$50,000 Art Prize Winner! (it’s not me)

Day 13: Last night I attended a presentation by local artist and gallery owner Lynda Cole. If you didn’t know, she won third place at Grand Rapid’s Art Prize last year – which means $50,000!!! For artists, most of us who are poor, this competition is big news, and it’s the only one of its kind in the world.

Just to give you a little background, Art Prize is judged completely by the public. There are typically over 1000 artists who enter, from all over the world. They submit their idea and get picked up by a venue – ranging from a prestigious museum to a dry cleaner’s. The prizes are enormous, and sponsored by the affluent DeVos family. First prize takes home a whopping $250,000. Needless to say, I plan to enter.

Cole’s piece was a sculpture made of 7600 pieces of plastic with silver leaf, hung on fishing line, attached by hand-bent wire coils. She told us that it took the entire summer, working nine hours a day, to complete the exhaustive sculpture. She finished three days before installation and headed to Grand Rapids!

Lynda Cole’s sculpture, Rain, made of lots and lots of little pieces

My favorite part of the presentation was learning that, because there was not enough ambient air movement to make the pieces flutter, she had to keep pushing it around with a fishing pole. I think this interactive aspect is one of the reasons she won third place.

Good advice, interesting discussion, and red wine. And this one was short. Good thing – sitting on all these cheap uncomfortable chairs is killing my back.

~Katie

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