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Ferris, Kendall Announce Long-Term Commitment to ArtPrize, Celebrates Awards

David Eisler and David RosenGRAND RAPIDS - David Rosen, president of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, today announced the college has made a significant, long-term commitment to ArtPrize, including exclusive sponsorship of the ArtPrize Juried Grand Prize for the next five years.

Additionally, the college will commit to being an ArtPrize Exhibition Center and Premier Leadership Sponsor through 2017. Rosen made the announcement during the 2012 ArtPrize Awards ceremony, just prior to presenting the Juried Grand Prize.

“Kendall College of Art and Design commends ArtPrize for the opportunities it presents our city. Much like Kendall, ArtPrize gives voice to the creative spirit made real through the culture of art and design that defines this community,” said Dr. Rosen. “We are grateful for the invitation to participate as an Exhibition Center, and for the opportunities this international event provides for celebrating the art of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

ArtPrize annually presents presents six juried awards, including a $100,000 Juried Grand Prize, new to 2012, which is selected by a panel of three judges. A single juror, with the help of local professionals, decides five additional category awards, valued at $20,000 each.

Rosen, who most recently served as vice president at Woodbury College in Burbank, Calif., continued, “I came here not just for a job, but for life in a community filled with the traditions of art and design, a community driven by the engine of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. On behalf of all artists and on behalf of our community and on behalf of Kendall, which has taught and cultivated the best in art and design for nearly a century, I applaud ArtPrize’s achievements.”

Rosen thanked ArtPrize organizers for their visionary concept for ArtPrize, saying, “You prove to the world what an extraordinary community this is.”

In addition to the sponsorship announcement, Kendall celebrated one of its own among the night’s winners.

SiTE:LAB, curated by Kendall professor Paul Amenta, was awarded the juried award for Outstanding Venue for their installation at 54 Jefferson Ave., the former home of the Public Museum of Grand Rapids.

Kendall also enjoyed recognition on several juror’s short lists.

“Disabilities and Sexuality” by Robert Coombs was chosen as a Two-Dimensional Award finalist by juror Tyler Green. Coombs, a C4-5 quadriplegic, is a senior photography major at Kendall. Coombs’ striking black and white photography was the only student entry to be recognized by the ArtPrize jurors. He exhibited at Fountain Street Church.

Several pieces in Kendall’s Role/Play exhibition received recognition as well.

“Mr. Weekend” by Mike Simi of Seattle, Wash., was selected as both a Three- Dimensional Award finalist by juror Lisa Freiman, and as a finalist in the Time-Based and Performance category by juror Cathy Edwards. When informed of this recognition, the 15-foot-tall talking sock puppet remarked, “Art has changed my life.”

Edwards also placed “Whole” by Hillerbrand + Magsamen of Houston, Texas, on her short list. On this epic adventure, a family cuts holes into their actual home to make a habitrail-like environment where they go nowhere fast.

Finally, earning a berth on the public’s top 25 list was “Plexus No. 18” by Gabriel Dawe, a Houston-based textile artist who creates colorful site-specific installations using vivid gradients of suspended thread.

Kendall extends its most sincere congratulations to all the participants and winners in ArtPrize 2012. Kendall also extends its gratitude to the hundreds of volunteers who dedicated thousands of hours to making ArtPrize such an extraordinary event for Kendall, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids and beyond.

As a unique part of Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design prepares students for leadership in the visual arts, design, art history, and art education; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity; and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally.