The work of more than 1,200 artists was on display this fall in Grand Rapids, Mich., as part of a new public art competition known as ArtPrize.
ArtPrize entries were displayed around the city’s downtown, allowing the public to view and vote for the best piece in the competition. More than 300,000 votes were cast in a one-week period.
Debra Van Tuinen, a member of Olympia (Wash.) Christian Reformed Church, displayed her painting titled Wave Energy and placed in the top 75.
She was pleased by the public reaction to the show. “What I liked about it was getting so many people out to see art,” Van Tuinen said.
Virginia Wieringa, a member of Church of the Servant CRC in Grand Rapids, also had an entry, as part of an exhibit titled “MANNA: A Visual Collage of Faith,” put together by the group Grand Rapids Christians in the Visual Arts. She echoed Van Tuinen’s enthusiasm for ArtPrize. “What an amazing, fascinating process,” she said.
The contest included art in many mediums. Placing in the top 10 were a giant sculpture of the Loch Ness monster placed in the Grand River and a 20-foot-tall table with matching chairs hoisted atop a bridge spanning the river.
ArtPrize is likely to return next year, and Van Tuinen said she is considering entering again. “As an artist, it was an amazing event,” she said.