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ArtPrize Eight names winners

October 10, 2016
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ArtPrize Eight Wounded Warrior Dog No. 1: Iraq
"Wounded Warrior Dog No. 1: Iraq" was part of the "Wounded Warrior Dogs" entry at Amway Grand Plaza during ArtPrize Eight. The 3-D entry by James Mellick of Milford Center, Ohio won the $200,000 public vote grand prize. Photo via

ArtPrize Eight has doled out $500,000 in cash prizes to the winners of the 19-day “radically open international art competition.”

The winners of the eighth-annual event were selected based on public voting and selections by a panel of jurors.

Since ArtPrize Eight kicked off at noon on Sept. 21, 37,433 visitors registered to vote, casting 380,119 votes across two rounds. More votes were cast via the ArtPrize mobile app than ever before.

ArtPrize Eight announced the competition's winners at the annual ArtPrize Awards on Friday night.

Grand prize winners

The biggest winners were the two grand prize recipients, who each will receive a $200,000 cash prize.

The public selected “Wounded Warrior Dogs” by James Mellick of Milford Center, Ohio. "The Bureau of Personal Belonging” by Stacey Kirby of Durham, North Carolina was selected by the jury.

"Wounded Warrior Dogs" is a set of woodcarvings. The 3-D work was displayed at the Amway Grand Plaza.

The dogs are intended to be symbols of the sacrifice of their human companions in battle, exhibiting the same wounds.

The art of wounded and rehabilitated dogs is intended to raise awareness of the sacrifice and needs of wounded veterans, according to Mellick.

"The Bureau of Personal Belonging" is a time-based entry comprised of three ongoing works, where visitors offer written and verbal responses as they interact with the artist and other performers within a meticulously re-created ’60s-era bureaucratic office space.

The entry pointed to the often absurd way bureaucracies define identity — particularly sexual and gender identities — and encouraged viewers to contact Michigan lawmakers regarding certain pieces of legislation, according to Kirby.

Christian Gaines, ArtPrize executive director, said the event's public vote and juried award winners "ultimately reflect issues that both unite and divide us.”

He said both of the winning works drew visitors into an “immersive and profound experience,” whatever their views on war, patriotism, identity or belonging.

Outstanding venues

An Outstanding Venue Juried Award also was given to SiTE:LAB / Rumsey St. Project, which featured "EVERYTHING IS TRANSFORMED," and 912 Grandville Ave. SW, which featured "This Space is Not Abandoned."

ArtPrize said this is the first year the award was split between two venues.

The curator of 912 Grandville Ave. SW, Steffanie Rosalez, is participating in the 2016 ArtPrize Fellowship for Emerging Curators program — working under the guidance of Paul Amenta, co-founder and curator of SiTE:LAB.

“Together, they have brought two outstanding exhibitions to the Rumsey Street neighborhood,” Gaines said.

Public vote and juried category winners

Winners also were named in four entry categories, each receiving $12,500 in prize money.


Public vote: "Portraits of Light and Shadow," at DeVos Place, by Joao Paulo Goncalves from Pompano Beach, Florida

Juried: "les bêtes," at the Grand Rapids City Water Building, by Isaac Aoki from Grand Rapids


Public vote: "Wounded Warrior Dogs," at Amway Grand Plaza, by James Mellick

Juried: "Excavations," at SiTE:LAB/ Rumsey St. Project, by William Lamson from New York

Time based

Public vote: "Sweeper's Clock," at Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Maarten Baas from Den Bosch, the Netherlands

Juried: "Search Engine Vision 'ISIS'", at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, by Eric Souther from Mishawaka, Indiana


Public vote: "The Butterfly Effect," at DeVos Place, by Pettit Smith from Durango, Colorado

Juried: "This Space is Not Abandoned," at 912 Grandville Ave. SW, by 912 CollABORATIVE from Grand Rapids

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