Entry: “End of Watch”, 2D
Artist: (Luis) Arturo Araujo, 29 years old
Hometown: Originally from the Dominican Republic, grew up in Grand Rapids since he was 10 years old
Venue: Behind the windows of the Grand Rapids Police Department hangs Arturo Araujo’s pencil drawing of Eric Zapata, a Kalamazoo police officer who died in 2011.
Inspiration: Araujo is paying tribute to not only Eric, but all police officers. His brother, Alex Araujo, also a Kalamazoo policeman, worked with Eric and was only two minutes away from Eric when he was shot and killed by a civilian.
“If you get really close you can see all the pencil strokes,” said Arturo. The drawing took around four months to complete after studying around fifteen pictures of Eric for six months. “I worked very closely with his mother to get this piece done. I wanted an image that she’s never seen before…(so I) created a brand new picture of Eric.”
Arturo is honoring Eric, Alex, and all police officers.
“My message is [to] please help change (the) mind of a child that doesn’t think the world of a police officer. People need to understand what sacrifices police officers are making for us every day.”
Arturo thinks that the public is responding very well to his piece. Not only is it impressive in its artistry, but the message speaks loud and clear.
“I think with it being at the Police Department, it’s such a nice venue for such an appropriate message,” Arturo said.
When asked what he would do if he won ArtPrize, Arturo said that he would probably take a vacation, and then sit down and think about all of it.
Compiled by Kayla Tucker, A&E/Features Editor