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ArtPrize 10 winners announced

• Oct 5, 2018 at 9:33 PM

GRAND RAPIDS — The winners of ArtPrize 10 were announced Friday night at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Two $200,000 Grand Prizes were awarded, through smartphone-enabled public vote to “The String Project” by Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez, and by a jury of art experts to “brown, carmine and blue” by Le’Andra LeSeur.


The entry that captured visitors’ imaginations and garnered the most votes was “The String Project,” a series of photographs taken across five continents that together represent humanity’s shared connection. Nix and Cortez took home the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize, presented by Meijer.

“Visitors selected a stunning visual representation of hope, empathy and connection to take home the top public vote prize,” ArtPrize Executive Director Jori Bennett said. “The string that runs through each portrait underscores that our similarities are greater than our differences, and what unites us is stronger than what divides us.”

The ArtPrize 10 Grand Prize jurors — Brooke Davis Anderson, the Edna S. Tuttleman director of the Museum at PAFA; Lauren Haynes, curator of contemporary art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; and Ran Ortner, artist and winner of ArtPrize 2009 — spent time in Grand Rapids viewing the juried finalist entries in the four entry categories, selected by an earlier group of jurors. They awarded the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize to Le’Andra LeSeur for her entry,” brown, carmine, and blue.” LeSeur utilizes visual media, installation and performance to make sense of the way current ideologies frame marginalized identities.

“Le’Andra so compellingly utilizes all of her resources to take us into her world and her worldview,” Anderson said. “Her work was so deeply immersive. It’s about gender, it’s about race, it’s about America at its core.”

Hayne said: “What it means to be black, what it means to be a woman, what it means to be queer — they were all coming out in different ways in the work. And we were lucky enough to come around the time that she was performing.”


The voting public and category award jurors also decided which eight entries from among the 38 total finalists, and which single venue from among five nominees, would win their respective $12,500 category awards. The Public Vote and Juried Category Awards are listed below:


Public Vote: “The String Project” by Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez (Fort Wayne, Indiana) at DeVos Place Convention Center.

Juried: “Pulse Nightclub: 49 Elegies” by John Gutoskey (Ann Arbor) at Grand Rapids Art Museum.


Public Vote: “The Phoenix” by Joe Butts (Oxford) at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Juried: “108 Death Masks: A Communal Prayer for Peace and Justice” by Nikesha Breeze (Taos, New Mexico) at DeVos Place Convention Center. 


Public Vote: “Moving Experience” by #shangled (Sparta) at Grand Rapids Police Department.

Juried: “brown, carmine, and blue” by Le'Andra LeSeur (Jersey City, New Jersey) at SITE:LAB. 


Public Vote: “Sonder” by Megan Constance Altieri (Grand Rapids) at Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Juried: “Heidelbergology; 2+2=8” by Tyree Guyton Heidelberg Project (Detroit) at SiTE:LAB.

Outstanding Venue Juried Award

Grand Rapids African-American Museum and Archives.

Since Sept. 19, 32,613 visitors signed up to vote casting 253,161 votes across two rounds. The results of both rounds of the public vote were verified by a third party auditor.

ArtPrize 10 venues will remain open through 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7.

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