Past ArtPrize winners reflect on life after competition

LEFT: "Intersections" by Anila Agha. TOP RIGHT: "Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore" by Ann Loveless. BOTTOM RIGHT: "Northwood Awakening" by Ann and Steve Loveless.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — ArtPrize attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, but what’s life like for artists after they win the international art competition?

Grand prize winners from 2013, 2014, and 2015 told 24 Hour News 8 they have stayed busy.

“Northwood Awakening,” the 2015 winning entry of the $200,000 public vote grand prize, is on display inside of the ArtPrize headquarters. Artists Ann and Steve Loveless created the entry.

Steven and Ann Loveless after winning the ArtPrize Seven public vote grand prize. (Oct. 9, 2015)
Steven and Ann Loveless after winning the ArtPrize Seven public vote grand prize. (Oct. 9, 2015)

“We’re delighted how much it benefits the entire community, the town of Beulah,” said Steve. “People come to town and they kind of hang around and shop other stores. And many people who’ve never been up north.”

The couple says sales are “very, very good” and they’re getting lots of requests for work.

Ann Loveless also won ArtPrize in 2013 for her textile piece “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.” She is the first and last artist to ever win the grand prize twice due to a rule change enforced this year preventing repeat winners.

>>PHOTOS: ArtPrize Eight Final 20

Anila Agha, who won the 2014 public vote grand prize and tied for the juried grand prize for her installation “Intersections,” also talked to 24 Hour News 8 about her career since ArtPrize.

She said she’s made a number of new pieces and is busy preparing to put on a large New York art show.

“I have made so much work and have been so busy I can barely have time to scratch my head,” she joked.

LEFT: "Intersections" by Anila Agha. TOP RIGHT: "Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore" by Ann Loveless. BOTTOM RIGHT: "Northwood Awakening" by Ann and Steve Loveless.
LEFT: “Intersections” by Anila Agha. TOP RIGHT: “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore” by Ann Loveless. BOTTOM RIGHT: “Northwood Awakening” by Ann and Steve Loveless.

As for her $300,000 winnings, she explained that the money went directly back into her business.

“I made about nine sculptures this year. I’ve made a lot of work,” Agha said.

“Basically, your city’s wonderful contribution to my artwork is kind of gone,” she added.

Her winning entry is currently being displayed in Massachusetts.

The ArtPrize Eight awards will be announced Friday. There will be a WOOD TV watch party Friday at Rosa Parks Circle starting at 5 p.m.

The awards ceremony will then be streamed live on woodtv.com and on WOOD TV at 7 p.m.