Here are the results, and some thoughts to go along with them, of the Top 10 pieces of ArtPrize. These pieces tallied the greatest amount of votes among the population that came to Grand Rapids in the last week to view the 1,700+ entries scattered around the city. The 1st place winner earns $250,000, 2nd place: $100,000, 3rd place: $50,000, and the remaining 4th through 10th placed pieces each earn $7,000 in prize money.
"salt and earth," by Young Kim - showing at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM)
The artist did similar pieces last year but were scattered across an open floor. This year he had two large piles of salt that had images of a woman on each. I believe his process basically consists of a pile of salt, then shaking a silkscreen-like filter over it to drop different colored salt. Pretty unique but obviously does not last for too long after its creation.
"Steam Pig Experiment," by Joachin Jensen and Thomas Birks - the B.O.B. parking lot
This piece has all sorts of controversy around it. It was created by the same group of artists that created last year's Top-10 entry, Nessie the loch ness monster. Apparently this year they had all sorts of large sponsors, including The Gilmore Collection. The entry is huge and is no doubt a focal point of the entire downtown area. Some people think it's considered "cheating" compared to the other pieces. What do you think?
"Dancing with Lions," by Bill Secunda - the B.O.B. parking lot
This same artist made a statue using welded together metal nails last year of a moose. This year he used his same process to create a small pride of lions. The metal work and details are pretty amazing to see in person.
"Svelata," by Mia Tavonatti - first floor of the DeVos Place
I heard this piece is made entirely from broken pieces of glass. It looks like a very detailed painting but apparently is a mosaic of broken glass. I look forward to seeing this one in person.
"Lure/Wave," by Beili Liu - UICA on Fulton Ave.
This piece reminds me of a forest floor covered in plants. It is pretty neat to see, and I can only imagine the work involved in creating/installing it.
"A Matter of Time," by Paul Baliker - Grand Rapids Public Museum, near the Grand River
From only these pictures, this piece may not seem well that sweet. But, in person, the details are incredible. I figured this would make the Top-10 due to its craftsmanship alone. It was made from pieces of driftwood. If you look very closely into the picture, you can somewhat see the numerous detailed carvings of various forms of wildlife. This piece you need to see in person to truly appreciate.
"Calvary, American Officers, 1921," by Chris Laporte - the GRAM
I haven't been able to see this one yet in person either, but I am told it is a 30 ft. pencil drawing of an old photograph. From the look and sound of it, I'd definitely say this one earns my 1st place vote simply because I cannot imagine how many hours (and pencils) went into creating this piece!
"Helping mom one penny at a time," by Wander Matrich - outside the Gerald R. Ford Museum
This piece I thought was pretty cool at first. Then I was made aware of this: http://www.pennyportrait.com/gallery.html, a kit to make a portrait of Honest Abe out of pennies. Although a little bit different from the craft kit, I still think it lacks some originality. I bet the "popular vote" wasn't aware of the arts and craft project available to purchase online before voting for this larger-scale version of it...
"Vision," by David Spriggs - the GRAM
I haven't seen this one or heard too much about it yet. But when I do, I will give you my thoughts.
"Elephant Walk," by Fredrick Prescott - outside the Grand Rapids Children's Museum
This piece was pretty cool because the heads swing up and down powered by the wind...but I would not say this piece is near worthy of being in the Top-10. I thought it was a part of the Children's Museum, not an ArtPrize entry. Cool enough for Top-100, but not so much so for Top-10 honors.