GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Creation, Destruction, Reflection, a mesmerizing display of broken and reconstructed clay jars housing tiny detailed dioramas, won the largest single prize at ArtPrize 2022, with artists voting it the best piece in the competition and awarding it $12,500.
The Artist-to-Artist Award winner by brothers Brad and Bryan Caviness was displayed at DeVos Place Convention Center.
Artist-to-Artist was new this year and it carried the biggest single cash prize.
“It’s a true honor for both of us,” Brad Caviness said.
“Just amazing,” Bryan Caviness said. “When we were talking about all the prizes, it was like, ‘Oh, that would be the one to win.’ … Having your peers think that your work is valuable is really important to us.”
Shortly after winning Friday night, they spoke to News 8 over Zoom from their home in North Carolina, where they had no power because of some equipment damage caused by the wind and rain of Hurricane Ian.
“I said to Brad, ‘If this storm comes through, we have to do well, you can feel it,'” Bryan Caviness joked.
They could not travel to Grand Rapids for their first ArtPrize because of family matters. They said their curator, who did come to the competition, sent them short videos of people reacting to their pieces, which invite close scrutiny to see all the details. They also interacted with visitors and other artists via Instagram and phone.
“The response has been amazing,” Bryan Caviness said.
The jars and their scenes depict ancient Rome, Jerusalem and even lost Buddhist temples. The brothers said winning Artist-to-Artist validated the last 10 years they have spent creating such jars.
“It encourages us to keep working on our work and that we’re on the right track and that the other artists agree and appreciate that,” Brad Caviness said.
“I’m going to be up all night working on these jars by candlelight,” Bryan Caviness said. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”
“We’re touched and honored that they chose us,” Brad Caviness added.
They were able to sell some of their pieces through ArtPrize. Their curator will even hand-deliver some on his way back to North Carolina.
“IN MY EYES” WINS TWO AWARDS
Florencia Clement de Grandprey took home two awards and the largest total amount of prize money, winning the visitor favorite award in the 2D category and Artista Latina Award for “In My Eyes,” a hand-painted portrait on an Persian rug surrounded by a mosaic of painted eyes. “In My Eyes,” which can also be found at DeVos Place, won a total of $15,000.
“I love seeing people’s eyes light up when they see my ‘Eyes,'” de Grandprey said after her big wins. “The message itself is to look out and really enjoy the beauty around us. And maybe they stopped for a moment and actually did that. And also, to look within.”
De Grandprey also made her stamp on Grand Rapids’ massive art competition by wearing brightly colored suits and skirts for the event this year.
“I thought if people didn’t remember anything, at least they’d remember my outfits,” she joked, showing off her skirt for awards night.
She said she loves “everything” about ArtPrize.
“I look forward to (ArtPrize) every year. Basically, this is what I work for. I just love coming here and and enjoying the people and just creating those connections. It really fills me up to do that,” de Grandprey said.
VISITOR FAVORITE AWARDS
ArtPrize is known for its public vote grand prize winners. Throughout the three-week competition, the public favorited the entries they like on the event website. Those favorites helped determine daily prizes throughout the event. The public’s favorite artists in each of the five categories — installation, time-based, digital (new this year), 3D and 2D — won an additional $10,000.
2D: “In My Eyes” by Florencia Clement de Grandprey, displayed at DeVos Place.
3D: AMERICAN EAGLE by Kasey Wells, displayed at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
“American Eagle is really a tribute to my community,” Wells said shortly after winning. “I’m a metal scrapper from a small farming community…”
Wells said all the metal used in the sculpture came from within 30 square miles of his hometown of Lexington, Illinois.
“I’m just very grateful for my community and all their support, grateful to everybody in Grand Rapids that I met and voted for me,” he said. “I had the time of my life up here. It was really a wonderful time.”
Digital: “Urban Arterials” by Rob Finch, displayed at Ice Castle.
Time-Based: “Embodied-Healing through Body Art” by Kristen Zamora at The B.O.B.
Installation: Twigg the Forest Dragon by Jennifer Dunahee outside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
Dunahee described participating in ArtPrize as “overwhelming” but “a lot of fun.”
“I just like sharing my work with as many people as I can,” she said.
Jurors selected one winner and one honorable mention in each of the five categories. Winners received $10,000 and honorable mentions $2,500.
Winner: Harold Allen’s “For Dorothy Afro Harping,” displayed at DeVos Place.
Runner-up: Erica Kuhl’s “In Bello (In Time of War)” at Palatte Coffee & Art.
Winner: Mo Jauw’s Last at Monroe Community Church.
Runner-up: Mark Mennin’s Embedded at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Winner: Gary Mesa-Gaido’s “Derivations of a Gothic Arch Part 2” at the Grand Rapids Community College Paul Collins Gallery.
Runner-up: Charles Cusack’s “Algorithm + You = Art’ at House Rules Lounge.
Winner: Caren Mueller and Christian Markwart’s “FUSION @ Studio Park.”
Runner-up: Ciara Glass’s “Ineffable Lypophrenia” at Rosa Parks Circle.
Winner: Maddison Chaffer’s “Seeking a Pleasant Peninsula” at the Arts & Activism Fair at One Forty Monroe Center.
Runner-up: Brian Whitfield’s Who’s Next? at the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives.
The jurors also selected a Best Venue winner, Monroe Community Church.
INDEPENDENT AND SPONSORED AWARDS
There were three independent awards, each for $5,000: The Artista Latino Award, the Asian Art Award and the Contemporary Black Art Award.
The Artista Latina Award went to Florencia Clement de Grandprey’s “In My Eyes,” displayed at DeVos Place. She also won the Artista Latina Award last year.
The Asian Art Award went to Stacie Tamaki for “Sold to Slaughter,” also at DeVos Place.
The Contemporary Black Art Award went to William Davis for his “Poetry on Demand – My Poem, Your Topic,” a live exhibition at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Eleanor Broberg won the Consumers Energy SmartArt scholarship competition for Grand Rapids Public Schools students with “The Metamorphosis.” You can view it at the Consumers substation at Fulton Street and Monroe Avenue.
“Dune Bears” by Katelyn Wollet of Muskegon won the Honda Design & Drive competition. Wollet won a two-year lease of a 2023 Honda CRV.
If you haven’t gotten out to see ArtPrize yet, you still have time: The event runs through Sunday.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Kasey Wells’ hometown. We’ve corrected this to say Lexington, Illinois. We regret this error that has been fixed.