ArtPrize 2011

  Meet the Artist:Sept. 26 - Oct. 9, 2011
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (Map)
187 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids, MI

You Are Your Dreams full installed painting

You Are Your Dreams

About the Work

Medium:Acrylic/Mica on Glass with Metal Frames
Year created:2011
Description of work:

My technique evolved from a desire to artistically create a genre previously unidentified, as I have never followed the rules. "You Are Your Dreams" personifies my freedom exploring uncharted visual territory.

Just as a glassmaker utilizes intense heat, I apply a blowtorch to my medium to create a fluidity of movement. Working quickly I must concentrate on small areas, building layers because the medium remains pliable for only a short time much like molten glass. The intriguing colors, invented by mixing natural minerals in a clear medium, form at the time of application in the process of developing the composition.

The properties of glass may be a perfect metaphor for the constant movement of the universe as there is speculation that glass on a molecular level is never solid or still. The composition in "You Are Your Dreams" expresses an illusion or suggestion of motion thus aligning itself with this theory.

5 feet
6 feet
1 feet

About ArtPrize

1,582 artists from 36 countries and 43 states will show their work in 164 venues within three-square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Each artist will compete for the world's largest prize for art, which will take place Sept. 21-Oct. 9, 2011. Participating artists and venues can all be viewed on the Artists List on the Art Prize web site. Out of these 1,582 artists, I was the 19th selected to participate in the competition.

Event organizers closed Connections—the period when artists can officially secure a venue and participate in Art Prize 2011. Applications for entries were open to any artist who could secure a location to display their art.

"Art Prize facilitates relationships between artists of the world, venues in Grand Rapids and people from all over," said Catherine Creamer, executive director of Art Prize. "We broaden the conversation about art by making it accessible to everyone who comes to the event, inviting each person to create and discuss their own story."

While Michigan is home to a large number of participating artists, as an international competition, artists from as far as Singapore and South Africa will descend on Grand Rapids. Canada, with 23 artists, has the greatest number of artists participating in Art Prize 2011 who are coming from outside of the United States.

The number of national artists has also increased in 2011. Illinois alone has more than 96 artists traveling to Grand Rapids. New York artists total 29 participating artists, while California and Ohio will send 30 artists each to Art Prize 2011. Hundreds more are coming from Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Inspired by such competitions as the X-Prize and large-scale events like the Sundance Film Festival, Art Prize is among the most unique competitions in the art world. It has no formal jury, curator or judge, asking the public to vote and decide winners using mobile devices and the web.

During its 2009 inaugural season, more than 200,000 people attended Art Prize and more than 334,000 votes were cast. Numbers swelled in 2010 to more than 400,000 people and 465,000 votes cast. Art Prize organizers expect more than 500,000 people to attend the 19-day event.


I believe our lives become a portrait of our unique personal experiences. My desire to express through visual arts my perspective of society distilled and analyzed from my observations from high school and college started my journey as a painter.

In my studio, time, deadlines, and responsibilities must disappear for my individuality, energy, and ingenuity to triumph. The mood, rhythm, and ideology of rock music compel me to paint a new artistic language. Self-knowledge dictates that I must express through creation as opposed to recreation. Independent and free by nature, I explore only uncharted artistic territory. Hopefully, my new language will engage a viewer in a dialogue between my artwork and his or her personal identity. My art ignites human imagination, a place where boundaries and restrictions do not exist. To me, this embodies true freedom. True freedom emancipates my soul.


Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503