ArtPrize 2011


Dates:  Sept. 21 through Oct. 9

ArtPrize® is a radically open competition. Open to any artist in the world who can find space. Open to anybody in Grand Rapids, Michigan who wants to create a venue. Open to a vote from anyone who attends.  Grand Valley State University Outdoor Art & Sculpture Exhibition Center showcased 31 exterior works of art by local, national and international artists. The artworks were displayed throughout the beautiful grounds of our downtown campus. A shuttle stop, voter registration and ArtPrize store was located at DeVos Center, and visitors enjoyed our “sculpture walk” from DeVos Center to Eberhard Center and the pedestrian Blue Bridge over the Grand River.

2011 Exhibition Center Seal

Grand Valley State University Exhibition Center

Grand Valley State University’s Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus is situated along the Grand River between Pearl and Fulton Streets. The beautiful lawns and grounds of Richard M. DeVos Center, L.V. Eberhard Center, Fred M. Keller Engineering Lab and John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering make this an ideal place to showcase 25 or more exterior works of art. 


Pew Grand Rapids Campus



Venue 2011

Blue Bridge Venue

Grand Valley State University will also be curating the Blue Bridge this year. The Blue Bridge is a pedestrian bridge with a convenient connection between our Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus and the east side of the river. It is a popular site for taking photographs of wedding parties, prom groups and graduates and is very visible with it's "Laker Blue" color.

Blue Bridge

blue bridge at night

blue brdge to north


Calvin Babich, a stone sculptor, stone artist and stone mason from Toledo, OH
3D, limestone, not yet created
Calvin has participated in ArtPrize all three years and showed at GVSU’s exhibition center last year with his piece “28”.  "Sambuca" is a term for an ancient harp-like stringed instrument. Sambuca is carved entirely from Indiana limestone. The harp and the base started out as big flat pieces of stone that looked like sidewalk slabs.  He then worked the stone with saws, hammers and chisels and added gold paint.

The harp form is sculpturally very appealing to him because of its smooth, flowing lines and the way in which the form engages people, drawing them to it and encouraging them to strum the strings.  He has sculpted several other stone harps, the first a limestone fountain with 36 "strings" of water.

Calvin Babich

Let no sunriseyellow noise

Juan Batalla, artist, curator and magazine contributor from Buenos Aires, Argentina
3D, installation, not yet created
This piece represents some of the perspectives about our relationship with beds, either for pleasure or for physical or psychological problems. This piece will change its appearance during the show, as spirit changes when imprisoned to a bed.  But, although looking different as time goes by, it will keep its basic shape. That decay is part of the intrinsic experience of "Let no sunrise yellow noise". Title comes from verses by Emily Dickinson.

Juan Batalla

Untitled Grouping

Jamie Roggenbuck/Black River Public School, a Grand Valley State University Charter School, from Holland, MI
3D, steel, 2011
This project is a collaborative venture between GVSU, Oxbow, and Black River Public School. Students worked with local steel artist Cynthia McKean and Dutch artist Cyril Lixenberg to create several steel sculptures. Students at Black River submitted designs for consideration, and the top concepts were chosen to be used for the project.  The 4-6 foot tall sculptures explore positive and negative space.

Black River

Warden of Sorrow/Homage to Hieronymus Bosch

Leslie Bolyard, medal and stone artist from Howell, MI
3D, hammered iron and cast stone, 2011
He was inspired by the work of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, b. c.1450, d. August 1516. Leslie wanted to create a lasting three dimensional work in steel and stone which dealt with the subject of morality and consequences as Bosch did. He created a sculpture based on one of the figures in Bosch's painting “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” c.1500.  The piece is an iron and stone bird bath 3 x 3 x 5 foot tall.  The figure will be protected by a cage like enclosure.

Leslie Bolyard

"September Into October, Overlooking the Grand River"

James Brandess, artist from Saugatuck, MI
2D, oil on canvas
He  painted a view of the Blue Bridge on site.

James Brandess


Kaitlin Brewer, artist from Rowley, MA
2D, 3D, water color and glue, not yet created
The installation piece "Shattered" is a perceptual experience that questions viewers' confidence and assumptions they carry about their own vision. Made with deceptively simple materials, this installation-drawing creates a convincing illusion of shattered glass, yet upon closer inspection, simultaneously appears to hold together what it is breaking.

