Now in its third year, Legacy Trust and Artists Creating Together have co-sponsored this annual statewide spring art competition for adult artists with disabilities in an effort to bring their voices and vision to ArtPrize. A panel of local celebrity judges chose one of this year's winners while two were selected by public vote. In addition to showing their work during ArtPrize 2012 as part of the LTAC, the artists also received a cash prize.
The three recipients of top honors in the Legacy Trust Award Collection are:
• Lane C. Cooper, whose piece “Dining on the Grand” is a three-dimensional sculpture created with recycled materials. Cooper got the inspiration for the piece while he enjoyed a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants in the Amway Grand Plaza. “Dining on the Grand” uses silverware to tell the story of a fish living in the local Grand River as hungry people look over the river, eating in one of the many downtown restaurants. The sculpture is composed of 403 spoons (creating fish scales), 15 knife blades (for the tail) and 236 forks (forming the waterfall). Cooper, originally from Ludington and now a resident of Freeport, was in a severe car accident in 2003 that left him with a closed-head injury. In order to cope with violent headaches, he used his talents with welding to create sculptures. He has won awards at Festival for his artwork and was also one of the top vote-getters in the 2010 LTAC competition. He also sells his pieces through his Freeport business.
• David Chupp, whose piece “Formosa Arena” (meaning 'pretty dirt' or 'beautiful sand') is an intricate two-paneled sand painting. Chupp strives to make statements about life in his artwork, and this piece reflects his childhood and adolescence as part of an outdoorsy family in West Michigan. A resident of Kentwood, Chupp has been creating art since he was a teenager. He was introduced to the Navajo art of sand painting while on vacation in New Mexico and was inspired to begin working with sand as an art medium. Ten years ago, he suffered a closed-head injury in an accident that occurred while he was fixing a tractor. Chupp has had to overcome several challenges that resulted from his brain injury, including the loss of his photographic memory. One thing that did not change, however, was his love of art. Today he is a full-time artist working primarily in acrylic, sand painting and sand sculptures. His sand paintings usually use about eight to 10 layers of sand, which result in astonishing works of detailed scenery.
• Leanne VandenBos, whose piece “Honoring my Special Friends” is a mixed-media collage painting that is a tribute to her dog, Bilbo Baggins, who died two years ago. The work features a collage of eight drawings of Baggins and one large drawing of her current dog, Rosie. VandenBos utilized watercolors, glitter watercolors, pastels and chalk to create the drawings. The Grand Rapids resident, who has learning and developmental disabilities, has been expanding her experience as an artist through her involvement with Artist Creating Together, or ACT, over the past six years. VandenBos began participating in ACT art classes through her Kent Vocation Options School in Grand Rapids. Since graduating, she has continued as a participant in ACT’s graduated art adult classes and as a volunteer. She also takes private lessons with a local professional artist to further hone her skill. She enjoys all mediums of visual art, however, her work focuses primarily on painting.
“We look forward to sharing the work of these talented artists with the public during ArtPrize,” said Bill Walker, CEO and president of Legacy Trust. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Amway Grand Plaza as our venue this year. This is a great location that will allow us to display this exceptional artwork to a wide audience of Grand Rapids residents and area visitors, and, we hope, will encourage them to vote for these works during the competition.”
All ArtPrize venues are open for public viewing beginning on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. In addition to the LTAC artists, the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel will host additional artists from around the state and country.
ArtPrize, an international art competition in Grand Rapids decided solely on a public vote, returns on Sept. 19-Oct. 7 for the fourth 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 Artists Creating Together
Artists Creating Together is a non-profit organization that brings children, youth and adults with disabilities together with artists, the arts and art projects. Formerly known as VSA/Very Special Arts, Artists Creating Together has been a part of the Kent County landscape since 1986. Today, Artists Creating Together helps more than 6,000 individuals from West and Northwest Michigan celebrate, succeed and grown with art. Since its inception, Artists Creating Together has benefitted more than 20,000 individuals with disabilities from throughout West Michigan. For more information, please find us on our website at www.artistscreatingtogether.org or call us at 616.885.5866.