ArtPrize Final 20 artist: ‘It’s all about the people’

ArtPrize Nine, A. Lincoln, Richard Schlatter
"A. Lincoln" by Richard Schlatter, displayed at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel during ArtPrize Nine. (Sept. 22, 2017)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Battle Creek artist behind a mosaic made of pennies has special plans for the money, if he wins ArtPrize Nine.

Richard Schlatter says he spent 465 hours over about four months creating his piece, “A. Lincoln,” which hangs in the lobby of the Amway Grand Plaza hotel.

The 96-square-foot portrait comprised of 24,000 pennies made it into the public’s Final 20, but got mixed reviews from art critics during Monday night’s “Why These Finalists?”

Schlatter told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday the critics opinions don’t really matter to him.

“It’s all about the people. And the response that I’ve gotten, it’s overwhelming. And I feel that if you can create a piece of art, no matter what it is, if you can connect and draw people in… that’s what it is for me. The art critics can say what they want to say, but if I’ve created something that people enjoy and connect with, then I feel it’s a success,” he said.

>>Inside woodtv.com: ArtPrize Nine Final 20 | ArtPrize Nine Juried Shortlist

Schlatter said if he wins ArtPrize Nine, he would like to donate a portion of his prize to “Safe Place,” which is a Battle Creek organization that helps women who are victims of domestic violence.

Find out who will take the top honors at 7:30 p.m. Friday, during the ArtPrize Awards show on WOOD TV8 and woodtv.com.

>>Photos: ArtPrize Nine Final 20