Kaitlin Brewer

Reconstructing Fences

Michelle Calkins, painter, sculpture, and photographer and owner of Four Corners Framing Company in Holland, MI
3D, stained/painted weather wood, not yet created
Michelle was one of our ArtPrize 2010 artists.  This year’s creation will be an 8 foot by 3 foot 4 sided tower built with an inner frame and layered on the outside with 1232 3.5 inch square tiles cut from old fencing. Stained and painted various colors, it is a feast for the eyes. It is meant to transform something formerly constraining into a vibrant celebration of color and to recycle something headed for the dump into something beautiful. Peepholes add an interactive dimension.

Michelle Calkins

Hit Me

Brian Ferriby, teacher, sculptor and artist from Farmington Hills, MI.  Represented by the River Gallery in Chelsea
3D, polychrome steel, not yet created
"Hit Me" is an interactive sculpture, whereby the audience participates in the act of creation by attacking the sculpture measuring 6 x 3 x 3h with an attached hammer. The form of the sculpture will be a steel rectangular solid, placed upon a pedestal, and filled with sand to deaden the loud sounds. Each of the surfaces of the sculpture will be painted with an image of a famous work of art that has been damaged by patrons while on display in museums.  The sculpture will have multiple layers of pigment, so that as people hit the sculpture with the hammer, they will not only change/create the form of the sculpture, but will also reveal multiple colors, thereby creating the final work of art.

Brian Ferriby

Holland Pantanemone (pan-tuh-nem'-uh-nee)

Dennis Foley, an award winning designer of furniture, lighting, recreational products and electronics and an artist from Holland, MI.
3D, stainless steel, 2011
A pantanemone is a windmill with a fixed horizontal axis that allows the wind veins to spin no matter what direction the wind comes from.  The “Holland Pantanemone” is a kinetic sculpture, powered by the wind.  It will measure 10’ tall and 8’ wide and will be mounted 8’ above the ground.

Dennis Foley

Colored Pencil

Kenneth Foster, sculptor from Nunica, MI
3D, mixed media
3D metal cylindrical form structure approximately 8’ high and 3’ in diameter with skin of woven colorful recycled wire and cable.  Kenneth was an artist at our exhibition center during ArtPrize 2010.

Kenneth Foster


Scott Garrard, artist and professor at Grand Rapids Community College, from Grand Rapids, MI
3D, steel, not yet created
Scott is creating a 9’X6’X6’ sculpture that resembles a very large teapot.

Scott Garrad

Lake Street Lovely

Michael Grucza, sculptor and fine art restorer from Chicago, IL
3D, Powder covered and painted aluminum, and stainless steel hardware, 2010
Lake Street Lovely is a study whose materials and shapes were inspired by the artist’s love for structures built of steel and rivets: Chicago bridges and rail lines. The Chicago River is crisscrossed by more than 180 unique bridges, each built with sensitivity and subtle aesthetics by engineers and simple tradesman, who used steel panels, supports and rivets to create functional sculptures. Lake Street Lovely is his homage to those nameless, faceless ironworkers. It measures 15’ high by 9’ wide and 9’ deep.

Michael Grucza

“Iceberg Flotilla”  - Richard Herzog -  WITHDRAWN

New Bone

Kathleen Houston-Stokes, Sculptor from Columbus, OH
3D, Limestone, 2009
A sacred symbol of Life is the subject matter of “New Bone”. Abstracted, organic bone shaped stone resonates natural evolutionary and metamorphic change. This sculpture communicates a strong, grounded; intimate and spiritual Life force embedded with ancient wisdom that touches our primitive and guttural instincts of survival and senses of beauty.  It measures 53” x 17” x 16”.

Kathleen Houston-Stokes


Peter Koelsch, artist who also creates award winning video and animation work, from Metamora, OH
3D, cast Aluminum/exterior house paint, 2010
Peter intended to take this toy form and make a monumental form. He changed features on the toy in the process of making the larger version to make it more noble and impressive. The form expresses strength and aggressiveness, yet it is also very inviting to look at because of its beautiful hyper-musculature.  It measures 11’ long by 3’ wide by 4.5’ tall. 

Peter Koelsch

Mobius Garden Sculpture

Melody Lane, artist from Branford, CT
3D, clay, 2010
Clay sculpture with bronze patina, waterproofed. For garden, park or patio.  It measures 24” high by 10” wide and deep.  To explain what a Mobius is:  A Möbius strip made with a piece of paper and tape. If an ant were to crawl along the length of this strip, it would return to its starting point having traversed every part of the strip (on both sides of the original paper) without ever crossing an edge.


