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GRPS/WMCAT students assist professional artist with ArtPrize entry

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WMCAT students assist Tracy Van Duinen in the creation of a giant mural as an entry for 2011's ArtPrize
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 To learn more about Tracy Van Duinen and Artprize, visit his profile page on the ArtPrize website.

"Metaphorest" covers an entire side of a Grand Rapids building, some 2,400 square feet..

"Metaphorest" covers an entire side of a Grand Rapids building, some 2,400 square feet.. /GRPS

GRPS students participating in West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) were part of something special for this year’s ArtPrize competition. These students assisted professional artist Tracy Van Duinen and his team in installing a mural and entry for ArtPrize 2011.

The mural is titled “The Metaphorest Project” and stands at 2,400 square feet. It is composed of paint, ceramic tile, photographs, mirrors, and bas-relief sculptures. The south side of the installation includes art work from WMCAT students. The piece portrays the power of the arts in the lives of young adults.

WMCAT apprentice Margaret Anisko, a 10th grade student at City High and WMCAT apprentice said, “I like the mural because it is an inspiration to the rest of Grand Rapids. We get to show them the beauty of art and that there is a way that people can work together to try to better our community through artistic abilities.”

Van Duinen has participated in ArtPrize before. He placed 2nd place in ArtPrize 2009 for his mural “Imagine That,” which was featured at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

This year, he's hoping for the grand prize of $250,000. He spent weeks teaching and guiding WMCAT students for his newest entry. Rebecca Ojeda, WMCAT and 2008 Union High School graduate, also contributed to this year’s project.  She painted the trompe l'oeil (optical illusion) effect of a student opening a door on the mural.

Van Duinen has personal interest in GRPS: he is a Central High School graduate.  By sharing the ArtPrize experience with current high school artists, he is able give students a small taste of professional artistry.

The focus of WMCAT is to engage high school students in the arts as a means of providing 21st century skill development and motivation for careers and education outside of graduation. 

Students from all GRPS high schools participated in the “Metaphorest” mural.  They include Margaret Anisko, Jennie Chorman, Marcos Florez, Alex Groters, Megan Herring, Cassie Jaffas, Nickolas Kempf, Brianah LaGrone, Jarquell Mitchell, Braulio Montero, Shaquita Pulliam, Samantha Rose, Michael Sepanik, Trevor Spangler, and Nicole Turek.

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