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Shortlist reveals insight into juror selection process

Last night's event revealed the juror's top 20 category selections, plus their top five venue selections. Jurors revealed not only their selections but their process and what attracted them to the winning works.
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Juror selections- full list


Sonya Clark | The Hair Craft Project | Kendall College of Art & Design | Richmond, VA

Suzanne Opton | Soldier | Grand Rapids Art Museum | New York, NY

Debra Van Poolen | Artistic Witness of Chelsea Manning's Court Martial | Fountain Street Church | Wayland, MI

Heartside Arts Collective | Unchain the Neighborhood | Heartside Gallery and Studio | Grand Rapids, MI

Zach Mory | 24 Circles and Diamonds | Cathedral Square | Glen Ellyn, IL


Osman Kahn | House | Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park | Ann Arbor, MI

Maximo Gonzales | Tengo Hambre | Kendall College of Art and Design | Mexico City, Mexico

Alisha Wessler | From Afar It Is an Island | Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park | New York, NY

Loris Cecchini | Wallwave vibration (anatomy of a diagram) | Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park | Berlin, Germany

Ladislav Hanka | Great Wall of Bees: Intelligence of the Bee Hive | UICA | Kalamazoo, MI


Dance in the Annex | Respirador (Breather) | SiTE:LAB | Grand Rapids, MI

Steve Lambert | Capitalism Works for Me | Kendall College of Art and Design | Beacon, NY

Mel Chin | Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project | Kendall College of Art and Design | Burnsville, North Carolina

Jason File | Life Copy | Grand Rapids Art Museum | The Hague - Zuid, Holland

Corey Ruffin | ArtPrize! The Musical | Pyramid Scheme | Grand Rapids, MI


Julie Schenkelberg | Symptomatic Constant | SiTE:LAB | Brooklyn, NY

Darryl Lauster | God Bless America | Calder Plaza | Arlington, TX

Henry Brimmer | there's something happening here | Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts | East Lansing, MI

Alex Podesta | Self Portrait as Bunnies (The Bathers) | Grand River | New Orleans, LA

Anila Quayyum Agha | Intersections | Grand Rapids Art Museum | Indianapolis, IN

Outstanding Venue

Grand Rapids Art Museum

Kendall College of Art & Design

SiTE:LAB @ The Morton

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

Fountain Street Church

Mel Chin's Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project at Kendall College of Art and Design is a Time-Based category finalist

Mel Chin's Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project at Kendall College of Art and Design is a Time-Based category finalist /Eric Tank

On Monday at 7 p.m., the category jurors for this year's ArtPrize competition revealed their top selections to the public in the ArtPrize HUB (41 Sheldon Avenue SE). The event, broadcast live on WOODTV 8 and at Rosa Parks Circle, included juror descriptions of their experiences and how they made their selections as well as their own understandings of the categories.

Finalists ranged in location from the Grand Rapids Art Museum to Pyramid Scheme and Heartside Studio and Gallery, with 11 venues having individual work selected. Kendall College of Art and Design's exhibit "I Am: Money Matters" garnered the most recognition, with a nod for outstanding venue as well as four individual entries. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Meijer Gardens, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art and SiTE:LAB also have multiple entries selected by the jurors.

Though the recognition tonight was for top artists, Exhibitions Director Kevin Buist pointed out that none of this work could be seen without the participation and hard work of the venues.

"The credit really goes to our venues and the curators at those venues and the incredible work that they do," says Buist. "It's really the venues that are working on the ground and rolling up their sleeves and helping these artists get here and make these incredible projects. That's really a community effort, and all those venues are local and they're doing incredible work."

Shamim Momin, 3-D juror and head of the Los Angeles Nomadic Division and Adjunct Curator for the Whitney Museum of American Art, says the surprise for her this year was the amount of people walking around looking at art.

"I kind of want to show it to people in LA," says Momin. "It's pretty extraordinary- we could barely get in front of the work we wanted to see."

Tumelo Mosaka, an independent curator himself, is the juror selecting the outstanding venues in this year's competition. He selected venues ranging from the more traditional spaces we expect to find highly curated work like the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) to the much less traditional space at SiTE:LAB @ The Morton, where the building is partially crumbling and partially under construction. With either kind of space, says Mosaka, good curation requires multiple layers of consideration.

"When you curate, you're not only thinking about the space and the work on the wall, but you're also thinking about how the audience is going to interact with the space," he says.

Installation category juror Ariel Saldivar, Associate Director of The Goss-Michael Foundation, first spoke about "Symptomatic Constant" by Julie Schenkenberg at SiTE:LAB. Saldivar says she appreciated the "personal treasure troves" found in the piece when she looked closer, and discovered a story of community involvement in Schenkenberg's piece, making it more than the highly personal work of an artist.

"This building is under construction, so while she she was working on the piece, she had all kinds of construction workers and people walking by her piece, offering to help and donate to the piece," says Saldivar. "So the community had a hand in making it... it engaged the public. It engaged people to come in and give a piece and celebrate the space, in a way."

"Intersections" by Anila Quayyum Agha was also selected in the installation section. As Saldivar explained, the piece was created emulates the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

"It's a place know as a place of peace, where all people could gather and reflect. Wherever they came from they could come and lay all their concerns aside," she says. People who enter the gallery with the work, she says, become a part of the piece, even more than just by having the shadows cast on them. "It was amazing how everybody just stopped and got really engaged... it's arresting but also very calming. There's just such a sense of peace about that work."

Hrag Vartanian, juror for the time-based award and Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Hyperallergic, selected "Capitalism Works for Me" as one of his top five entries. He says the conversations created by the piece not only include what we think of capitalism and its various definitions, but whether or not we think the rules of capitalism are sometimes rigged. In fact, Vartanian revealed, the artwork itself is rigged. Though designed as a tally of who believes capitalism works for them, the piece only counts up to 999, turning back over to zero as more votes are added. So what is actually the higher number of selections, he explained, may end up appearing as just two "votes."

Hrag also addressed the question of what exactly makes a work part of the "time based" category, and how viewers can approach what can be more difficult work to understand.

"It's everything from video to performance, so I would say to just keep yourself open, and try to look at the world. What's changing your perceptions of the world? I think often that's what time-based art does, because it functions in our own sort of time, and it distorts it just enough that you start to think about it," he says. This application was his own approach for works like "Respirador" by Dance in the Annex, noting how people often scatter when they become pulled into the live performance.

"We're used to being observers, and time-based art sometimes asks you to be part of it," he says. "Usually change happens when you're uncomfortable and you're trying to figure out what's going on."

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