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KCAD and Cascade Engineering Name Winner of $5,000 Sustainable Art Award at 2016 ArtPrize Awards

Posted October 11, 2016 in GalleryArtPrize

At the 2016 ArtPrize Awards, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) and Cascade Engineering announced Colombian-American artist Lina Puerta as the winner of the $5,000 Sustainable Art Award.

Funded by Cascade Engineering, the award recognizes an artist whose work best reflects the context of sustainability. Each of the participating artists in RE·, the ArtPrize Eight exhibition inside The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, were eligible for the Award. Curated by KCAD Curator of Exhibitions Michele Bosak and short listed for the Outstanding Venue Award, the exhibition united a group of 11 acclaimed local, national, and international artists who consider the timely issues of environmental and social responsibility within their work. The thematic framework for RE·was inspired in part by KCAD’s partnership with Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids for ArtPrize Eight, aimed at engaging visitors in a conversation about the opportunities for more sustainable living that exist all around us.

Puerta’s winning work, a series of pieces titled “Traces,” utilizes a wide range of materials to create textural forms and compositions that blend the human-made world with the natural, exploring notions of control, consumerism, and life’s fragility.

work by Linda Puerta(above and below): Pieces from Lina Puerta's "Traces" 

work by Lina Puerta

“What I love most about Lina’s work is how organically it invites engagement. Viewers, whether casual or dedicated, are instantly drawn to the wild beauty of her aesthetic. Once you begin examining the pieces up close and discover just how much is happening in their visual narrative, you come to see them as these miniature ecosystems that connect to so many different parts of the human experience,” said Bosak. “I keep coming back to ‘Traces’ and I find something new each time I do.”

Puerta was selected through a juried process by Alice Gray Stites, the chief curator and museum director of 21C Museum Hotels who previously served as the Outstanding Venue Award juror for ArtPrize 2013.

work by Lina PuertaPiece from Lina Puerta's "Traces"

"Among the probing and thought-provoking works featured in the RE• exhibitioncurated by Michele Bosak, Lina Puerta’s multi-media installation ‘Traces’ stands out as an exceptionally well-conceived and crafted exploration of the notion of sustainability,” said Gray Stites. “Using a wide and unexpected range of materials including ceramics, textiles, and dime-store jewelry, Puerta’s aesthetic suggests trips to the family attic, a flea market, and a sidewalk sale, as well as to the artist’s studio and into the woods. These are detailed, and at times visually dazzling, hybrids of representation and abstraction, landscape and figuration, evolution and decay. Transforming both nature and artifice, each of Lina Puerta’s ‘Traces’ offers a poetic and fantastical vision of the potential artifacts of our anthropocene.”

work by Lina PuertaPiece from Lina Puerta's "Traces"

Cascade Engineering Director of Marketing Keith Maki added, “Cascade Engineering was honored to fund the Sustainable Art Award for ArtPrize Eight and delighted to present the award to Lina Puerta. Puerta’s work, ‘Traces,’ along with the beautiful and engaging work of the ten other artists represented, closely aligns with our company’s commitment to sustainability, ArtPrize and the Grand Rapids community.”

RE• is on view through October 15 in The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, 17 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI.