Story by Culture Editor Leah Ash
Photos courtesy of Maddie Dryps and Leah Ash
The annual art competition is happening once again in Grand Rapids, filling the streets and buildings of the city with the individual beauty of the works. Art Prize is an independent competition open to artists from all over the world and any medium of art: sculpture, paint, pencil drawing, mixed media, and even more.
In addition to the recognition of having artwork displayed in Art Prize, the competition awards thousands of dollars to the artists in prize money. This year, Art Prize is hosting auctions on the pieces themselves and not just voting on the winner.
Art Prize is especially exciting this year as Aquinas senior Maddie Dryps is participating in the event. Her piece, Broken Nature, is a mixed media image. She printed off a graphic and painted on top of that.
Dryps was inspired by the relationship between humans and the earth. “My intention was to demonstrate how we as humans control this world through our own actions and thoughts,” she said, “We could destroy a beautiful forest with all the life it provides to others, or we watch what passes by in front of us like we are the eyes of the sky.”
This is her first entry to Art Prize, a feat that was “somewhat easy, yet stressful.” The process includes creating a profile and then reaching out to different venues to see if they were willing to display the piece. For Dryps, she connected with the B.O.B.. Her artwork is being showcased on the second floor, to the right along with many other pieces of artwork in a gallery style.
Dryps said that it was encouragement from her professor, Chris LaPorte that led her to enter Art Prize. LaPorte is an Art Prize veteran, having won in 2010. His experience combined with his confidence in Dryps’s work led to her entering, something she is extremely grateful for. Dryps expressed her gratitude towards LaPorte’s encouragement, “I wouldn’t have even entered Art Prize without him. So thank you Chris.”
Art Prize will be running until October 3rd. I highly recommend visiting the B.O.B. to support Maddie Dryps and her artwork before Art Prize ends. Not only should you support Dryps, but see as much artwork as you can. The artwork is beautiful and awe-inspiring, and makes your day so much better.