Nineteen days, 175 venues, 1,356 works of art, 500,000 visitors, and $500,000 up for grabs— and that’s not even counting sale proceeds. Not all art competitions are the same, and thank God, because Grand Rapids, Michigan’s international ArtPrize, now on its ninth year, is as fun as it is fierce.
Until Sunday, October 8, the public will vote on works of art accepted into the annual juried art competition. As of October 4— only four days before the competition ends— 360,035 votes had been cast.
With so many pieces to choose from, picking your favorite works in ArtPrize Nine can be daunting. While you can always check the leaderboard for the finalists in the two-dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based, and installation categories, we suggest a simpler approach: See what your neighbors are up to.
Here are five Toledo-area artists who have their eye on the ArtPrize.
1. Leslie Adams
Entry: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl
Vote Code: 65229
Medium: Charcoal and white chalk on paper
With a nod to the old masters, Leslie Adams’ self-portrait shows the artist as a young girl at her easel working to win a scholarship to Art Instruction Schools. Determined and serious, but sporting madras plaid pants and sneakers, her submission serves as a sort of origin story, detailing the beginnings of one of Toledo’s most accomplished artists.
See Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (303 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids) during ArtPrize.
2. Britney Gerathy
Entry: Portal #6
Vote Code: 65334
The young Toledo painter and muralist is featured for the second year in ArtPrize with her colorful and geometric style. Full of movement, this playful installation grows up a staircase, creating a vibrant, organized structure that appears like a portal that, depending on the view, is either coming together or is on the verge of falling apart.
See Portal #6 in the city water building by the richard app gallery (1101 Monroe Ave. NW) during ArtPrize.
3. Jesse Mireles
Entry: Faces of My Community
Vote Code: 66089
Medium: Giclée print
Four panels with abstract, geometric and bold portraits represent Mireles’ Faces of My Community. The Toledo artist, whose studio is located downtown in The Secor Building, says he created the work based on people who have inspired him through their look, character, and lifestyle. The graphic style of this work draws from his career as a printmaker and graphic designer.
See Faces of My Community at Monarchs Club Corner Bar (646 Stocking NW.) during ArtPrize.
4. Martha Quiroga
Entry: Harriet’s Wonderful Dream Tree
Vote Code: 65825
Medium: Welded metal
Standing 5 feet tall, wide and deep, Martha Quiroga’s whimsical, welded metal sculpture of antique glass doorknobs, scrap steel, and steel rods offer a fantastical glimpse into the mind of this ArtPrize newcomer. Quiroga says her sculpture represents the fantasy world in her mind, which included Harriet, a 10-year-old girl.
See Harriet’s Wonderful Dream Tree at The Holiday Bar (801 5th St. NW) during ArtPrize.
5. Jim Rich
Entry: Safety First
Vote Code: 65829
Duchamp’s In Advance of the Broken Arm, a 52-inch snow shovel with a title that warns viewers of the bone they might break if they don’t use it, reminded viewers that artists don’t just create objects, they provoke thoughts. Rich’s massive steel pin does the same: “Perhaps, after the ‘Brexit’ debacle and the current politic of fear, incompetence, and arrogance, a 4-foot safety pin can encourage us to be more tolerant of one another,” he said of the object.
See Safety First at JamnBean Coffee Company (161 Ottawa Ave. NW) during ArtPrize.