Oct 4, 2009

ArtPrize Top Ten

I was hoping that Young Kim's Salt & Earth would crack the Top Ten or The American Barn by Jennifer O'Meara, but the tallying is done and out of 1,262 entries to this year's ArtPrize, it comes down to the Top Ten. Voter's have until 11:59 PM on Wednesday, October 7 to place one vote for their favorite piece.

Allow me to break down my selection process of the Top Ten. Bill Secunda's (Butler, PA) Moose didn't move me though I can appreciate the painstaking task of welding steel nails to create a 1,200 pound behemoth. The same sentiment goes for Grand Haven, Michigan sculptor, Michael Westra's Winddancer 2. Brooklyn painter, Ran Ortner, created a 20' x 5' masterpiece of the ocean entitled Open Water no. 24. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to study the piece when I saw it last weekend.  Winddancer 2 by Grand Haven, Michigan, scupltor, Michael WestraHere's my take on the remaining Top Ten finalists:

Portraits by Eric Daigh of Traverse City, Michigan, is in my top three. He created three oversize portraits of his wife and two friends completely out of pushpins - yes, the same one you have on your office bulletin board. Each portrait consists of 23,625 push pins!  Eric holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest pushpin mosaic.

Grand Dance by Grand Rapids photographer, David Lubbers, is a kinetic sculpture of 16 arms supporting 16 icons mounted on ball-bearings to allow them to respond to the wind. The sculpture stands on a concrete island in the middle of the Grand River. It is more beautiful at night, when the sculpture is lit in purple, yellow and green. Now, do I like it because its location makes for a perfect backdrop for the JW Marriott? Perhaps...

Ecstasy of the Scarlet Empress is an elaborate latex-balloon piece by New York artists and sculptor, Jason Hackenwerth. I tried to convince Jason to create a piece for the 23-story JW Marriott atrium, but UICA beat me to the punch. Art can be fun and this one is a magnificent example of that. Definitely in my top three.

Nessie Project is a life size Art Deco rendition of the Loch Ness monster. The collaborative work by Grand Rapids own Thomas Birks, Richard App, David Valdisseri and Joachim Jensen created a buzz from the get go. Their marketing campaign on Facebook is a true testament to the power of social media.Nessie Project, along with the Furniture City and Rob Bliss's 100,000 airplanes played a major part in attracting the thousands of people to ArtPrize.

Imagine That! by Chicago inner city art teacher, Tracy Van Duinen, deserves to be in my top three for its vision to involve Grand Rapids Children's Museum visitors and local art students in creating the project.

The Furniture City Sets the Table for the World of Art wins for the longest name and probably the most talked about entry for the magnitude of its size on top of the Blue Bridge. Des Moines, Iowa artist, Sarah Grant, created the giant table and two chairs after local architect, Steve Fry, conceived the idea.

Field of Reeds by Birmingham, Alabama native, John Douglas Powers, is another kinetic piece made of 1,001 vertical "reeds" that sway back and forth. It's 14' long, 10' wide and 4 1/2' tall. I would have loved to have seen this piece in a room by itself. I felt that the wide array of entries that surrounded this piece distracted from the hypnotic energy of the swaying reeds.

1 comment:

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I love watching all these pictures of Artprize. They all deserve an award. The artists should feel proud of their creations.