Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sumo wrestling toads will fight it out at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan

ArtPrize is in its second year.
With over $450,000 in prize money up for grabs it's the biggest art contest I know of, the public decides the winner, and it would be rude not to have a bash!
There's over 1,700 artists entered this year!
Here's a photoshop scramble to show what my piece might look like...

Here's how ArtPrize works...
It's very interestingly run.
Artists sign up to the website with their proposed idea (not necessarily finished).
Venues sign up, announcing they'd like to host some art.
Artists and venues approach each other, and when they'd like to team up, sign a contract.
When a registered artist signs up with a registered venue, you're officially entered!
Any type of venue can take part from museums to tatoo parlors, as can any type of artist (with or without tatoos).
The public sees the art on display all around the city and they vote for their favorites.

There will also be some additional prizes awarded by sponsors instead of voted on by the public, but the $450,000 put up by the organizer is divided up between the top ten winners, publicly voted on, with a top prize of $250,000!

My entry...
My Sumo Wrestling Toads form the centerpiece of my entry, called 'Amphibian Struggle'.
You can see my public profile on the ArtPrize website by clicking HERE.
There'll be a video looping near the bronzes, which includes over 100 cartoon frogs I drew on my iPhone with the brushes app, amongst other things.

It's an expensive proposition- casting, crating and sending bronzes around, so luckily I was able to enlist the help of Peter Wright.
He has been responsible for assuming the financial burden of some of my larger, usually more esoteric pieces.
Once the sculpting is finished, he takes them from my sculpting table to the foundry, and on through the production cycle in exchange for a share of the profits.

I can safely say I wouldn't have enjoyed such an immediate and thorough immersion into the sculpture community had I not been lucky enough to partner up with Peter very early on.
So lucky for me he's paying for the costs incurred to enter, and so if I win any prize money, he's getting half the winnings! There'd be a slight variation if I won first prize...

My pledge...
If I win the $250,000 first prize, since my theme is the struggle amphibians face to survive, I'll be donating $50,000 off the top to Amphibian Ark. Peter and I will have to make do with half each of what's left!
Amphibian Ark are an organization dedicated to saving as many species of amphibians from extinction as possible.
Amphibians are currently facing more threats than they can handle, and while plenty of species have us to thank for their impending doom, ironically we are also their best and only hope for survival.

And that's what Amphibian Ark are dedicated to doing, by providing captive breeding programs for species who can't currently survive in the wild, until whatever threat facing them passes.

$50,000 is their estimated cost to save a single species, so I'll give them that much to throw my lot in with others working to save the yellow legged frog of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

So if you're in Grand Rapids, Michigan, between Sept 23 and Oct 10, why not pop on over to the public museum and check out my entry.
By all means vote for it too, if you'd like!

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille


Paul Coventry-Brown said...

The Sumo Toads look amazing!!!!! Great work Steve :-)
Good luck for that prize money!


Claudia Hammer a Painting a day said...

I love the Sumo toads! I hope you win! Great work.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

the Sumo Toads are fantastic!
Wish I could vote. Best of luck, Steve, I love what you're doing.