Calvin Taking Artprize


Thirty Calvin alumni and two current seniors at Calvin entered pieces into Artprize 10 this year. At least one of those, done by Pamela Anderson (class of 1982), made it into the top 25 voting.

Graduation years for the alumni artists range over 65 years, from 1954 to 2014.

ArtPrize is an “an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days every other fall” right here in Grand Rapids, as their website details.

Not only have Calvin alumni contributed to ArtPrize for years, but also current students. Some have been inspired as artists from their time at Calvin, and others have been inspired in other ways.

Sarah Entingh, a senior artist in the class of 2019, reflected on how Calvin has shaped her as an artist within the past four years.

“Calvin College is actually where I realized I wanted to be an artist. I switched majors my sophomore year and I realized that my heart and mind were meant to be in the creative arts and not the sciences,” said Entingh. “The support system within the art department at Calvin is amazing, both between the students and faculty.”

Entingh entered her piece titled “Glorified Choices.” She commented on the significance of her entry, which features detailed drawings of beer cans created with fine tip Sharpie marker over many hours.

“My hope is that while investigating these drawings the viewer will come to appreciate the art and importance of the beer can as each has been created with precision and with memories in mind,” said Entingh. “I can say with certainty that I am not the only one who is able to attach memories to these specific domestic beers, and I hope that while examining these drawings memories both great and small flood the viewers mind.”

Pamela Alderman, who graduated in the class of 1982, also entered into ArtPrize 10 and was voted into the top 25.

Alderman’s installations, both present and past, focus on audience collaboration. They allow the viewers to respond to the artwork in a tangible and visual way. Her entry in ArtPrize 10, titled Broken Wings, is a call for the public to think more deeply about the national problems of bullying and school shootings. It is a way for her audience to make a promise to start a positive butterfly effect as her artwork and title connote.  

Broken Wings invites a response. Like the monarch butterflies clustering on trees to survive, the work calls for unity in strengthening and nurturing kids — our beautiful and delicate butterflies,” said Alderman. “By connecting a colorful band onto the interactive panels, individuals make a promise to start a butterfly effect and help bring an end to the suffering, chaos and brokenness. Broken Wings seeks to be a healing catalyst for our schools and our nation.”

The focus of this piece draws on powerful and thought-provoking themes. Calvin’s mission to think deeply as well as act justly carried on post-graduation for her and many other artists.

Alderman gave thought to the impact Calvin’s Art Department and other sources have had on her journey as an artist.  

Calvin College played a role in my journey as an artist by inviting me to take my first few baby steps as an artist through art classes,” said Alderman. “The greater artistic influence came through my parents and their belief in me as an artist. My parents constantly affirmed my creativity throughout my formative years.”

Calvin College and the community which surrounds and supports it cultivate artists. Those artists, of all ages and generations, are able to inspire and provoke thought within the public viewers through ArtPrize. Calvin and its artists have continually had a significant representation and voice in ArtPrize. This partnership of sorts will undoubtedly continue to thrive in future years, both in ArtPrize and beyond.

We send our best wishes to all of the artists, especially Calvin students and alumni, involved in Artprize 10!