The Grand Rapids Art Prize 2009 Finalists have Been Announced…. drumroll…

The winners are as follows:

Open Water #24 Art Prize 2009 winner

Numero Uno: $250,000 Art Prize goes to: Ran Ortner for OPEN WATER #24

This painting will be on display at The Grand Rapids Art Museum through

Jan 2010 if you missed it during Art Prize. Saw a mention online that it

has been sold!  Sure hope it stays in our community.

This painting is over 18 feet long…as Michigan is surrounded by water

and going through rough water economically right now, a fitting winner.


Imagine That Mural on GR Children's Museum

Number Two: $100,000 Art Prize goes to: Tracy Van Duinen for Imagine That!

This large outdoor mosaic mural by Tracy Van Duinen covers a portion of the

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum on the front.  It is a permanent installation

and a wonderful, whimsical touch to one of our area’s attractions.  Interactive

in many ways, this mural will teach, enchant, and educate all of us about

art for years to come.


Eric Daigh Portraits

Number Three: $50,000 Art Prize goes to: Eric Daigh for Portraits

These portraits are 4 x 6 feet and made of plastic push pins on boards.

Eric uses about 50,000 push pins for each portrait.  You have to admire

the creativity and unusual medium of this artist!


Grand Dance sculpture in Grand River by David Lubbers

Number Four: $ 7000  Art Prize goes to: David Lubbers for The Grand Dance

Sculpture.  A stunning sight in the middle of the Grand River with lights

and motion.


The Moose sculpture by Bill Segunda

Number Five: $ 7000   Art Prize goes to: Bill Segunda for The Moose

We haven’t seen this yet but  would like to.  Bill constructs his life size animals

using up to 60,000 nails welded on metal frame as fur.  Hard to see in this picture

but it makes you appreciate the work, vision and creativity that went into this



Nessie project on the Grand River

Number Six:  $ 7000   Art Prize goes to:Thomas Birks for The Nessie Project

This is just such a fun entry, who doesn’t love Nessie on the Grand River?


Field of Reeds Sculpture

Number Seven:  $7000 Art Prize goes to: John Douglas Powers for Field of Reeds

This is a kinetic sculpture that measures 14 x 10 x 4.5 feet high.  The 1001 reeds

sway back and forth to create a rhythmic motion & sound.


The Furniture by Sarah Grant

Number Eight:  $7000 Art Prize goes to: Sarah Grant for The Furniture

This oversize table and chairs placed on the pedestrian Blue Bridge in

 Grand Rapids was a favorite of many. With Grand Rapids’ Furniture City

past, it hit many people as not only fun, but indicative of GR’s past, as

evidenced by its full title: Furniture City Sets the Table for the

World of Art.

The Scarlet Empress Balloon Sculpture by Jason Hackenworth

Number Nine:  $7000 Art Prize goes to: Jason Hackenworth for

 Ecstasy of The Scarlet Empress

This fantasy sea creature made up entirely of balloons was stunning

and unexpectedly realistic.  There were also people interacting with

the crowds wearing balloon costumes created by Jason.


Wind Dancer 2 sculpture

Number Ten:  $7000 Art Prize goes to:Michael Westra for Winddancer 2

This welded kinetic sculpture moves with the slightest breeze.

It certainly charmed the voters who saw it.


That is the Art Prize Finalist line up for this year, 2009.  We were all

excited and pleased with the community reaction and participation in

viewing and voting for their favorite pieces of art work. 

Grand Rapids is looking forward to next year!

All pictures except Nessie, Furniture, and Scarlet Empress are courtesy of the Art Prize web site