ArtPrize eve in Grand Rapids, Michigan


Brian Whitfield and "Guardian Angel"

Brian Whitfield and “Guardian Angel”

September 17, 2013 was the evening before the start of ArtPrize.  With $560,000 in cash prizes on the line it is the largest art prize in the world.

On the eve of ArtPrize there were two events that had early ArtPrize viewing.  There are four venues at 800 Monroe N.W. with early viewing as a combined event, and The Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park as well, but more on the Meijer Gardens later.

At the 800 Monroe venues, the Monroe Community Church welcomed folks in without reservation, had beautiful artwork on display, and artists on hand to discuss their work.

One very striking display was “Guardian Angel” (vote – 54446) by Brian Whitfield.  Brian’s work is a beautiful, mixed media, 3D collage combining painted canvas and glass mosaic tile work.  Brian is a graphic artist by trade and works for the Michigan Department of Transportation.  His work can be seen all over Michigan including in the State of Michigan road map and on license plates such as the soon to be popular, “Pure Michigan” Mackinac Bridge plate.

Guillaume Corpart and "Paris: Ville Lumiere, Ville d'Amour"

Guillaume Corpart and “Paris: Ville Lumiere, Ville d’Amour”

On the opposite wall from “Guardian Angel” is Guillaume Corpart‘s “Paris: Ville Lumiere, Ville d’Amour” (Paris: City [of] Light, City of Love. vote 55074). Guillaume is a skilled photographer and digital artist, originally from France. His work, part of his CHAOSOPOLIS series, is a digital reworking of an original photo he shot in Paris. Instead of shooting a more typical view of Paris that might focus on the Eiffel Tower or Arc of Triumph, Guillaume chose a view that brings out Paris’ more subtle elements (urban design, architecture, populated structures), keeping the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

The image was shot from a rooftop with a view across the surrounding buildings and down the streets that stretch off from the central point, giving the composition a feeling movement and fleeting time. The photo was shot at around 2 p.m. on a bright day and then the colors were digitally manipulated before dropping them to leave the beautiful black and white image. The trees in the avenues give the appearance of billowing snow drifts or frothy waters cascading down the avenues between the towering cliffs of Parisian buildings.

Other artwork at the Monroe Community Church includes D.E. Pixley‘s “Eye of the Sky” (vote 54494) a beautiful sunset as seen through a stand of trees, and “A Triptych of Icons” (vote 54420) by Robb N. Johnston, the author of “The Woodcutter and The Most Beautiful Tree.” (see the mini photo gallery below for more artwork from the Monroe Community Church.)

In addition to being a venue for 23 artists, the Monroe Community Church is also an official voter registration site and has ample parking across the street so it is a great place to start and end your first day of touring ArtPrize 2013.

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Weird AKA John Collins

John N. Collins is a writer, photographer, game & coloring book designer and a bad dancer. Any resemblance to the King John character is merely a coincidence. Follow John N. Collins: YouTube Facebook Fan Page Facebook Personal Account Instagram Twitter