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Photo of Michael Bauer

Michael Bauer

Grand Rapids, MI, United States

I want to leave the world a better place, but I'm not a writer. I can't help a person feel good through a poem or a book. I do carve opal gemstones, though. If I am able to present an elegant art piece, the work might inspire others to feel good on the inside—and maybe even change their outlook on the world. Before starting, I study the shape of the opal. The stone often speaks to me and shows me what to do. My inspiration comes from nature, such as flowers, birds, sea shells, and moths. After carving the gems, sometimes spending twenty years on each piece, the shape uncovers an inner mystery. For the last step, the opal needs light to illuminate its complex matrix of color, which changes from white to blue to green to pink, depending on the angle of the light. Along with sculpting, for 27 years, I have worked with profoundly impaired children. These special children shine like the colors of the opal’s rainbow, showing me the path to dignity, patience, and the value of life. I also coach swimming for children, teens, a high school varsity team, and the adult swim program at Grand Rapids Community College, which usually involves life coaching, too. In a small way, art and coaching allow me to make a difference—leaving the world a better place.

Michael's ArtPrize Entries

These are Michael's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of Tiny Sculptures

    Tiny Sculptures

    2021 ArtPrize Entry Opal Micro-Sculptures
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  • Photo of Opal Sculptures

    Opal Sculptures

    2015 ArtPrize Entry Michael Bauer
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