Melody Lane


Michael Maguire, professor and national and international artist from Superior, WI
3D, ceramic, not yet created
Michael has been constructing contemporary “mythic creatures:” figurative sculptures visually rooted in the prehistoric and medieval imagery of Ireland.  Currently, he has been moving towards a modern day approach to his mythic creatures.  Betting on horses is common entertainment in Ireland.  His figures are taking a humorous approach to the jockeys.  Short, light weight, and colorful silks to long legged, heavy, and nontraditional colors.  In a way, cartoon looking creatures would be a good description.  “Jockey” will stand 7 to 8 feet high.

Michael Maguire

The Phoenix

Cynthia McKean, artist from Saugatuck, MI
3D, structural steel, not yet created
Cynthia showed her sculpture “Friends” at our venue during ArtPrize 2010.  Her entry for 2011, “The Phoenix” is symbolic of the struggles we are experiencing in Michigan as our manufacturing base has been and continues to be challenged to its core.  Michigan's economy has cycled through good times and bad. Each time it has recovered, its renewed prosperity has been based upon technology from before. This opportunity for rebirth and rebuilding is what she wants her sculpture to represent. Although there are still remnants of the old, a beautiful new form is rising from the ashes and soaring toward the future.  It measures 18’ x 18’ x 20’.

Cynthia McKean

Be Still and Know IV

John Merigian, artist from Superior Twp., MI.  Represented by LaFontsee Gallery
3D, welded corten steel
“Be Still and Know” is permanently installed on our Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.  John participated with us during ArtPrize 2010.  This year his goal is to create a site specific 32 foot tall sculpture of a figure looking up, reaching out very slightly, and in stillness presents us with hope.

John Merigian


Stephen Montague, artist from Columbus, OH
3D, mixed, logs, industrial casters, and strapping, 2011
Ten logs, each 15’ x 1’, will have industrial casters bolted to the bottom of each log. The logs will then be set upright and lashed together. The logs, the natural element, will be supported by an industrial or manmade element, the wheels. The logs are lashed together in an obvious way as not to hide the reason they are standing. To achieve an upright position each log relies on one another, because divided they would fall. Most of the artist’s work has a contextual association to the environment in which it has been created. The abundance of Michigan’s forests, the logs, and Grand Rapids industrial base, the casters, serve as inspiration for the materials in this simple sculpture. Nature rests on a man-made solution.


Stephen Montague

In Progress

Marcia Perry, artist from Saugatuck, MI
3-D, Tree trunk wood craving
Marcia’s piece will evolve during ArtPrize making the creative act a true performance of art in addition to the work produced.  Also will be interactive with others.!

Marcia Perry

The 7 Chief Clans of the Anishinabe

Jason Quigno, stone sculptor from Jenison, MI
3D, stone, not yet created
The sculpture Jason will be creating will be of the 7 Chief Clans of the Anishinabe people: Crane, Loon, Bear, Turtle, Martin, Fish, and Birds.  He will be putting all of these figures gracefully into one tall piece of Limestone measuring 7’ x 3’ x 1’.

Jason Quigno

Creation Stories

Howard Riopelle, artist and college professor from Manchester, MD
3D, stainless steel, not yet created
Howard’s entry is a 12-14 foot "Totem Like" structure made of stainless steel. Semi-abstract yet recognizable designs will tell the story of the great turtle spirit that holds up the world and this sculpture. It will relate how the maiden fell from the sky and was saved by the swans. How the world began and how man came to discover the sun and the moon. The Grand River, the animals, the salmon, and the peoples of this area are all part of the inspiration for this work.  

Howard Riopelle

River City Improv, an improvisational comedy team that has been performing clean, clever, improv since 1994
On Saturday, September 24, at 3:00 p.m. River City Improv congratulated you on a job well done. Everyone was invited to run or walk the length of the Blue Bridge while adoring fans cheered you on to whatever accomplishment you wanted to celebrate. It could be for any reason from beating cancer, finding a new job, commemorating an anniversary or mowing the lawn. It was a wonderful celebration and photos were taken after the "race".  

Work collaborators are Rick Treur, Melissa Allen, Michele Dykstra, Tracey Kooy, Dave Lyzenga, Wendy Nance, Russ Roozeboom, Mike Ryskamp, Jeff VanHaitsma, and Marty Wondergem.

