ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury, Oct. 9th held the Seventh Annual ArtPrize awards, revealing the winners of $500,000 in prizes. The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Grand Rapids, Michigan was filled with event supporters and collaborators, to honor the artists who shared their work with hundreds of thousands of visitors during ArtPrize Seven. Two $200,000 Grand Prizes were awarded, The public vote winner was Northwood Awakening by Loveless PhotoFiber, a collaboration between SAQA member Ann Loveless and her husband, photographer Steven Loveless.
Since September 23, 35,481 visitors cast 422,763 votes across two rounds of the Public Vote, surpassing 2014 totals by more than 24,000 votes, and awarding Northwood Awakening — a large photographic print and quilt hybrid, depicting a serene woodland panorama, that seamlessly blends the combined textile and photo skills of Loveless PhotoFiber — the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize. Ann Loveless, ArtPrize 2013 Public Vote Grand Prize winner for Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore, returned to ArtPrize Seven alongside husband, Steven Loveless for the collaborative piece that won the hearts of the public at ArtPrize Seven.
“Once again, reverence for technical skill in two-dimensional work — this time in a stunning combination of large-scale photography and intricate textile — has captured the imagination of the voting public,” said Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “It’s a surprising and unexpected twist to have Northwood Awakenings represent our first ever two-time public vote winner. We’re stunned and delighted, but we’re also reflecting on how this affects ArtPrize going forward.”
ArtPrize voters have time and again elevated work that is technically difficult and masterfully created — awarding the world’s largest art prize to pieces such as the undulating waves of Open Water No. 24 in 2009, and the skillfully rendered Elephants in 2012. ArtPrize 2014 Public Grand Prize and co-Juried Grand Prize winner Anila Quayyum Agha, during Part 1 of the ArtPrize Seven Why These Finalists? panel discussions, called Northwood Awakening “very beautifully processed.”