GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD TV8) – Ten Grand Rapids Public Schools students have been selected from nearly 40 entries in an annual art competition focused on clean energy-related subjects. The SmartArt (Students Making Art with a Renewable Theme) will be on display this fall during ArtPrize through collaboration with the district and Consumers Energy. Leaders from Consumers Energy, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and ArtPrize held a virtual news conference today to announce the ten finalists.
Artwork included oil pastels, pencil/charcoal drawing, painting, ceramics, and mixed media. “The Consumers Energy SmartArt contest is an incredible opportunity for Grand Rapids Public School high school artists to demonstrate their artistic ability while learning more about a clean energy future,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, Consumers Energy’s Executive Director of Corporate Giving. “These students are inspiring, and as leaders of tomorrow, they now have more of an understanding about why protecting our planet for their generation and for generations to come is so important. We are proud of these ten artists and congratulate them on being SmartArt finalists.” The 10 finalists were selected by a panel of art professionals from Kendall College of Art & Design at Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University.
The top winner will be announced Sept. 18 at Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids during ArtPrize and will receive a $2,000 scholarship and a new Apple Laptop courtesy of Consumers Energy. The Top 10 SmartArt entries will be on a large banner hanging outside a Consumers Energy electric substation downtown at Fulton Street and Market Avenue.
The 10 finalists, along with their artwork title, grade, and high school are, in alphabetical order:
• Eleanor Broberg, The Metamorphosis, 9th, City
• Aramy Escalante, The Source of Life, 11th, Ottawa Hills
• Alexis Harriman, The Story of Our Environment, 11th, C.A. Frost
• Attyn Marshall, Twin Sisters, 10th, GR Museum
• Ivy Maynard, By a Thread, 9th, City
• Logan Richter, Sea Change, 11th, GR Museum
• Aracely Salazar, After the Storm, 11th, Union
• Abigail Strand, Growing Renewables, 9th, City
• Tobin Venegas, The Time We Have Left, 10th, GR Museum
• Ellery Younts, Dive Deeper, 11th, C.A.
Frost “Over the past nine years, GRPS students have excelled in creating pieces of art that demonstrate their creativity and passion for supporting our planet,” said Dr. Leadriane Roby, GRPS superintendent.
“We’re grateful for our partnership with Consumers Energy and ArtPrize in providing our students an opportunity to be part of a nationally recognized art competition. I’m so proud of all these students and wish them the best of luck in the next stage of this contest.” “ArtPrize enjoys providing a national platform for high school artists in our community to showcase their work,” said Craig Searer, ArtPrize executive director. “These students have a special gift. With the SmartArt contest, they can share that gift with the entire community while highlighting the important of sustainability and protecting the environment.”
As part of the SmartArt contest’s “People’s Choice Award”, the public can vote on their favorite art piece which will be announced on September 18, 2022. Voting has begun. The public can pick thier favorite by visiting and voting on the blog at www.Force4Michigan.com.
ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition. It celebrates artists working in all mediums from anywhere in the world and is open to any creative with an artwork to enter and a venue willing to host it. For 18 days, art is exhibited throughout the city in public parks and museums, in galleries and vacant storefronts, in bars and on bridges. ArtPrize runs Sept. 15-Oct. 2.
The SmartArt competition began in 2013. This is the ninth year of the contest after being canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19. Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.