ArtPrize Eight: GRCC’s Collins Art Gallery hosts 11 artists

ArtPrize Eight: GRCC’s Collins Art Gallery hosts 11 artists

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By Jordyn Horton – Collegiate Staff

Grand Rapids Community College’s Paul Collins Art Gallery is a venue for this year’s ArtPrize and features the artwork of 11 artists from around the world.

David Besteman, 26, is an artist living in Hudsonville. “Triptych #3,” is the title of his ArtPrize entry.

“Its called that because it’s third triptych I completed,” Besteman said.

A triptych is a set of three artistic pieces that relate to each other in some way, shape, or form.

Besteman said he used a black diamond edition Bic pen, a white acrylic pen, sandpaper, and regular paper to create his piece, which took him about 115 hours altogether.

“I have been working on this similar idea connecting clashing styles since college, but the idea to use the triptych as a narrative device is new,” Besteman said. “It came to me as I want to create work based on a paradoxical nature.”

Besteman used Jasper Johns’ number paintings as an example of using triptychs as a narrative.  Besteman explained that the number paintings are based on representing integers as an abstract and pop art, while creating a paradox at the same time. By using this example, Besteman was able to have an underlying connecting narrative even if he changed the medium and scale.

Besteman said his piece is for sale, but if he doesn’t sell it, he will keep it for future shows.

This was Besteman’s third time participating in ArtPrize.

“I have participated in ArtPrize twice before in 2013 and 2015, but GRCC is the best venue I have had so far,” Besteman said.

“I participated because it’s a great opportunity for artists to promote themselves, get their work out, and make connections,” Besteman said. “As an artist, a big part of your job is just advertising your work to create interest in it.”

In the future, Besteman hopes to make art his career, but for now it’s a hobby.

Kim Ensch, 59, is an artist from Belleville, Michigan. “Neck Of The Woods,” is the title of Ensch’s piece, also on display at GRCC.

“Neck Of The Woods,” is a piece that was created by using various mediums.

“I create layered paper and fiber collages,” Ensch said. “I hand stain/paint assorted papers like watercolor, rice, mulberry and fibers like cotton and wool. When dry, I tear or cut then glue onto a canvas layer by layer until the image emerges.”

Ensch said it took over 200 hours to create “Neck Of The Woods.” She said her work is inspired by things that catch her attention.  

“I overheard a statement in passing about wishing someone else would do something to make their community better,” Ensch said. “I thought to myself, ‘how could I communicate in a visual way that the answer requires the understanding/awareness of each and everyone that lives there to take a part in doing just that?’ The phrase, ‘Neck Of The Woods’ is a perfect title as it usually starts with the words, ‘my’ or ‘our’ hopefully making it personal and a great opportunity to try and create an emotional connection with the viewer.”

Ensch is not a stranger to the art competition. ArtPrize eight is Ensch’s fifth time participating in the competition, and she enjoys the chance to display her work.

“It is great exposure to share my artwork with thousand of viewers who are also interested in art and at a low cost for participating,” Ensch said.

The gallery also featured the artwork of Franklin Delgado, Lynn Bianchi, John Leben, Cheryl Hochberg, Alexis Duque, Jean Orians, Rema Varela, Ville Kansanen, and Jonathan D. Lopez.

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