River City Improv

Please do not vote for me

Dale Rogers, award winning metal sculptor from Haverhill, MA
3-D, COR-TEN metal sculptures, 2011
During ArtPrize 2010 Dale displayed his “Big Dog Show”.  During that time he came up with the idea of monkeys hanging from the Blue Bridge. Each monkey is 4 1/2 feet tall, 2 feet wide and 6 inches deep and each weighs about 30 pounds. They are made of steel and are designed to oxidize into a rich brown color.  100 monkeys will hang in groupings of two or three from the Blue Bridge. They can hang from each other’s tails and some even hang upside down.

Dale Rogers


Adam Schultz, sculptor from LaPorte, CO
3D, bronze, 2008
In ancient Greek mythology, there was a sculptor named Pygmalion who was unable to find a woman to be with who wasn't in some way flawed. And so, he decided to sculpt the”perfect" woman, and he called her Galatea.  Many people in our modern society often have a narrow definition of what is beautiful as far as the human figure is concerned. In fact, the notion that the "beautiful" body is a "skinny body" is only a recent manifestation in our history, resulting in problems such as anorexia, bulimia, depression and discrimination against people of size.  Galatea, the first in Adams latest body of work, the ‘goddess series’ involves reinterpreting various female figures out of ancient mythology, rendering them in a contemporary, rubenesque affect. Through creating images of female figures that are typically greeted with negativity, and rendering them with a certain confidence and sensuality, I remind the viewer that beauty comes in the wondrous delightful variety seen in every body.  “Galatea” measures 48” tall.

Adam Schultz


John Schwarz, teacher and artist from Chelsea, MI.  Represented by River Gallery, Chelsea MI
3D, multi-media assemblage, 2011
Erwin is a 6 foot by 6 foot fantasy crocodile creature assembled with everyday mundane found objects. 90% of this creature is recycled materials from local reuse centers and garage sales. Whenever possible John left the colors of parts original. Only the nuts, bolts and rivets are new.

John's creative creatures have shown up for every ArtPrize on our campus.  Year 2009 the "Soft-tail Goose" was on display and in 2010 "Tigerfish" made an appearance.

John Schwarz

"The Veteran

Mike Sohikian, artist from Genoa, OH
3D, steel, stone, concrete, 2008
"The Veteran" is a depiction of a soldiers conflicted feelings of wholeness, disengagement, and patriotism after a tour of duty.  It measures 9’6” x 3’.

Mike Sohikian

Win, Win, Wind

Richard Vanderveen, President of Mackinaw Power, LLC, from Lowell, MI
3D, turbine blade, composites and paint, 2011
“Win, Win Wind!” will present a kinetic sculpture utilizing a state-of-the-art wind turbine blade to demonstrate why new, zero-emissions wind power can draw upon the best artistic, spiritual and design values to solve current energy problems. “Win, Win Wind!” will educate citizens from all walks of life, particularly young people, about the need to protect our Great Lakes for future generations.  

Richard Vanderveen

To Hope

William Walther, sculptor from Muskegon, MI
3D, fabricated steel, not yet created
A short dialog on the concept of getting better—to hope. Hope about hurt and healing.  The artist used the leg because it's a big billboard in the air to represent tears and pain coming from the body. The leg with tears is knobby kneed and a different color than the rest of the body. The other leg is strong and muscular. He looks at hurt and healing as a biological event and a psychological process—the tears are all negative spaces—not something that you can touch, just see. The tears/hurt in the head divides and unites; it takes both sides of the head to define the tear shape—a thought, a feeling, a sensation—there and not there. “To Hope” measures 6.5’ high by 8.5’ long and 4’ deep.

William Walther


John Warner, designs abstract sculpture, jewelry, furniture, and metal fabrication.  From Walker, MI
3D, Salvaged stainless steel, 2011
Site specific, large (7-10 feet) abstract outdoor sculpture made of salvaged semi-polished roll-formed stainless steel tubing. 


John Warner

Artists located at the Front Avenue under US-131 Venue that we are in collaboration with for ArtPrize

Art Stacks /Landscape Mural

Tim Travis/Saugatuck High School, Saugatuck, MI
3-D, ceramic, 2011
Colorful and creative ceramics stacked on poles.

Saugatuck High School

West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics, GVSU charter school located in Spring Lake, MI
2-D, mural in chalk and soft pastels, not yet created
Students will create a quad tic landscape on the walls of the underpass done in sections.

West Michigan Academy