Artists take risks, and thousands have ventured to ArtPrize over the past eight years. Here’s a list of thirteen remarkable artists whose work has wowed ArtPrize visitors:

Kate Gilmore

Kate Gilmore’s “Higher Ground” was awarded the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize at ArtPrize in 2015. Gilmore’s winning work consisted of a two story house at SiTE:LAB’s Rumsey Street project, painted pink on the outside with a bright red interior visible through open windows. Women in flowing white gowns and red slippers rocked back on forth on swings, installed so that their feet periodically poked out the windows. Gilmore is represented by David Castillo Gallery. She exhibited in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, and in addition to ArtPrize, Gilmore has won the Rauschenberg Residency Award (2014), Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (2007/2008), the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance (2006), among many others.

Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander’s video “The Last Post” was exhibited during ArtPrize 2013 in the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The work is part of Sikander’s ongoing interest in the effects of colonialism in South Asia. The piece won the Time-Based Juried Award that year. Sikander exhibits globally, is included in many collections, and has received many awards, including a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2006.

Mark Dion

In 2016 Mark Dion installed “Christmas Eve, 1933” as a part of SiTE:LAB’s Rumsey Street Project venue. Dion explored the institutional convention of the period room, a meticulously reconstructed space from the past. In this case -- the living room of a priest’s rectory, which was the original purpose of the building he used. Dion is represented by Tonya Bonakdar Gallery. His work was included in dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany, and has also been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Guggenheim Bilbao, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Tate Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Mel Chin

Mel Chin first participated in ArtPrize as a member of the Grand Prize Jury in 2013. He returned the following year as an artist, exhibiting Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project at the Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art and Design. Mel Chin is a conceptual artist whose work uses a broad variety of approaches to address politics, the environment, and other complex issues. His work ranges from years-long community projects addressing environmental crises, to placing artworks on the set of the TV show Melrose Place.

Anila Quayyum Agha

Anila Quayyum Agha’s work “Intersections” made ArtPrize history as the first artist entry to capture the attention of both the voting public and a jury of art experts. The stunning work, installed at Grand Rapids Art Museum during ArtPrize 2014, took home the Public Vote Grand Prize ($200,000) and half of the Juried Grand Prize ($100,000). Agha works in a cross disciplinary fashion with mixed media, creating artwork that explores global politics, cultural multiplicity, mass media, and social and gender roles.Her work has been exhibited in over seventeen solo shows and fifty group shows.

Carlos Bunga

Carlos Bunga installed “Ecosystem” as a part of SiTE:LAB’s 2013 ArtPrize exhibition. Taking over the mammal hall of the former Grand Rapids Public Museum, Bunga covered the walls and pillars with a cardboard architectural intervention. The work was subtle and totally enveloping at the same time. It won the Juried Grand Prize that year. Bunga is represented by Alexander and Bonin Gallery and lives in Barcelona. His work has been exhibited at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; Manifesta 5; Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, (MACBA); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; and the Chicago Architecture Biennial, among many others.

Saya Woolfalk

Saya Woolfalk’s “Pose System” was shown at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in 2016, where it won the 3-D Juried Award. The work consisted of life-sized female figures in elaborate costumes that borrowed motifs from many cultures, along with video monitors, and brightly polka-dotted surfaces. Her work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1 in New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Studio Museum in Harlem; Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville; and many more.

Daniel Arsham

Daniel Arsham presented his sculpture “Watching” at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in 2013, as a part of a survey on the figure in contemporary sculpture. The life-size gray figure sparkles, made of bits of shattered glass held together with resin. Arsham is a prolific sculptor, architect, and filmmaker. Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Biennale in Athens, Greece, The New Museum In New York, and more. Arsham is represented by Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris, Hong Kong, New York, and Seoul; Moran Bondaroff in Los Angeles; Baro Galeria in Sao Paulo;  Pippy Houldsworth in London; and Galerie Ron Mandos in Amsterdam.

Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith exhibited “Woven Tales” at the Grand Rapids Art Museum as a part of ArtPrize 2016. This series of large tapestries began as collages, which were further modified before being translated to digital loom patterns by Magnolia Editions. Smith is represented by Pace Gallery, and her work appears in many museum collections. In 2005, her retrospective Kiki Smith: A Gathering, 1980-2005 debuted at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, before traveling to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and more.

Ji Lee

Ji Lee showed “Pieces of Mind” at UICA in 2011, but the project was hardly confined to the gallery. Lee fabricated 10,000 one inch tall ceramic Buddha figures, and instructed visitors to take them and place them in unusual places. All throughout ArtPrize that year, tiny white Buddhas could be spotted in unlikely locations around town. Lee is director of creative strategy for Facebook, and was previously the creative director of Google Labs. He’s known for his artistic side projects, including Bubble Project, blank word bubble stickers that allow people to caption bus and subway ads.

Diana Al-Hadid

Diana Al-Hadid’s work “Untitled Blind Bust” was shown at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park as a part of their 2012 ArtPrize exhibition. The bronze bust drips long tendrils of metal to the floor, drawing the form of a pedestal that’s no longer there. Al-Hadid is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery, and her work is featured in influential collections including the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and more.

Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe created “Plexus No 18” for ArtPrize 2012 in the Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art and Design. The site-specific installation featured rainbow colored thread stretched over the corner of gallery space, creating optical effects as the viewer moved past. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions across North America and Europe.

Sonya Clark

The poetry and politics of Black hair care specialists are central to Sonya Clark’s work as an artist. Her work “The Hair Craft Project”, installed at The Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University, reframed the mastery of these artists in a new context -- the gallery. This project split the ArtPrize 2014 Juried Grand Prize with Agha’s “Intersections”, taking home $100,000. Clark has been Chair of the Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia since 2006. Her work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Musees d’Angers in France among several other institutions.

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