Silver and Bronze
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 05:40 PM
Out of 1,262 artists from 41 states and 15 foreign countries, Ran Ortner was declared the winner at ArtPrize, the festival that took over Grand Rapids, Michigan for the last couple of weeks. There were balloon sculptures and paper airplane demonstrations, but in the end, the public got behind Ortner's two-dimensional painting, 'Open Water no.24,' and made its creator $250,000 richer. Ortner will be on the show next week to tell Kurt how his life as a struggling artist has been forever changed.
Until then, consider a couple others who fell short of the blue ribbon:
Second place finisher Tracy Van Duinen received raves for his tile mural, 'Imagine That,' displayed outside the city's Children's Museum. (He pocketed a cool $100,000 for his efforts.) Van Duinen worked in Chicago's public school system, leading inner city kids to create large murals and sculptures. Community groups in Grand Rapids helped assemble Van Duinen's installation outside the museum, contributing the small paintings that were incorporated into the design and helping to adhere some of the tiles. While Van Duinen fell short of first place, the city won big -- it gets to keep 'Imagine That.' The mosaic will remain on the museum's façade.
The Traverse City-based artist Eric Daigh took third prize, collecting $50,000 for 'Portraits,' which consisted of three of his signature pushpin designs. Taking inspiration from the artist Chuck Close and photographer Martin Schoeller, Daigh devised his own method for capturing his subjects. He starts by taking photos of them and then using a computer program to create a very low resolution image. Then he sets up a grid and gets to work dotting his canvas with five different colors of pushpins, the kind you would tack onto a bulletin board.
Daigh seems destined for something big. And he'll always be able to pinpoint his success to ArtPrize.