Second place went to the mosaic mural on the Children's Museum. The children of Grand Rapids are huge winners - not only for the stellar mosaic, but the fact that the artist's donated this piece to their museum. And the children were also winners because many of their parents considered the event important enough to include them on all the art walks. And the mosiac artists were winners, because they received a check for $1 with five zeros standing straight and tall right next to that big dollar sign and one.
The push pin portraits came in third. With a prize of $50,000. According to his artist statement, that means Mr. Eric Daigh received $1 for every push pin he placed in those three portraits. Not bad, Eric, not bad at all.
The remaining seven artists all received $7,000, which is nothing to sneeze at, since Earle and I probably easily spent that much on our ArtPrize adventure.
But, to tell the truth the real winners were all the artists and all the good people of Grand Rapids. I heard that yesterday there were at least 20 people at every street corner rushing to see the entries, and especially the top ten.
When I polled many of you last week, when the top ten were announced, Jason Hackenwerth's balloons received the most votes. That artist landed ninth place, but I did heard something quite wonderful about him. The Grand Rapids Arts Council organized a high school day for students to visit ArtPrize and also arranged for many of the students to meet some of the popular artists. (By the way, benefactor Rick DeVos donated $10,000 to provide this rich opportunity to 22 area high schools to cover the expenses of buses and pay for substitute teachers to allow instructors to attend this event.) Wouldn't that just be too cool to be able to do??? Anyway, when balloonmaster Jason Hacknewerth addressed the kids, he engaged them in a great conversation and then asked them to name their favorite artist. Very few were able to respond and raise their hand. But, I can bet, after meeting Jason and witnessing this spectacular event, there wasn't a kid in the crowd that didn't know the name of at last one ArtPrize artist by the end of the day.