1,550 artists vied for a combination of public vote and juried awards throughout ArtPrize Seven, and tonight the winners of $500,000 were revealed.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, October 9, 2015 – ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury, tonight held the Seventh Annual ArtPrize awards, revealing the winners of $500,000 in prizes. The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre was filled with event supporters and collaborators to honor the artists who shared their work with hundreds of thousands of visitors during ArtPrize Seven. Two $200,000 Grand Prizes were awarded, through public vote to Northwood Awakening by Loveless PhotoFiber, and by a jury of art experts to Higher Ground by Kate Gilmore.


Since September 23, 35,481 visitors cast 422,763 votes across two rounds of the Public Vote, surpassing 2014 totals by more than 24,000 votes, and awarding Northwood Awakening—a large photographic print and quilt hybrid, depicting a serene woodland panorama, that seamlessly blends the combined textile and photo skills of Loveless PhotoFiber—the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize. Ann Loveless, ArtPrize 2013 Public Vote Grand Prize winner for Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore, returned to ArtPrize Seven alongside husband, Steven Loveless, for the collaborative piece that won the hearts of the public at ArtPrize Seven.

“Once again, reverence for technical skill in two-dimensional work—this time in a stunning combination of large-scale photography and intricate textile—has captured the imagination of the voting public,” said Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “It’s a surprising and unexpected twist to have Northwood Awakenings represent our first-ever two-time public vote winner. We’re stunned and delighted, but we’re also reflecting on how this affects ArtPrize going forward.”

ArtPrize voters have time and again elevated work that is technically difficult and masterfully created—awarding the world’s largest art prize to pieces such as the undulating waves of Open Water No. 24 in 2009, and the skillfully rendered Elephants in 2012. ArtPrize 2014 Public Grand Prize and co-Juried Grand Prize winner Anila Quayyum Agha, during Part 1 of the ArtPrize Seven Why These Finalists? panel discussions, called Northwood Awakening “very beautifully processed.”

The public vote, presented by Meijer, also decided which four entries from among the Public Vote Final 20 would win the $12,500 category awards. The Public Vote Category Awards are listed below, in order within each entry category:

Award presented by Foremost Insurance

  1. Northwood Awakening at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Loveless PhotoFiber from Frankfort, Michigan, won the Public Vote Grand Prize and will take home a total of $200,000
  2. michigan petoskey stone at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Randall Libby from Manistee, Michigan
  3. Triple Play at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Anni Crouter from Flint, Michigan (Crouter was the winner of the 2nd Place $75,000 public vote award at ArtPrize 2013)
  4. In a Promised Land… at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Shawn Michael Warren from Harvey, Illinois
  5. As Above at Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Judith Braun from New York, New York


  1. $12,500 winner  Greatest Generation/Beta Team/November at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Fred Cogelow from Willmar, Minnesota
  2. MAYA 7624 at Kendall College of Art & Design / Fed Galleries at KCAD, by Seungmo Park from New Jersey City, New Jersey
  3. Seasons at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Robin Protz from New Hartford, Connecticut (Protz won the 7th Place $5,000 public vote award at ArtPrize 2013)
  4. The Race at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Kurt Swanson from Grand Rapids, Michigan
  5. Rolling Down at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Kroeze Krew from Grand Rapids, Michigan

Award presented by Amway

  1. $12,500 winner – REACH and SPLASH at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Andy Sacksteder from Port Clinton, Ohio (Sacksteder won of the 3rd Place $50,000 public vote award at ArtPrize 2013)
  2. TIME & AGAIN Grand Rapids at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Midge Bolt from Pepin, Wisconsin and Doreen Gunnink from Kentwood, Michigan
  3. Balancing Act at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Calvin Babich from Toledo, Ohio
  4. SENSI at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Gianluca Traina from Ventimiglia de Sicilia, Italy
  5. The Grand Rapid Tape Drawing at TowerPinkster—Architects | Engineers, by The Tape Art Crew from Providence, Rhode Island

Award presented by DTE Energy Foundation

  1. $12,500 winnerWhisper at 250 Monroe, by Emily Kennerk from Zionsville, Indiana
  2. BREAKTHROUGH at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Breakthrough Team from Ada, Michigan
  3. Hometown Hero at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Pamela Alderman from Grand Rapids, Michigan
  4. Symphony of Gestures at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, by Sara Dittrich and Benjamin Buchanan from Baltimore, Maryland
  5. Movement at Grand Rapids Public Museum, by Craig Merchant from Wyoming, Michigan


The ArtPrize Seven Grand Prize Jurors—including Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz; Prospect New Orleans founder Dan Cameron; and Director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s new Institute for Contemporary Art, Lisa Freiman—spent a whirlwind three days in Grand Rapids viewing each entry on the Category Award Jurors’ shortlists: five entries from each category revealed on September 28 at the Jurors’ Shortlist Announcement. They selected the transformational performance Higher Ground by Kate Gilmore. Gilmore will take home the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize, presented by Kendall College of Art & Design.

Grand Prize Juror Dan Cameron reflected upon the panel’s decision: “Kate Gilmore’s piece is really kind of magical in a way that we’ve maybe lost sight of. It really can contribute to a shared mythology that we can all unpack. And even though the object isn’t there, we can continue to tell each other the stories about it.”

The Category Award Jurors also revealed tonight the four entries and the venue to take home the ArtPrize Seven Juried Category Awards:

By Jaenell Woods on