How winning ArtPrize changed artist’s life

ArtPrize Eight, Stacey Kirby
Stacey Kirby, who won the juried award grand prize at ArtPrize Eight, speaks with 24 Hour News 8's Marlee Ginter on #the7on8 on Sept. 19, 2017.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One year after she walked away from ArtPrize Eight with $200,000, Stacey Kirby’s life is different.

“This was a huge transformative year for me, and I want to embrace taking this work nationally and internationally someday,” she told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.

Kirby’s ArtPrize Eight entry, The Bureau of Personal Belonging, was an interactive performance piece that explored controversial topics such as identity, transgender rights and same-sex marriage.

Since winning the juried award grand prize, she has quit her job to become a full-time artist.

Kirby said the first thing she did when she got home to Durham, North Carolina, is go skydiving with some friends.

“I was just riding the ArtPrize high,” she said.

She also gave portions of her prize to groups that contributed to the project. That included Equality NC, a North Carolina-based organization that works to secure rights for the LGBT community, and the Grand Rapids Pride Center.

For ArtPrize Nine, Kirby will have a mini-installation at the ArtPrize HUB as part of the STEAM Village that will include a virtual reality element so visitors can walk through last year’s winning piece.

“Take care of yourself through this process,” she advised this year’s artists. “Enjoy the connections with people that you are making. That is what ArtPrize is all about.”

==Above, hear more from Kirby’s live interview on #the7on8.==

ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition, starts Wednesday and runs through Oct. 8.

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