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ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos announces top ten for 2012 contest

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio

Voters in ArtPrize have narrowed more than 1,500 works of art down to the top ten. One of the top ten artists will take home the $200,000 top prize later this week.

This year more than 40,000 people voted (more than 400,000 votes in total so far) for their favorites. Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon to hear ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos list off the ten works of art that got the most votes.

Artist Chris LaPorte made the short list for a 23-foot long pencil drawingof his grandfather’s high school marching band. The Grand Rapids native won ArtPrize two years ago (check out my co-worker Dustin Dwyer's feature on that win here).

“I have heard people say that I appreciate you’re from here and I like that the money would stay in town; I have heard that. But I also suspect there are many other factors (in picking a winner). I mean I would suspect that winning before would motivate someone not to vote for me,” LaPorte said.

Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
About 15,000 lanterns like this were launched Friday night for the ArtPrize entry Lights in the Night. The lanterns are biodegradable.

The top ten includes a mix of three-D pieces, paintings, and a unique performance piece called Lights in the Night. Friday night 15,000 paper lanterns were launched into the night sky. Lights in the Night co-artist Dan Johnson says each lantern was supposed to represent an individual’s hopes and dreams.

“We had people crying that had been at the event to tell us the emotional experience they had. It was really surreal but it was a real thing at the same time,” Johnson said. Johnson designs smartphone applications by day.

Now people can only cast one vote for their favorite in the top ten to determine the winner.

You can find the complete top ten list here.

The winner of ArtPrize will be announced Friday.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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