GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Thursday night's ArtPrize awards ceremony and celebration atDeVos Place was the culmination of months of hard work. The nightrevolved around the 1,200 participating artists and the 1,000volunteers it took to execute the event.
Although it was Brooklyn, N.Y.-based painter Ran Ortner who wonthe $250,000 grand prize for his work, Open Water No. 24, theartists said the event was about more than just the top 10 and thefinal rankings.
"I think the thing we're most happy about is the purpose ofdoing this, anyway," said Tracy Van Duinen, who created ImagineThat!, the mosaic at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. "(We were)building the community in doing it; the mural is really abyproduct. (The) community building of the art form is the thingwe're really most rewarded with."
Van Duinen was one of three artists who created the mural. Heand his team won $100,000 for their second-place finish. The muralwill remain on the building.
Finishing in third place didn't feel too shabby, either.
"Third prize is not bad," said artist Eric Daigh, who came inthird for his work, Portraits. "Fifty-thousand dollars is unheardof. For what I do, compared to where I was a month ago, I'm on adifferent planet. This is a life-changer."
His wife, Megan, expressed her joy backstage.
"Third place!" she said. "I'm so excited!"
Daigh said he's not sure what will happen to his piece next.
Before the winners were announced, several performances werefeatured at DeVos Place, such as the Bucket Boys, who play athalftime of Chicago Bulls games and New Century Dance, whichperformed at Bill Clinton's inauguration.
When event organizer Rick DeVos took the stage Thursday, he saidto be ready for ArtPrize 2010.
Vehicles occupied by a sheriff's deputy and a Michigan State Police motor carrier officer were hit.
A fire damaged three garages and some homes in a Grand Haven neighborhood early Thursday morning.
The suspects stole cash and fled the scene.