GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The artists aiming to show off their talents at Artprize come from all over the world. Most hope to take home the top prize. It’s worth $200,000. Their fate is in the hands of art enthusiasts.
Saturday afternoon, Artprize founder Rick Devos took the stage at a packed Rosa Parks Circle to make the announcement everyone has been waiting for since day one.
“And now, I am delighted to announce this year`s top 10 Artprize entries,” Devos said.
In no particular order, Devos called off the finalists. FOX 17 spoke with seven artists who were present and made themselves available after the announcements.
“Taking Flight” By Michael Gard
“This is the biggest piece I’ve ever made. It`s the most beautiful piece I’ve ever made. I don`t think I can`t make another piece for a long time,” Gard said.
“Dancing With Mother Nature” By Paul Baliker
“[It’s] kind of a fun piece for me. [It] just makes a good statement,” Baliker said.
“Uplifting” By Andy Sacksteder
“It`s takes about a month out of your life, but it`s well worth it. I would never get this much exposure where I live in a hundred years,” Sacksteder said.
“Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore” By Ann Loveless
“This is my third, so I`m thinkin’ I finally succeeded. This is great,” Loveless said.
“Myth-Or- Logic” By Robin Protz
“Botanical Exotica” By Jason Gamrath
“Tired Pandas” By Nick Jakubiak
“Finding Beauty In Bad Things: Porcelain Vine” By Fraser Smith
“Finished in the top 50 last year but in sort of a less traveled venue and I thought if I got in a good venue here` that it would be… I`d have a shot,” Smith said.
“Earth Giant” By Benjamin Gaszi
“[I] didn’t really know how well it would do. I thought there was going to be so many other pieces that I wouldn`t be on the radar, but it’s really been a humbling experience, and I`m very grateful for it,” Gaszi said.
“Polar Expressed” By Anni Crouter
Everybody in the top 10 is great, and I wish the best for all of us,” Crouter said.
Round two voting will close at 11:59 p.m. this Thursday, October 3rd. To view each piece, watch FOX 17 News at 10 tonight.
Follow FOX 17’s Darren Cunningham on Twitter @darrenfox17.