be a great venue for exposure for less famous and up-and-coming artists of all kinds, and it's cool to see where past ArtPrize pieces and their creators are now.  The voting is a bit different this year, which could account for some of the changes, so be sure to check out this article explaining the new system before heading to downtown Grand Rapids to get your ArtPrize on!
ArtPrize 2014
This year, I was able to see a fair amount (although it is never possible to see it all), and there were so many magnificent pieces.  It is fun too to speak with the artists and learn more about their inspiration for the pieces and how they went about making the painting, photograph, sculpture, etc.  I went a couple different days, but going on Wednesday evening when the festival officially started was a great idea because you could beat a lot of the crowds and had more time to enjoy the pieces and chat with the artists.  But even though there were less people on that first day than on the weekends, it was still a busy opening day!  Check out the time lapse of that opening hour at some hot spots for ArtPrize 2014 here.

My favorite piece from ArtPrize 2014 is Anila Quayyum Agha's Intersections, displayed in the Grand Rapids Art Museum and one of the grand prize winners!
I knew this one would be a strong favorite - everyone loves it and is amazed to see it when first walking into the room, and it is in the perfect venue.  From the artist:
In the ‘Intersections’ project, the geometrical patterning in Islamic sacred spaces, associated with certitude is explored in a way that reveals it fluidity. The viewer is invited to confront the contradictory nature of all intersections, while simultaneously exploring boundaries. My goal is to explore the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic by relying on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, and the interpretation of the cast shadows. The form of the design and its layered, multidimensional variations will depend both on the space in which it is installed, the arrangement of the installation, and the various paths that individuals take while experiencing the space. The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. For me the familiarity of the space visited at the Alhambra Palace and the memories of another time and place from my past, coalesced in creating this project. My intent with this installation was to give substance to mutualism, exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewer’s presence within a public space. 
But as always, there are so many fantastic artists and pieces displayed for the first time at ArtPrize that you can have a favorite around every corner.  With all of the venues downtown and around the city, it makes for an exciting, busy time at the festival trying to see as much as you can and voting for the pieces that speak the most to you.
The Hair Craft Project by Sonya Clark
Check out the list of top 20 public votes here, and the jurors' top 20 shortlist here. And check out the 2014 Grand Prize Winners list here, here, and here!

This is the announcement for the Grand Prize ArtPrize 2014 winners:
From Sonya Clark and "The Hair Craft Project," a tied Grand Prize Winner...
In a 1997 review of my work, Bill Gaskins wrote, “Hairdressing is the primordial fiber art.” I began the Hair Craft Project with his words in mind. Hairdressers are my heroes. The poetry and politics of Black hair care specialists are central to my work as an artist. Rooted in a rich legacy, their hands embody an ability to map a head with a comb and manipulate the fiber we grow into complex form. I reframed the mastery of these artists in a new context, the gallery. Each was supplied with my head of hair and a canvas hand stitched with silk thread. Their challenge was to demonstrate their expertise in a familiar medium, hair, and translate it into a less familiar one, thread on canvas. For the span of the project, I became a walking art gallery donning glorious hairstyles. The photographs document those hairstyles created specifically for the project while the canvases provide a permanent example of the craft. The collaborating stylists are Kamala Bhagat, Dionne James Eggleston, Marsha Johnson, Chaunda King, Anita Hill Moses, Nasirah Muhammad, Jameika and Jasmine Pollard, Ingrid Riley, Ife Robinson, Natasha Superville, and Jamilah Williams.
There were so many great artists and entries of all different kinds around the city. Here are some of my favorites from this year.  Enjoy!
Projecting Buddha by Eric Souther
Passion by Paul Cassidy
Passion by Paul Cassidy

Now by Tonya Nielsen
Now by Tonya Nielsen
Dawn of Chimes by Stanley Skopek
Dawn of Chimes by Stanley Skopek
Engulfed in Glass by Jilly Barnes
Engulfed in Glass by Jilly Barnes
Life Lessons by Dennis Webb
Eagle, A Series of Handmade Japanese Paper Cut Sculptures by Solo + Kojima
Leopard, A Series of Handmade Japanese Paper Cut Sculptures by Solo + Kojima
Eagle, A Series of Handmade Japanese Paper Cut Sculptures by Solo + Kojima
Polar Bear, A Series of Handmade Japanese Paper Cut Sculptures by Solo + Kojima
Polar Bear, A Series of Handmade Japanese Paper Cut Sculptures by Solo + Kojima
Gravity by Dean Kugler
Gravity by Dean Kugler
Gravity by Dean Kugler
Gravity by Dean Kugler
Rounding the Mark by Ken Mioduch
Rounding the Mark by Ken Mioduch
The Scarlet Cord  by Pamela Alderman
The Scarlet Cord by Pamela Alderman
Grand River Fish Petroglyph by Kevin Sudeith
Grand River Fish Petroglyph by Kevin Sudeith
Grand River Fish Petroglyph by Kevin Sudeith
Grand River Fish Petroglyph by Kevin Sudeith
Weave Peace by Michele Miller-Hansen
Weave Peace by Michele Miller-Hansen
Shimmer by Phillip Lynch
The Wind by Gil Bruvel
The Wind by Gil Bruvel
The Wind by Gil Bruvel
Circle Series by Robert Henderson

I Am Not Who You Think I Am (No Soy Quien Crees Que Soy)by Salvador Jiménez-Flores
Capitalism Works for Me by Steve Lambert
Take Note by TALENT
MacEgan Castle by Terryl Sperlich
Three Fish by Two Lucky Guys
Into the Autumn Woods by Sandra Bryant
Brothers in Arms by Andrew J. Woodstock
Axiom: Trial & Error, Presentation & Ascendance by Shawn Michael Warren
Axiom: Trial & Error, Presentation & Ascendance by Shawn Michael Warren
Caribbean Reef Sharks by Alan Feldmesser
Black Crane by Taichiro Ishii
Synchronicity by Alex Ubatuba
Kamryn by Jesse Meyer
Wild Horses by Kathy Wise
Wild Horses by Kathy Wise
Wild Horses by Kathy Wise

Teepee at the BOB by Roger Wermers
Teepee at the BOB by Roger Wermers
Teepee at the BOB by Roger Wermers
Poseidon's Paradise by Dan Heffron
Poseidon's Paradise by Dan Heffron
View Detroit by Brie Norton, Erica Kimber, and Kevin Walby
Breathe by Dave MacKenzie

Until next year!

1 comments:

Shawn Oliai said...

As always it is hard to select my favorite ones, but very glad to see the city experience a great renewal even if just for a few days a year. So many talented performers and artists that bring diverse inspirations and media of art to the community.

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