GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - It's crunch time for Top 25 ArtPrize artists aiming to make it into the coveted Top 10 spots, and many are jockeying hard for votes.
Every piece that makes the Top 10 in the world's largest art competition is guaranteed a cash prize -- and the winner of the $200,000 grand prize will come from among those 10.
"I would very much like to get in the Top 10. That would be an honor," said artist Michael Gard, whose "Taking Flight" is displayed at DeVos Place.
This is Gard's first ArtPrize. He said Friday that he had passed out about 15,000 voting information cards since the start of the competition.
"It's been great. It's been fantastic. People have been really friendly, really welcoming. Lots of people have come up to me and volunteered to help. We've got friends, new friends handing out cards," he said.
He has also flown in what he calls his secret weapon, former ArtPrize artist Woody Jones, in from Atlanta.
"I thought a southern diplomat would do some campaign shouting for him and get him into the Top 25," Jones said.
Also in DeVos place is the Top 25's "Civil War Soldiers" by another first-time ArtPrize artist, Shayne Davidson, hoping to make the Top 10.
"It's been unbelievable. I just hoped a few people would like the work. So making Top 25 has been enormously gratifying," Davidson said.
Like Gard, Davidson is passing out cards. She started with 5,000 and has ordered 3,000 more. She also sits with her art every day.
"I'm just staying here with my work and talking to people and explaining, answering their questions, getting their comments. Just telling them more about the story," she said.
Both Gard and Davidson say they would love to make the Top 10, but even if they don't, they said they have had a great experience at ArtPrize.
Time is running out for artists to lobby for votes and for ArtPrize-goers to put in their votes for the Top 10. Round one of voting ends Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
The Top 10 will be announced at 1 p.m. Sunday. That will air live on WOOD TV8 and stream on woodtv.com.
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