Spartans at ArtPrize 2017

ArtPrize Flyers

Michigan State University Art, Art History, and Design students are gaining real-world experience and exposure at ArtPrize 2017, an international art competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that is open to any artist and any medium.

For 19 days straight, ArtPrize entries are exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids in museums, restaurants, hotels, offices, public parks, and everywhere in between. This year, ArtPrize runs from September 20 – October 8.

Two College of Arts & Letters students have their art featured in the competition while another CAL student has spent the past few months as a graphic design intern for ArtPrize.

A Seasonal Internship

Graphic Design senior Autumn Hilden has spent the past few months as a seasonal graphic design intern on the ArtPrize communications team and with Conduit, a Grand Rapids design studio that works closely with ArtPrize, designing production-ready assets using established brand guidelines.

woman standing next to art prize nine sign
Autumn Hilden, Graphic Design major, at ArtPrize in Downtown Grand Rapids.

Hilden has worked on a variety of projects ranging from large-scale banners and brochures to passes and creative education activities for children.

“After finishing up a rough draft of a project, I share it with our creative director and project manager to get feedback and discuss project goals,” Hilden said. “I love working for ArtPrize because it requires working with many different types of print and web design that I don’t normally get to work with.”

Before beginning her ArtPrize internship, Hilden was an intern for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and an MSU alumna suggested she apply for the ArtPrize position.

“It was the perfect opportunity to focus on design and art in the local community,” Hilden said.

Art On Display

Senior Molly Eddington, a Studio Art major with a concentration in Photography and a minor in Graphic Design, submitted to ArtPrize a painting she created in her painting class at MSU, and her piece is now on display at the Mayan Buzz Café, 208 Grandville Ave.

Her painting, Just Relax, is an oil painting on canvas.

“When I was painting this, I was thinking about abusive relationships and what it means to be vulnerable and uncomfortable in a setting like home, where you should be comfortable,” Eddington said.

woman standing next to her painting
Molly Eddington, Studio Art major, beside her piece, Just Relax. 

Coming from a suburb outside of Grand Rapids, Eddington has been going to ArtPrize every year since its inception.

“When I was little, I remember dreaming about having a piece in it someday,” Eddington said. “Some of my favorite artists have participated and I wondered, why not me?”

Another College of Arts & Letters student, Gregory Fricker, who is part of the B.F.A. program with a focus on painting, has his art on display at ArtPrize as well.

painting of two boys playing video games with abstracted war imagery
Gregory Fricker’s piece, This Is It Boys, This is War. 

Fricker’s piece, This Is It Boys, This is War, is located at the Boardwalk Condominiums, 940 Monroe Ave. Before attending MSU, Fricker served 20 years in the United States Army as a member of the Military Police.

“The artwork is inspired by my attempts to interact on a personal level since leaving the military,” Fricker said. “People with the best of intentions would ask questions that can’t be answered in 10,000 words, much less abbreviated in passing conversation.”

College of Arts & Letters alumna Ann Loveless is the only artist to win the ArtPrize public vote grand prize two times. She received the grand prize in 2013 for her “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore” landscape art quilt, and in 2015, Loveless and her husband, Steve, won the grand prize for their “Northwood Awakening” PhotoFiber quilt.

ArtPrize is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite pieces in the public vote competition. There also is a juried competition. For more information on ArtPrize or how to vote, see the ArtPrize website.