GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - These artists aren't always starving.
With a possible $ 200,000 first prize at stake, many of the artists who entered ArtPrize are thinking about money. But even those who are unlikely to win often enter to get their work out in front of patrons.
Almost all of the art at ArtPrize is for sale. Some of it is already starting to move -- and some of it is quite pricey.
Among those art works that could be purchased are "Norm" and "Second Chance at Life" -- both of which are in the Top 25 and both of which have huge dollar offers.
"Norm" -- a recycled metals dragon in front of Barnes & Thornburg LLP on Monroe Center -- has a perhaps surprising dollar figure attached to it.
"The appraisal is $200,000," said artist John Andrews.
This is Andrews' first time ArtPrize and he finds himself in the Top 25. Winning ArtPrize is more than he ever dared to dream.
He has also been approached by a few different buyers -- one of whom was from Ripley's Believe It or Not!
"I didn't believe it," Andrews said. "He had to give me his card and it's a fancy card. ... It floored me. It really blew me away."
Ripley's is looking for the odd and the weird. They love Norm, but they will negotiate to get the best price and it probably won't be anywhere near the $200,000 appraisal.
"I am looking to get the best deal and in a case like Norm, freight is going to be a significant thing," Ripley's Vice President of Exhibits Edward Meyer said in a phone interview.
So for Andrews, the best hope would be to win.
"After ArtPrize is over we can talk numbers, but I don't want to jinx anything and I am in it to win it," said Andrews.
So how about a giant T-Rex handcrafted out of paper mache clay and recycled materials?
Travis Fields and his father Gary -- who made the 45-foot-long "A Second Chance at Life" in front of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum -- have also had contact with Ripley's.
"They are very interested," Gary Fields said.
Well, maybe. The rumor is that the piece could fetch half a million dollars -- at least that's what Gary and Travis are hoping.
"I am not sure how much I want to say about this," Meyer told 24 Hour News 8. "I walked away and I said, 'Yep, we are going to buy this,' and then about 12 hours later I got an email from his father that scared the daylights out of me. So maybe we are not going to by the T-Rex. ... He's literally got at least one zero too many."
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