ArtPrize Eight artist Joshua Moore: “Copper Ghosts” and class miners

ArtPrize Eight artist Joshua Moore: “Copper Ghosts” and class miners

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Close-up of a painting from "Copper Ghosts" by Joshua Moore.

By Jordyn Horton – Collegiate Staff

Joshua Moore, 32, is a full-time painter from Lansing.

Moore’s ArtPrize entry is titled “Copper Ghosts” and is located in the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Avenue NW.

“Copper Ghosts,” is a collection of paintings, specifically oil paint on stretched canvas.

“All together it’s about two years worth of work to do all the paintings,” Moore said. “Some are a lot quicker than others.”

Working class miners don’t usually get shown in the art world, so Moore wanted to highlight that in his piece.

“I think what people like about my piece is that it tells a story and it’s about the culture here in Michigan,” Moore said. “With all the works I do try and concentrate on something that doesn’t necessarily get shown in the art world and so this time it was more of like the working class miners.”

Moore said “Copper Ghosts” was inspired by his grandpa.

“My grandpa always told me about the mining up in the UP and he was a sailor on the lakes and so he loved Michigan’s history and I think it wore off on me,” Moore said.

“I took a trip up to the UP so I had a lot of great photo references and learned all about their history up there,” Moore said.

Moore starts the process of creating his oil paintings by stretching canvas across stretcher bars he makes himself out of lumber. Once the painting is finished, he makes his own frames. Moore makes his own stretcher bars and frames, because it allows him to have more control over the process of making his paintings.

Moore hopes to sell or give away his paintings after ArtPrize.  

“Some have sold and I’m hoping that especially the ones of the miners that I can find someone to donate to, a mining museum or a historical museum,” Moore said. “It really brings it to life so especially for kids to see it, I think it’s better than some old black and white photo.”

This isn’t Moore’s first ArtPrize, and he plans on participating in the future.

“My next piece I think will be both progressive and I think cooler, and also a part of Michigan’s history,” Moore said.

“For artists, it’s the world’s largest art competition. So I think a lot of artists feel like that’s something they would like to have on their resume and be able to tell people that they won the world’s largest art competition,” Moore said. “Just entering it is an honor in itself because there are so few artists at a time and there’s only so much room for everyone.”

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