One of the best things about being Rick's life partner is getting to share his two great boys. They're young men now, but I've known them for so long -- they'll always be "the kids." Yesterday we got to see the oldest, Greg, at Grand Rapids' ArtPrize.
ArtPrize is a massive art competition where all media are encouraged. The prize money at the top is big -- and to get noticed you have to be "big" -- so Greg went all out!
Back about a year ago, he was commissioned by the Detroit Institute of Arts to create chalk eggs to promote their Faberge exhibit.
Greg used chalk to depict various elements of Michigan's industry during the time Peter Karl Faberge was creating his own exquisite eggs for the family of the Russian tsar, among others. This one focuses on agriculture.
Since then, the eggs have been in storage, never seen together before, only at the various sites where the DIA placed them. ArtPrize gave Greg and Ryan Donovan, who created the egg forms with Greg and designed the stands, the opportunity to refresh the originals and show them to a larger audience. (This egg emphasizes the auto industry.)
And I do mean large. Just on the Sunday when we were there, literally thousands of people streamed through the doors of DeVos Place to look at the numerous works of art on display. (I'll write about others in the next post).
Everyone votes for their favorites. At this round, one can vote for as many favorites as they like, which are then narrowed down to the top 100, 50 and then 25. You can only vote once for each entry. When you get down to the top 10, everyone can vote again. (This egg is based on shipping.)
Rick, Greg, Jasmine (Greg's girlfriend) and I all helped explain the eggs to the crowds who stopped by. (They worked the crowd more than I, I regret to say. I had to duck out to register and vote, and while I was at it caught some of the "competition!")
But I have to tell you, when people are ooohing and ahhing about your kid (well, not by blood, but he's still my kid as much as one can be!), it is such an exhilarating feeling. You remember the early drawings, flat and non-dimensional; the never-ending images of sports cars (there was a time when I thought that might be all he would ever draw!). You remember the more esoteric projects during art school. You remember graduation. You remember the cancer surgeries.
You hope for this. Any parent does. But how many see it realized?
Of course we want Greg to win (so if you're headed to ArtPrize, vote for Greg!). There is a huge cash prize for the winner, and second and third place do well, too.
But even getting in the Top 10 is a big deal for an artist -- not just because of the honor of being chosen, but because then their work is critiqued by a panel of top international art critics. It can bring recognition and wider attention -- along with getting good feedback.
All of us were pretty pooped when we went to dinner after the event closed for the day. But we were all so happy and honored that so many would vote right on the spot for Greg!
First round voting continues through next Saturday, then on to the next round.
Needless to say, we will be waiting with baited breath!