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Local artists featured in ArtPrize

Krystle Wagner • Sep 19, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Beginning Wednesday, 175 venues throughout Grand Rapids will showcase more than 1,300 pieces of art in the ninth annual ArtPrize. Among them will be entries completed by local artists.

The 2017 edition of ArtPrize runs Sept. 20 to Oct. 8. The public and a jury will vote on entries in each category: 2-D, 3-D, installation and time-based.

Artists are after the $200,000 grand prize awarded for public votes and juried awards. Each category will have a $12,500 winner for public votes and juried awards.

Round two of voting begins at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 5. Awards will be announced Oct. 6.

Here’s a look at local residents entered in ArtPrize:

Fruitport

Dawn Jacobson

Entry title: “We Are Fruitport Building on a Legacy”

Category: Installation

Venue: Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? With Fruitport High School undergoing renovations and some demolition in the coming months, Jacobson said she and her students thought about the artwork on the cubical walls that would be lost when Jacobson’s is demolished. Jacobson cut 4-foot sections of the walls down. They photographed remaining work and re-created the images together to showcase what was on the walls.

Jacobson worked with current and former students, including full-time team members Lizzy Wessles, Sydney Murphy, Hailey Tuttle and Jordyn Jones.

Angela Rattinger

Entry title: “Wings of Love”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital

Years in ArtPrize: 3

What inspired this year’s entry? Rattinger’s piece is in memory of her “angel mother.” Rattinger’s mother loved backyard birds, and she encouraged Rattinger to show and sell her pictures.

“So I wanted to create something that would reflect a kind, gentle, caring feeling,” she said. “I believe my photo of the angel outstretched to the chickadee does that perfectly.”

Grand Haven

Denna Arnold

Entry title: “Wood you rather be a flower?”

Category: 3-D

Venue: Monroe Community Church

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? Arnold’s piece was inspired by Michigan wildlife and the “natural wood grains in the ash canvas,” he said.

Maggie Bandstra

Entry title: “Lights on the Lake”

Category: 2-D

Venue: The city water building by the Richard App Gallery

Years in ArtPrize: 9

What inspired this year’s entry? Initially, Bandstra wasn’t sure if she would enter because she was dedicating time to the Hudsonville school youth entry, “Only One Youth.” After talking with her family about the Grand Haven catwalk’s importance, Bandstra took a big painting with the lighthouse and catwalk on it. She said it then became a series of lighthouses that evolved.

Bandstra said the idea behind it is that you are a light to someone else. The paintings are of lighthouses from places such as St. Joseph, Muskegon, Traverse City and Mission Point.

Ten percent of proceeds from Bandstra’s lighthouse paintings will go toward Save the Catwalk efforts.

Ginger Creasy

Entry title: “Girls Night Out”

Category: 2-D

Venue: The B.O.B.

Years in ArtPrize: 9

What inspired this year’s entry? Creasy said she had a painting that she felt needed to be 3-D, so she carved on it. She said it’s based on Cyndi Lauper’s song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

Gloria Kirk-Hanna

Entry title: “Fragments of Old Bones; New Soul”

Category: Installation

Venue: Parliament the Boutique

Years in ArtPrize: 3

What inspired this year’s entry? Kirk-Hanna said she didn’t want to enter unless she had a great venue.

When Kirk-Hanna met the owners of Parliament the Boutique, she saw the space and liked it, and they discussed how her piece would be featured. She said their fiber and her work is like a mesh of beautiful souls colliding.

Stacy Pearson

Entry title: “The Magician’s Daughter”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Women’s City Club

Years in ArtPrize: 2

What inspired this year’s entry? Pearson said the women in her life who helped her become the woman she is today inspired her piece. In the self-portrait, she said each flower represents one of those women.

Michael Peoples

Entry title: “Perchance to Dream”

Category: Installation

Venue: Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA)

Years in ArtPrize: 5

What inspired this year’s entry? The work is comprised of circus peanuts, which there are about 70,000 of in the exhibit. Peoples said his grandfather loved circus peanuts, and it’s a constant reminder of his love for the candy. Peoples worked on it for for the past 2-3 years.

Susan Pragaspathy

Entry title: “Prince Albert”

Category: 2-D

Venue: The B.O.B.

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? Growing up, Pragaspathy said she heard “adults tell humorous stories about Prince Albert, innocent practical joke and old prank phone call fondly remembered by my dad.” In her painting, Pragaspathy said she’s interested in technology uses and how people use it in ways inventors likely didn’t intend. She said she enjoys hearing people laugh and remembering old pranks.

Spring Lake

Farrer Coston

Entry title: “Flight of the Refugee”

Category: 3-D

Venue: 20 Monroe Live

Years in ArtPrize: 1

Christi Dreese

Entry title: “Soul on Fire”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Women’s City Club

Years in ArtPrize: 4

What inspired this year’s entry? Dreese creates abstract pieces based on emotion. She said she loves using line work, bright colors and shapes, and uses the end of her brush for gouges “to create a well-balanced painting.”

