The public’s opinion was revealed on Sunday when ArtPrize announced its 2014 top 20 entries. Three pieces by Calvin alumni made the cut: “Color out of Darkness” by Carol Roeda, “The Pond” by Nicholas Kroeze and “Despite Similarities to Reality, This is a Work of Fiction,” a collection of photographs following a troop in Afghanistan by Ryan Spencer Reed.
Overall, 14 of the top 20 pieces are from Michigan and five of these are from Grand Rapids. Five are also from other parts of the United States and one entry was created by an artist duo from London, England. The types of art that made the list are diverse, ranging from the avante garde “Your Move?” which features the artist, Robert Shangle, motionlessly acting as an oil painting, to the moving “Outcry,” an oil painting by Gretchen Lauer that portrays a Cambodian girl sold into sex trafficking.
The process for voting and awards looks slightly different this year than in the past. Pieces are being divided and judged within four categories: 2D, 3D, installation and time-based. At the end of the ArtPrize judging, a public vote grand prize will be awarded in the form of $200,000. There will also be a $20,000 award for the winner of each category.
A committee of internationally-acclaimed art experts will give out five awards not based on a public vote: four $20,000 awards for the top piece in each category, which will be chosen by a single juror with input from local professionals, and one overall juried Grand Prize awarded to a piece selected by a committee of three experts.
A juried award for outstanding venue worth $20,000 will also be awarded to the curator of a venue that has showcased artists’ pieces.
“The new awards structure has allowed us to see for the first time direct points of comparison between what captivated the public and what the jurors found most interesting,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize director of exhibitions. “One entry made it onto both the public vote and juried award finalist lists, [Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha], so the tension between the results of these two ways of assessing art is exactly what makes it so fascinating and valuable.”
Junior Jessica Soepboer, who loved Agha’s “Intersections,” said:
“Pictures of this entry took over my Instagram on the weekend. Everyone seemed intrigued by it and I knew I would have to go down and see it for myself. It was incredible.”
It is possible for an entry to win both the public vote and the juried vote — even both grand prizes. However, each artist who wins in their category and the grand prize winner — whether public or juried — must take a year off before entering another piece into ArtPrize.
The second round of voting will end at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 9, and the winners will be announced later that day. Voters are allowed 20 votes but may only cast one vote per entry.
Overall, 14 of the top 20 pieces are from Michigan and five of these are from Grand Rapids. Five are also from other parts of the United States and one entry was created by an artist duo from London, England.