By Sean P. Mullhall-Editor -in-Cheif
While one Grand Rapids Community College student won the 2D public vote in ArtPrize, there was another student just down the hall at DeVos Convention Center, that caught the eye of some curators.
Jonathan D. Lopez, Photo Editor for The Collegiate, has participated in ArtPrize for the last two years. This year, his work was selected for two curator’s lists by Joel Zwart, Calvin College Gallery Curator, and Nathan Kemler, Curator of Collections Management at Grand Valley State University.
If making two curator’s lists is not enough, Lopez’ photo made the cover of the Grand Rapids 2014-15 Gallery Guide. He entered Grand Rapids Community College’s Photography Department, thinking it would make him a better animator.
“In 2009, I took it up as a career interest,” Lopez said. “It’s simpler than animation. You can hone in on one point in time.”
Besides photo assignments, a claymation video, forced writing assignments fixing his new truck, Lopez also gets up at 3 a.m. everyday to make bagels for Bagel Beanery.
‘I’m not Myself,’ Lopez’s 2014 ArtPrize entry was a change in direction for his art. For someone who says they are not comfortable in their own skin, a series of self-portraits might seem like an odd choice for a project, but Lopez decided to try something new.
He told students from Ferris State University in an interview about the trans- formation that he experienced last year and revealed that he likes to bring joy to people, but make them uncomfortable at the same time. He likes to throw people off-guard.
“Personally, I like to create an image that makes people laugh, but at the same time, cringe,” Lopez said in that interview. “My signature is the slightly twisted, but at the same time, pretty hilarious.”
Lopez said, he creates his art to amuse himself and others.
“Allowing yourself to suffer through the boredom of life allows your brain to focus in on the creative side,” Lopez said. “Because you have to fill in that void of daily humdrum.”