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Christian Reformed Artists Win at ArtPrize


Every year, hundreds of artists enter their works in ArtPrize, an event held in Grand Rapids, Mich., in the fall. This year, two Christian Reformed artists placed in the top five in their categories—out of more than 1,500 entries.

What makes ArtPrize unique is that anyone can enter, and the entries are judged not only by a jury but also by public vote. This year nearly 42,000 votes were cast by the public.

Nicholas Kroeze, a member of Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and president of Kuyper College, placed fifth in the category of three-dimensional art. His entry, “The Pond,” was constructed with the help of the “Kroeze Krew”: sons Nathan and Nick and son-in-law Chet Glass. They spent an estimated 500 hours on its construction.

“The initial thought that led up to ‘The Pond’ came from a picture of a raindrop carving my son sent to me last year,” Kroeze said. “I began thinking about rain and the concept of God’s common grace that ties in with that symbolism.”

“The Pond’ is a three-dimensional woodcraft mirroring a pond during rainfall, with over 2,000 constructed drops and ripples. “I love to give expression to biblical and spiritual themes through art,” said Kroeze about his work. “Though some pieces are apparent in their biblical themes, others are much more subtle and interpretive.”

To go along with ‘The Pond,’ the Kroeze Krew created a Facebook page called Praise Craft and posted daily devotionals to go along with the artwork. “Writing a series of devotions, for me, comes along with the inspiration for the art,” Kroeze said. “My participation in ArtPrize and other venues has opened the door of conversation with many people who were touched by something particular.”

Carol Roeda, an artist who belongs to Church of the Servant CRC in Grand Rapids, was awarded second place in the Time-Based category for her entry, “Color Out the Darkness.” It is a semicircle of 25 pillars, each 10 feet tall, constructed out of cardboard, tar paper, wood, and metal. “The exterior of the colonnade is meant to appear somewhat intimidating,” she wrote of her entry, “while the inside, awash with color, welcomes the viewer into celebration and hope.” Her entry notes that she created the piece with support from the Salvation Army.

Roeda operates Roeda Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., and has two stores, one in Grand Rapids, and one in Ann Arbor.

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