Was Squire reporter the lucky charm?
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
Anyway you look at it the last calendar year was very, very good for Mia Tavonatti, the California artist who was born and raised in Michigan’s U. P. In the course of 51 weeks Tavonatti took home the $100,000 second place 2010 ArtPrize award for her stained glass mosaic titled, “Svelata”. To top it all off, last Thursday night the talented artist was awarded the $250,000 first place award in this year’s 2011 Grand Rapids ArtPrize competition for another stained glass mosaic titled, “Crucifixion”. Both pieces were on display at DeVos Place and attracted thousands of admirers.
Enriched to the tune of $350,000, Tavonatti must think that the hand of God was on her shoulder as she created these two beautiful and breathtaking mosaics, each painstakingly fitted with thousands of individually cut stained glass pieces. To top it all off, Tavonatti was able to sell her winning 2010-second place entry to a private party for an undisclosed sum. As per contest rules, her winning 2011 first place entry now becomes the property of ArtPrize.
Tavonatti will not be allowed to win a back-to-back award in next year’s 2012 competition. A new rule established this year disqualifies all of this year’s ten finalists from participating in the next year’s ArtPrize. All ten, however, are allowed to enter again in subsequent years.
One can only wonder if Squire reporter Nancy Hill wasn’t a lucky charm for Tavonatti. In the two pictures accompanying this article, one taken prior to the close of the 2010 ArtPrize competition and another prior to the close of this year’s competition, Tavonatti can be seen gleefully embracing an equally effusive Nancy.
Since Tavonatti can’t repeat her winning performance next year, perhaps another artist would like to “rub shoulders” with the Squire’s lucky charm. Any takers out there? Call Kate at the Squire (866-4465) to arrange a photo-op during next year’s 2012 ArtPrize competition!