ArtPrize Shortlist work examines trauma, joy


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A New Jersey artist who was on the jurors’ Shortlist at last year’s ArtPrize is again up for an award in the world’s largest art competition for a work that she says is about identity, trauma and joy.

You can see brown, carmine and blue. by Le’Andra LeSeur at SiTE:LAB, which is at 415 Franklin St. SE for ArtPrize 10.

“I literally deem it a love letter to myself,” LeSeur told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday, “because it’s speaking on my identity and the traumas that we face, that I’ve faced, in life, and also the joys that come about from those traumas.”

The time-based work is a series of objects, images and videos, many of which deal with race and ethnic heritage, family, and community.  

“I’m just thinking about a lot of things that have really pushed me to reach for these joyous parts of my life instead of focusing on things that may have been traumatic,” LeSeur said.

She said many visitors told her they felt a connection to her work.

“I feel like a lot of people understand that pain is universal, but also, in the end, joy is universal,” she said.

>>Shortlist map (PDF) | Final 20 map (PDF) | Venue hours

LeSeur was on the Shortlist during ArtPrize Nine for a two-part video entry called “Searching.” The piece ultimately won her the Contemporary Black Art Award, which she said allowed her to move forward with her art.

“A lot of people were really excited about what I was working on and wanted to see more, so that brought a lot of that excitement and talk around the work I’m doing right now,” she said.

LeSeur will find out Friday whether she will win a cash prize in ArtPrize 10. The ArtPrize Awards will air live on WOOD TV8 starting at 7:30 p.m.

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