So, ArtPrize is officially off and running. Here’s a picture of my entry, although it’s actually 33 feet long and 7 feet high. Artists are registering their entries, and last week began the “connection” period, where artists try to find a venue that’s willing to host their work. I am hoping in the worst way that DeVos Place Convention Center will be willing to display my mural, but I was informed that DeVos is a really “primo” place, and so I’m applying to some other places too. If you want to see my profile and a few samples, here’s the link:
Have you ever heard of Chris LaPorte? He was the first place winner of ArtPrize in 2010 with his stunning 28-ft. pencil drawing entitled “Cavalry, American Officers, 1921.”Chris’s work is being exhibited at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services’s Grand Rapids campus right now, and a couple of nights ago, Alan and I attended a reception for him at the Postma Center. There were lots of delicious hors-d’oeuvres, and our CEO introduced Chris with some very insightful encouragements to think of every person (and patient) as a wonderfully unique and valuable individual, just as Chris draws each of the characters in his portraits. Chris answered lots of questions from all of us curious art lovers.
“How has winning changed your life?” one lady asked. Chris answered that the attention directed to him (Can I have a selfie with you??) is embarrassing and awkward, but that he finds it very gratifying when people are moved by his artistry. (One man told him the picture [and the story behind the picture, which was that Chris was working through the loss of his dearly loved father and somehow trying to “bring him back to life” through the depictions of the cavalry] had moved him so much that it motivated him to be reconciled to his father-in-law.)
As fun and exciting as it is for me to enter ArtPrize, it occurs to me that each of us is a piece of art. Attention to self is awkward, but when others are inspired by hearing our stories, isn’t that a blessing?! In order for people to know our stories—and best of all—what God has done for us, we need a venue…a platform…or whatever you want to call it, where God’s work can be seen. Finding a venue is a good thing. Be it home, work, church, clubs, volunteer work, or ?? But, wherever we find ourselves, may the light of Christ in us shine out brightly!