More than 47,000 voters and 412,000 votes later, the art competition of the people that took over Grand Rapids, Mich. this fall announced its winners Friday.
Detroit-based artist couple Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert, working together as Design 99, took home the $100,000 juried award for "Displacement, 13208 Klinger" at the fourth year of ArtPrize. California artist Adonna Khare's large, detailed carbon pencil drawing "Elephants" won the $200,000 grand prize decided by popular vote. A total of $560,000 was awarded, also going to top popular vote winners, as well as artists who won juried awards in different categories.
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Any artists can enter ArtPrize. This year, 1,517 artists from around the globe packed up their assortment of materials and installed work in the city on the western side of the state, where the public could see work and vote for their favorites. It's the first time the contest included a large juried prize rather than leaving it all up to the public, which in years past had led to disagreement and unhappiness over the winning choices. Despite all the competition's good, the now-defunct Art Prize Worst blog is a good indicator of its worst, showing some of the most confusing popular entries from past years.
According to MLive, Khare spent ArtPrize with her drawing, continuing to add to it as people looked on and the contest continued, until it eventually reached 14 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Khare told the news site she knew one thing she would spend her prize money on: a new mattress.
Design 99's Cope and Reichert have received accolades for their work in the Detroit area, which is enmeshed in the city. According to the Associated Press, their installation at SiTE:LAB was a collection of found objects from an abandoned home.
"There was 100 years' worth of items a family would have," Cope said. "We went through the house and grabbed all the things that were interesting that told the story of this house and the families that lived in it."
Detroit was represented in several categories. Frits Hoendervanger won the $50,000 third place popular vote prize for "Rebirth of Spring," a large-scale oil painting, and the artist collective Complex Movements won $20,000 in the juried category of time-based and performance art for their piece "Three Phases."
ArtPrize was started by Rick DeVos, grandson of Amway founder Rich DeVos. After announcing the grand prizes, Rick Devos tweeted a message of congratulations to all the winners.
Below, take a look at a time-lapse video of "Displacement, 13208 Klinger" being installed and images of the other honored pieces. Or go see them in person in Grand Rapids, at least for a couple more days.
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