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For the first time in ArtPrize history, a single entry captured both the public's curiosity and the jurors' interest, taking home $300,000 in prize money.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. October 10, 2014 – ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition, tonight held the sixth annual ArtPrize Awards, announcing the winners of $540,000 in prizes. ArtPrize partners, supporters, collaborators, and fans filled the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and Rosa Parks Circle to celebrate and honor the 2014 artists and their work. And for the first time in ArtPrize history, a single entry captured the attention of both the public and the jury, taking home $300,000 in prizes.

"The push and pull between the popular and expert approaches to assessing art is what makes the parallel award structure so intriguing,” noted Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “Over the last couple of weeks we’ve seen this conversation grow and change, showing us that it is possible to find a consensus, to find that sweet spot where popular and expert opinions coincide.”

Over the course of 17 days, 41,109 individuals cast 398,714 votes, raising Anila Quayyum Agha and her entry Intersections into the spotlight, awarding her the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize.

And for the first time, the art experts agreed with the popular vote. The Grand Prize Jury spent three whirlwind days visiting and considering each of the 20 juried award finalists, selected by the category award jurors. After much debate, Susan Sollins, Leonardo Drew, and Katharina Grosse decided to split the Juried Grand Prize award between two entries—Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha, which is the first entry to capture the attention and curiosity of both the public and the jury, and The Haircraft Project by Sonya Clark—both of which have been awarded $100,000.

“By the end of our adventure and after much discussion, we came to the conclusion that there were two artists of equal caliber and talent who had risen to the top of our list,” stated Susan Sollins, ART21 executive director. “Their work is incredibly different, and their backgrounds are equally so. In the end we felt strongly that both artists had to be recognized equally. There was nothing for us to do but to declare a tie.”

The Public Vote, sponsored by Meijer, also decided the entries from among the Final 20, sponsored by Consumers Energy, to receive the top honor and the $20,000 cash prizes within each category. The public vote finalists listed below are listed in order of popularity within each category:


  1. ($20,000 winner) Gretchyn Lauer of Grand Rapids, MI | Outcry shown at DeVos Place Convention Center
  2. Sandra Bryant of Lynden, WA | Into the Autumn Woods shown at DeVos Place Convention Center
  3. Frits Hoendervanger of Detroit, MI | Autumn’s Passage shown at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
  4. Armin Mersmann of Midland, MI | Gabriella shown at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
  5. Mark Middleton of Midland, MI | Perspective shown at The B.O.B


  1. ($20,000 winner) Marc Sijan of Milwaukee, WI | Reciprocity  shown at Grand Rapids Art Museum
  2. Jilly Barnes of Pentwater, MI | Engulfed in Glass shown at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
  3. Dominic Pangborn of Detroit, MI | Michigan in Motion shown at DeVos Place Convention Center
  4. Dan Heffron of Manton, MI | Poseidon's Paradise shown at The B.O.B
  5. Kroeze Krew of Grand Rapids, MI | The Pond shown at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel


  1. ($20,000 winner) Robert Shangle of Sparta, MI | Your Move? shown at Harris Building
  2. Carol Roeda of Ada, MI | Color Out the Darkness shown at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
  3. Nathan Lareau of Grand Rapids, MI | Urban Tumbleweed shown at Cathedral Square
  4. NewD Media of Farmington, MI | Peralux shown at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
  5. Liz Roberts of Delaware, OH | Always Nowhere shown at Grand Rapids Art Museum


  1. (Public Vote Grand Prize Winner) Anila Quayyum Agha of Indianapolis, IN | Intersections shown at Grand Rapids Art Museum
  2. Nahoko Kojima of London, Southwark | A Series of Handmade Japanese Paper Cut Sculptures shown at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
  3. Ryan Spencer Reed of Ludington, MI | Despite Similarities to Reality, This is a Work of Fiction shown at Grand Rapids Art Museum
  4. Kevin Sudeith of Brooklyn, NY | Grand River Fish Petroglyph shown at Grand Rapids Public Museum
  5. Dave MacKenzie of Spring Lake, MI | Breathe shown at The B.O.B

The category award jurors—Andrew Russeth, Shamim Momin, Hrag Vartanian, Ariel Saldivar, and Tumelo Mosaka—each selected from their shortlist of five entries the winners of $20,000 within each category.

Juried Category Awards

  1. Two-Dimensional—Sonya Clark of Richmond, VA | The Hair Craft Project shown at Kendall College of Art & Design
  2. Three-Dimensional—Maximo Gonzalez  of Mexico City, Mexico | Tengo Hambre shown at Kendall College of Art & Design
  3. Time-Based—Dance in the Annex of Grand Rapids, MI | respirador (breather) shown at SiTE:LAB
  4. Installation—Julie Schenkelberg of Brooklyn, NY |  Symptomatic Constant shown at SiTE:LAB
  5. VenueSiTE:LAB @ The Morton

The juried category awards are generously presented by ITC, Your Energy Superhighway (2D), Haworth (3D), and Grand Valley State University (Outstanding Venue). Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University presents the $200,000 2014 Juried Grand Prize. The Public Vote, central to the ArtPrize event, is sponsored by Meijer, and the 2D and 3D Public Vote $20,000 category awards are presented by Foremost Insurance and Deloitte, respectively.

ArtPrize 2014 is not quite over yet; venues will remain open for visitors to continue their exploration and visit the winning pieces until Sunday, October 12 at 6:00 p.m. EDT.


ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize, at $560,000. Registered artists and venues connect online at artprize.org and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19-day event. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $260,000, while an additional $300,000 in juried awards are decided by a group of international art experts. ArtPrize 2014 will include 1,536 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states and territories. ArtPrize 2013 attracted more than 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.

ArtPrize is made possible in part through the generous support of many organizations. Corporate Premier Leadership sponsors include Amway, Founders Brewing Company, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Meijer, PNC Bank and The Rapid. Leadership sponsors include Consumers Energy, CWD Real Estate Investment, Deloitte, Haworth, The Iserv Company, Steelcase Inc., and Wolverine Worldwide.

Leading Foundation Supporters include The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, The Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, The Frey Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and The VanderWeide Family Foundation.

MLive Media Group is the Official Provider of the 2014 ArtPrize Event Guide. WOOD TV8 is the Official Broadcast Media Partner of ArtPrize.

The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation is the Founding Sponsor of ArtPrize.

By Jaenell Woods on