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Proof of Concept: “Designed to Win” Wins Big at ArtPrize 2013

Posted October 4, 2013 in ArtPrize

“When you put a frame around something, you see it differently. ArtPrize puts a frame around three square miles of Grand Rapids,” said David Rosen, president of Kendall College of Art and Design. “It attracts the eyes of the world to our little Garden of Eden of creativity.”

As the last hurrah of ArtPrize ’13, it was only fitting that this year’s awards ceremony transformed yet another utilitarian space within the city into a vibrant hub of creative energy.

A huge crowd gathered at 235 Market, an address that’s officially known as City Garage 5/6. This is where many of the city’s public utility vehicles are housed. But tonight, organizers made sure the massive open warehouse was filled with lights, music, and people for the live-broadcast ceremony.

As ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos put it, “What other city bumps Access Hollywood and a football game to broadcast a live event about art?”

With pieces among the top 100 and top 50 of the popular vote, as well as on juried short lists, KCAD’s “Designed to Win” exhibition has proven that an exhibition that presents viewers with more than just art, one that engages viewers on multiple levels, can have both broad popular and professional appeal.

In addition to drawing the interest and admiration of ArtPrize crowds, “Designed to Win” was recognized by judges as an example of curatorial excellence, garnering two of the contest’s exclusive juried awards. It was a just dessert for an organizational effort that had been a full year in the making.

“Through the Skies for You” by Kevin Cooley and Philip Andrew Lewis, which was a part of “Designed to Win,” took home the 3-D Juried Award. This was the pair’s first experience with ArtPrize, and they cited curatorial support as a major factor in their success.

KCAD Curator of Exhibitions Michele Bosak was thrilled to accept the Outstanding Venue Award on behalf of the College for “Designed to Win.” The exhibition was housed in a dynamic display in the Fed Galleries of the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building.

“This exhibition teaches you a lot more than you bargained for,” said juror Alice Grace Dykes. “It features an ingenious use of both materials and metaphors to inspire the imagination and explore lots of different ideas.”

“It’s not about the competition,” Bosak said of the exhibition’s win. “It’s about people being able to take away an experience that’s more enriching.”

Rosen was adamant in crediting the city as a whole for making ArtPrize 2013 the most successful yet.

“We applaud the viewers, the hundreds of thousands who come to be inspired, amused, moved, and illuminated by what you see. You deserve our gratitude. Without you, the makers’ hands would hang idle. You inspire us to do better and better work. Thank you.”

Here’s the run-down of the evening’s big winners:

·      Grand Prize Winner - “Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore” by Ann Loveless (Gerald R. Ford Museum)
·      2nd Place - “Polar Express” by Anni Crouter (Gerald R. Ford Museum)
·      3rd Place - “Uplifting” by Andy Sacksteder (Leo’s Restaurant)

·      Juried Grand Prize Winner - “Ecosystem” by Carlos Bunga (SiTE:LAB)

·      Outstanding Venue – Kendall College of Art and Design: “Designed to Win,” curated by Michele Bosak.
·      3-D Juried Award – “Through the Skies for You” by Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis. (Kendall College of Art and Design)
·      2-D Juried Award – “Europa and the Flying Fish” by Kyle Staver (Grand Rapids Brewing Company)
·      Time-based Award – “The Last Post” by Shahzia Sikander (The GRAM) 
·      Best Use of Urban Space Award – “United States: An Everyday People Project” by JD Urban. (Calder Plaza)