The Rogue River Artists Association held its annual Christmas Show and Sale at the Rockford United Methodist Church on Saturday, Nov. 5. Among the participants were three local artists who were among this year’s Artprize event in Grand Rapids. Two displayed their Artprize work at the show. Pictured are the Artprize entries for Rockford painter Linda Bassford with a painting of dogs and the painting by Deb Tiemeyer displaying an eagle. The third Artprize contestant was LeAnne Sowa.
Jeff Lewis, chair of the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and the idea guy who came up with Rockford’s Art Capsule event, said more people voted on the 30 local art displays in 2011 than in the first year. “We had a thousand votes, which was more than last year,” Lewis said. This year’s event, designed with the theme of Rockford for the art submissions, culminated on Saturday, August 8 with voting and sampling fare from Rockford restaurants in the second annual Taste of Rockford. Art Capsule voting also took place all week long with art offered in a variety of categories and venues all around downtown. Ten restaurants took part in the Taste event, with all money going to RAAC. A total of $1,300 was raised. Local restaurants participated by offering samples from spring rolls to sliders and tasty treats to top off the edible tour of downtown. Lewis said the restaurants were very generous, providing quality and quantity of impressive proportions for just a dollar or two per sample. Art Capsule was also a popular success. Best of Show was taken by Connie Kuhnle for her “Faces of Rockford.” Best Two-Dimensional Art went to local painter Linda Bassford, who presented “Watermelon Kids.” Best Three-Dimensional Art was won by Lois Carpenter with “The Dam Fish.” Best Photography was a tie between Dan DeWard with “Dream, Believe, Perform, Achieve” and Stacy Niedzwiecki with her work “Wash – Rinse – Repeat.” “It wasn’t bad for a wet, rainy day,” said Lewis.
Local artist among hundreds vying for $250,000 Linda Bassford of Rockford has entered her art in ArtPrize. She’ll compete with artists from all over the world for nearly one-half million dollars in prize money, including $250,000 to the artist who receives the most public votes. ArtPrize will run from Sept. 23 through Oct. 10 in Grand Rapids. ArtPrize will have no formal jury, curator or judge. The visiting public will register to vote and decide who wins the prizes, using mobile devices and the Internet. Bassford plans to enter a wall mural of a Michigan landmark, the lighthouse at Grand Haven. She says the mural for Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids was created to inspire patrons of the ministry who often take trips to Grand Haven during the summer. ArtPrize art works and performances, professional and amateur, will be exhibited at hundreds of venues, all within a three-square-mile area in Grand Rapids’ downtown riverfront district. The city has offered up parks and bridges for outdoor venue displays. Scores of businesses will convert lobbies and public space for displays. The Midwest city of nearly 200,000, and a larger metro area population of more than one million, will become an art gallery. Grand Rapids is the home of the internationally recognized Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, which showcases one of the world’s foremost collections of modern and contemporary sculptures, including pieces from well-known artists such as Moore, Oldenberg, Goldsworthy, Plensa and many more. In 2006, the city hosted a large-scale exhibit by Tom Otterness, considered one of the premier public artists, which attracted more than 750,000 visitors. The city recently built and opened the world’s first LEED gold certified art museum. For more information about ArtPrize, go to artprize.org.