I had the awesome good luck to be in Grand Rapids, Michigan on the almost closing weekend of the 4th annual event called ArtPrize. It’s a city-wide, three-week extravaganza where art institutions, businesses, and public spaces play host to art of all kinds. Artists have to be juried in and sponsored by various institutions or business or spaces. The winner is chosen by popular vote from the viewers who come to see the art and then receives the largest prize for any art competition in the world– $250,000. The event is well-organized, the art is varied, inspiring, well-conceived, and accessible. By accessible, I mean, easy to find, plentiful, well-advertised, and practically EVERYWHERE-161 venues! There’s a wide-range of kinds of art from abstract to conceptual to representational. If you don’t like one thing, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste somewhere else.
The artist that took the prize this year is Adonna Khare for her work called “Elephants.” It is an epic mural done entirely in charcoal pencil. It is a work that renders me speechless for it’s scale, technique, and idea.
After my visit to ArtPrize, I came back to my own studio with grandiose ideas of making a 20 ft. watercolor or 150 life-size cat paintings to be exhibited as an installation. So far, I’ve been too busy teaching to do too much about making my own work, but I am inspired! Maybe I’ll enter something in ArtPrize next year.