Kris Engel

Entry title: “Table of Periodicals”

Category: 3-D

Venue: Apothecary Off Main

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? Engel said he was curious about the “aesthetic of rolled-up magazine paper” and started making a magazine lamp. As he was partially through making the lamp, Engel “became curious about the structural integrity of the vertical tubes of magazine paper glued together.” He wondered if anyone had made a table that way and decided to try.

After a year and a half, Engel completed the table, and then finished the lamp.

Susan Ellison

Entry title: “The Shop Floor”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Boardwalk GR Condominiums

Years in ArtPrize: 4

What inspired this year’s entry? The entry was completed in graphite pencil drawing, and it’s a series of “urban and industrial drawings that examines the complexity of these environments,” Ellison said. She also said she’s “become intrigued by the amount of information that can be communicated about the human element in these environments.”

Susan Kruszynski, of Muskegon (a retired Grand Haven Area Public Schools reading specialist)

Entry title: “Reaching Upward”

Category: Time-based

Venue: J. Gardella’s Tavern

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? When Kruszynski was young, she attended 4-H youth camps. Each night during camp, she looked forward to campfire stories such as “Reaching Upward.” Kruszynski said she used the story “as an inspirational reading through the decades.”

Michigan State University granted her rights to adapt and create quilt story panels and put audio with the entry.

“I’ve been offered many a helping hand, and I continually endeavor to pay it forward,” she said.

Nancy MacLachlan

Entry title: “Waiting for the Unicorn”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Grand Valley Artists Inc.

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? MacLachlan is a member of Grand Valley Artists. When they invited members to be part of their venue, MacLachlan said she felt like it would be a good place to start.

MacLachlan said she wanted to capture her grandchildren on paper like she had been at age 10 when her parents had a portrait done of her in pastel. The painting is based on her granddaughters waiting for the unicorn to appear at camp. MacLachlan said her granddaughters were tired, yet excited, and she hoped to capture it. It’s the first time MacLachlan painted faces.

Catherine McClung

Entry title: “Bowed Heads Lift the Spirit”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Women’s City Club

Years in ArtPrize: 9

What inspired this year’s entry? Previously, McClung did a mural of birds of the Bible, and used gold leaf for the frame. Since that piece was the first time she used gold leaf, she used it in her artwork to ease her nerves. McClung said she loved how it looked. McClung started using gold leaf in backgrounds, and said it lended itself to sunflowers fading and the pedals drooping.

McClung said the gold went well with the tones in her piece and this time of year. She said the sunflower dipping down is a metaphor for life — begin as a seed, flourish, then talking about the glory days gone by.

David Miller

Entry title: “Theatre Engine: Puzzle”

Category: Time-Based

Venue: Grand Rapids Community College’s Spectrum Theater Lobby

Years in ArtPrize: 2

What inspired this year’s entry? Miller worked with Michigan State University professor Allison Dobbins. Miller, a high school and theater teacher for Zeeland Public Schools, said the entry is a collaboration between MSU and Zeeland’s high schools. He said the piece is based on media and audience interactivity. Audience members will answer questions on a tablet. Each response triggers changes in light and sound. Performers also change their actions based on what the audience selects.

Celine Nienhouse

Entry title: “You Be You”

Category: Installation

Venue: DeVos Place Convention Center

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? Nienhouse is an art teacher at South Elementary School in Hudsonville. She worked with the district’s seven elementary schools and with middle and high school students in art classes to create rock fish. The entry is inspired by the book “You Be You and Only One You” by Linda Kranz. Nienhouse said Kranz’s message is about how everyone is unique and everyone can work together to make the world better.

Janice Paulson

Entry title: “On the Rocks”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Grand Valley Artists Inc.

Years in ArtPrize: 1

What inspired this year’s entry? Paulson said she decided to enter when Grand Valley Artists became a venue for the first time and sought artists. Paulson has visited Kauai, Hawaii, every year for the past 15 years. This year, she sent her paint there and painted for the first time.

Aaron Zenz

Entry title: “Monsters Go”

Category: 2-D

Venue: Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

Years in ArtPrize: 2

What inspired this year’s entry? The entry stems from the story behind Zenz’s picture books. Character designs in his book “Monsters Go Night-Night” are based of the drawings his son made at ages 4-5.

When Zenz does school author visits, he shares behind-the-scenes information with students. Zenz said he thought it would make for a fun entry to invite students to send their monster drawings. Out of 3,000 drawings from 15 groups, Zenz narrowed it down to his 100 favorites and turned them into full-rendered illustrations. He used the same techniques and styles he used in creating his own books.

Zenz will allow visitors to leave their own monster drawings behind during ArtPrize. Each night, he will select three favorites to render on his site.

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