Rob VanderZee, a 1989 Cedar Springs High School graduate, is well-known for his art. He lives in both New York and Washington D.C., and has a cabin in Big Rapids. His entry is called “Michigan Forest: The Future of Genetic Manipulation on an Eco System”. It is at the DeVos Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave. Rob says this painting is an imaginative look into the future of genetic experimentation and its impact on an eco system in Michigan. “My painting posts the questions, ‘How far will we go?’ and ‘What will the impact be on the natural and human world?’ ‘What would happen if these experiments somehow leaked into the natural world and began evolving on their own?’
Craig Jurkowski, of Cedar Springs, says his art piece, “Tee Time”, was inspired by the vast number of picturesque golf courses present throughout the state of Michigan. As an avid golfer, Craig wanted to share his enthusiasm and love for the sport of golf through art. “Tee Time” is a 3-D art piece constructed using a wood base and a total of 27,171 hand-placed golf tees representing the grass and golf ball from a cross-cut section of a golf green and hole. The golf ball itself consists of 2,569 of those tees. It is showing at 50 Monroe.
LeeAnn Sowa is a watercolor artist from Cedar Springs who likes to see the humor in life, and loves to see people smile and laugh at her work. “Moose Rapids II” is the continuing saga of her moose paintings. Made up of nine different panels, it is a sequel to last year’s exhibit, “Moose Bath II”. After the bath, the moose and his friends are out riding around town. Her exhibit is at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave.
Randall Hampton, of Cedar Springs, has been drawing ever since he could hold a pencil (or maybe a crayon). He says he is here to create and to give new perspective to viewers everywhere. “I feel that the artist’s work is not complete until it has been seen and interpreted,” he said. His piece is called “Illumination—no, no you are looking at it wrong.” It is a translucent synthetic painting created using adhesive polymers and various paints and dyes. It is mounted onto a wood frame and lit from behind. The drying process causes the dyes to shift and create a fluid effect that gives the piece movement and energy. Being back lit, the image bursts to life and brings the viewer in. “Listening to viewers look at a piece and share what they see is reminiscent of hearing children find objects in the clouds, and is almost as enjoyable as creating the art in the first place,” he said. His exhibit is at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown, 11 Monroe Ave.
Andrea Lucas, of Cedar Springs, was inspired by the recent Titanic Exhibit in Grand Rapids to create a watercolor of the Captain of the Titanic. “My goal was to capture the legendary stoic nature of Captain Edward John Smith. I chose icy blues and grays to give the painting an eerie feeling. I also intentionally left watermarks in the painting. They provide an interesting dynamic to the piece,” she said. Her painting can be seen at West Coast Coffee, 55 Monroe Center.
Clare Freeman, of Cedar Springs, is an Oriental dance artist. “Let the magic of Middle Eastern dance sweep you away! Swirling silk, entrancing candles, captivating swords, glittering costumes…” she says. Her entry is called “Moon’s Enchanting Light” and can be viewed at Dadds Magic Bus and Limousine at 407 Turner Ave.
Carol DeChamplain, of Sand Lake, submitted her entry, “Tree Pose,” made with naturally made paint. “My art recognizes the beauty of nature combined with the stamina and meditation of yoga by super-imposing yoga poses within my tree. Within the tree are 16 sun salutation poses surrounded by the beauty of nature. My medium is Eco-Friendly by mixing my own paint from Wild Michigan Berries, Limestone, Cornstarch and Milk, 100% Cotton Acid-Free Canvas, hand made frame,” she explains. Her painting can be seen at Yoga HEAT, 820 Monroe Ave.
David Huang, of Sand Lake, has created another piece of sculpture for ArtPrize this year titled, “Luminous Relic 1168.” He says this piece began as a flat 12 inch disk of copper and through much hammering, has been formed into the work you see. “The rim is polished sterling silver and the interior is gilded with 23-karat gold leaf. Like my other vessels this piece is about the natural, sensual world, skilled labor, timeless beauty, and the inner spirit made visible.” David’s entry can be seen at Women’s City Club, 254 East Fulton Street.
A complete list of participating artists and venues can all be viewed at www.artprize.org/entries.