For the second year, Legacy Trust and VSA Michigan-Grand Rapids have co-sponsored a statewide spring art competition for adult artists with disabilities in an effort to bring their voices and vision to ArtPrize. Winners Josh Andrus and Michael Johnson will showcase their work at Spectrum Hospital’s Meijer Health Center and Elaine Hoogeboom’s winning piece will be on display next door in the lobby of Butterworth Hospital.
The venues open for public viewing on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. In addition to the LTAC artists, both venues will host additional artists from around the state and country.
“We are pleased to have our artists at these terrific venues,” said William Walker, president and CEO of Legacy Trust. “The talent and passion displayed by these three artists in their work is amazing. Both of these venues offer an excellent opportunity for our artists to have their work prominently displayed to the community.
“Once again, it is wonderful to be able to support talented artists and to be a part of broadening the access of ArtPrize to include artists with disabilities. We encourage people to stop in and see the LTAC winners and vote for their favorite artwork.”
In late winter, Legacy Trust and VSA announced the second annual statewide art competition for adult artists with disabilities in an effort to create greater visibility and accessibility. A public vote in May determined the Legacy Trust Award Collection winners, who each received $500 in cash and support to promote their artwork during ArtPrize.
The three recipients of top honors in the Legacy Trust Award Collection are:
• Josh Andrus, who created “I Only Have Eyes for Blue,” an abstract painting of color. The 26-year-old Grand Rapids resident was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 6. While he developed language at age 4, his words were lost by the time he reached 20. He communicates by spelling out words on a letter board, which was how he first told his parents that he wanted to try his hand at painting. This is his first time entering ArtPrize.
• Elaine C. Hoogeboom, whose watercolor pencil drawing “Our Boys” is a series of portraiture-
• Michael Johnson, who created “Michigan Kids and Pets,” a painting of 19 area children with Down syndrome and their pets that illustrates caring, friendship and happiness. The Illinois resident, who was sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan, began painting nearly 20 years ago and has since completed more than 500 portraits of pets, children and houses. Entirely self-taught, he works in oils, acrylics and watercolors, using bright colors freely and naturally in his work. This is his second time to enter ArtPrize.
ArtPrize, an international art competition in Grand Rapids decided solely on a public vote, returns on Sept. 21-Oct. 9 for the third year. Part arts festival and part social dialogue, ArtPrize attracted submissions from more than 1,800 artists – and tens of thousands of supporters – from around the globe.
About Legacy Trust
Legacy Trust is an independent, locally owned, Michigan-chartered bank that specializes in providing investment and wealth-management services to individuals, families, foundations and non-profits in West Michigan. Legacy Trust delivers highly customized financial and investment solutions tailored to meet the unique situation of each client. For more information, visit us at www.legacygr.com.
About VSA Michigan-Grand Rapids
VSA Michigan–Grand Rapids promotes creative power in people with disabilities by providing access to and opportunities in the arts. VSA has been serving the children, youth and adults with disabilities in West Michigan since 1986 and serves more than 4,500 individuals each year. For more information, visit www.vsagr.org.
# # #
Sabo Public Relations is a full-service communications firm that provides media relations, employee communications, crisis management and litigation public relations to privately held and publicly traded companies.