ArtPrize grand prize recipients talk big wins

Left: "Northwood Awakening" by Loveless PhotoFiber. Right, courteys Higher Ground by Kate Gilmore.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The grand prize winners of ArtPrize Seven joined 24 Hour News 8 after their big wins Friday night to talk about their work and what’s next for them.


Husband and wife team Steven and Ann Loveless of Frankfort, Mich. won the $200,000 public vote grand prize for “Northwood Awakening.” It’s a 25-foot long, five-foot tall textile and photographic print blend that shows a forest scene.

"Northwood Awakening" by Steve and Ann Loveless (Oct. 2, 2015)
(“Northwood Awakening” by Steve and Ann Loveless.)

“We just kind of had an idea to actually merge the medium of photography and her medium of textiles together, something that we’d done a very limited scale in the past, but wanted to work on something on a larger piece and present something we hope was new for a lot of people to enjoy,” Steven Loveless told 24 Hour News 8 after his big win.

The pair is the first team to win ArtPrize Seven, and it was also Ann Loveless’s second win. She won the public vote grand prize during ArtPrize 2013 for a textile piece called “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.” She is the only person to have won the ArtPrize grand prize twice and has now netted a total of $400,000 from the world’s largest art competition.

“My win two years ago, it pushes you as an artist to step it up,” she said. “So if you’re going to come back, you need something a little unique and different. So if I came back in two years, I would have to do some brainstorming and come up with something new and different.”

Since her 2013 win, her gallery in Beulah, Mich., called State of the Art, has become a bit of a destination. She and her husband expect the second win will encourage that.

>>Inside Complete list of winners

For other artists considering entering ArtPrize, Steven Loveless had this advice: “Just explore yourself, your inner self, your creative self, and think about what you want to communicate, what you’d like to articulate to the public and go for it.”

The Lovelesses can’t compete as a team next year under ArtPrize rules, though they could compete separately. Steven Loveless said he wasn’t planning to do that.


Kate Gilmore will take home the $200,000 juried grand prize for her entry Higher Ground, which was displayed at SiTE:LAB. One juror described it as “the most ambitious piece in all of ArtPrize.”

SiTE:LAB, a perennial favorite of ArtPrize jurors, was on Rumsey Street this year in houses provided by Habitat for Humanity.

“I heard there was this house that used to house nuns … so I was like, yes, that’s the place,” Gilmore told 24 Hour News 8.

In her piece, women wearing white dresses perform on swings inside a house painted pink on the outside and red on the inside.

"Higher Ground" is New York native Kate Gilmore's second entry into ArtPrize. (2015 photo, ArtPrize)
(Higher Ground by Kate Gilmore.)

“I wanted to do something that sort of spoke to the people who used to live there and the community, and there are people who are very attached to these places in that area,” Gilmore said. “So I wanted t somehow talk about the architecture of the space and the people who used to live there and the community that would be going back and forth and seeing it.”

She said the goal of her piece was to “reference a memory or speak to the people who were there.”

>>Photos: The winners of ArtPrize Seven



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