GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Some fan favorites are back for ArtPrize 2013 after a one-year absence.
A rule created in 2011 banned the Top 10 from competing in the next year's event. This year, four of 2011's Top 10 are back. First second and third place finishers form that year are not participating in 2013.
Most ArtPrize-goers have only seen Robert Shangle covered in paint. He made the Top 10 in 2011 as a living statue in a work depicting construction workers on the job.
This year, he'll be an officer in a police station in his space in the B.O.B. parking lot on Monroe Avenue NW north of Fulton Street.
"I would have loved to have been here last year, but I wasn't and I was able to see a lot of things, but if that's the rules [that I couldn't compete last year], that's fine," Shangle said.
At the time it was instated, ArtPrize said the rule was meant to help see new voices in the competition and make sure the competition is about the art works rather than about the same people creating a Top 10 dynasty.
"Apparently, they liked it because it is again this year and if it didn't accomplish what they set out to do, they would have changed it," Shangle said.
Bill Secunda was in the Top 10 the first three years of ArtPrize. He said that for him, getting benched for 2012 eventually worked out.
"At first, I was disappointed because I really enjoy coming up here. And it's a huge challenge to come up and try to do something new every year and get the public support," he said. "I have a piece that's a little bit probably more in-depth than it would have been if I would have been able to come up last year, so I'm fine with it."
Instead of entering something more literal, as he has in years past, Secunda created his interpretation of a soul for 2013. The piece is made completely out of nails, and Secunda is going to allow viewers to paint the piece during the competition.
The sculpture is made mostly of nails fashioned into birds that are painted black. Over the course of the competition, Secunda will allow people to paint individual birds white.
"If they have an issue to turn from something bad to something good, this is an opportunity to add to it," he said.
Paul Baliker, another 2011 Top 10 artist, said over the phone he thinks the rule should be abolished. He said not necessarily for him, as he also said the rule worked out for him, allowing him to take some time off and create a better piece.
He said he dislikes the rule because no one will ever truly be able to know who the best artist is, because Top 10 competitors from each year won't be able to compete against each other.
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