Now, listen up! I'm going to share with you a bit more about ArtPrize!
I wanted to wait until they had announced the Top 10 and winners before posting more images on ArtPrize here. But first, let me say Greg landed in the Top 50 (we don't know where -- could be 26, could be something else). We're tremendously proud and thank you for all your support.
I didn't see as much as I would like to but here are some of the items that caught my eye in the building where Greg's work was located.I will say not all of these are my favorites, but I'm sharing because of their diversity. (Apologies to those I've photographed but did not have names for.)
This was a very well done painting that to me had a Norman Rockwell feel about it. I couldn't get far-enough back to get the whole thing, but as you can see, the train is being stopped...
...by a goat!
Next to it was one of my favorites -- a beautiful hanging fabric flower by Jill King.
The way it captured light was dazzling.
Speaking of fabric, this Christmas quilt by Mary Buvia caught my fancy. I love that ArtPrize offers art in all media, including fabric. This was huge.
Here's a detail shot.
And the back was as lovely as the front.
This one was right by Greg's exhibit. Taking Flight also made it into the Top 10 (It ended as #9). It was lovely and ethereal, but I think I was less impressed with it than many others.
This one made it into the top 10 (Ended up #8) and is by Fraser Smith -- it is a quilt carved in wood. I admired not only the carving but the painting was exquisite, catching the drapes and folds of the fabric beautifully.
Here's a detail shot.
(To hear what the judges had to say about this and the angel above, listen HERE. It's long but for those of you who are professional artists, it's an interesting discourse by some of the country's well-known art critics.
Small items in ArtPrize never score well with the crowds. They look for the "big" and the "showy." Too bad -- this crystal arrangement was elegant.
This was one of my favorites -- beautiful glass flowers by Jason Gamrath, all a good eight-feet tall.
These weren't in Greg's venue. But the lighting was fabulous!
I thought this wooden sculpture whimsical...
And I esecially liked the puppet show, which was titled the Cooperfly Puppet Troupe.
Others did, too.
A few comments on ArtPrize -- First, it's a wonderful event that packs the streets of Grand Rapids with people. It's terrific for the city and for the venues. For the artists it is a place to be seen.
But the prize issue is like a lottery. It's a popularity content, pure and simple. Listen to the discourse and you'll get an idea of that. In a way, that isn't surprising. Art is subjective. Your favorites and mine will or may be totally different and that is all right.
But because it is virtually impossible for any one person to see everything unless they live in Grand Rapids and can return often, the votes are based on what one sees -- and so a fair vote is nearly impossible. The only thing too bad about this is that there is so much prize money at stake -- $200,000 for the first-place winner.
The artist who works "small" or is in an untrafficked venue doesn't stand a chance to be seen, much less receive votes.
If I were to organize ArtPrize, there would be categories -- I'm not sure how I'd do it (by media, by size, by venue -- indoor or out?) but it would break things down so the smaller artist had as much a chance as the bigger one did. Grand prizes would be smaller, but there would be more of them.
My friend Judy brought up the idea that it should be Michigan artists only -- keep the prize money in the state -- and that makes some sense. Or at least a Michigan winner and a non-Michigan winner.
But what I DO love is the diversity. I love that I can see that exquisite Santa quilt getting plenty of people's admiration, just as much as I loved the puppet show. I liked the variety of media and the creativity of it all.
In any event, I'm sad I didn't get to see it all!