By Andy McDonald – Collegiate Staff
Ruben Llano, 48, of Columbia is participating in ArtPrize for the third time this year.
Llano’s art is a 3D piece that he says, is a painting that becomes a sculpture. It’s a lot like his piece from previous years,“Elephant,” a piece Llano did for his love of animals. He was inspired to make this piece because animals have always been a big part of his life, and he wanted to make something more of the black and white color. He said the background colors of orange and the sunset colors represent the atmosphere of Africa.
Llano said it was hard to think about all of the competition in ArtPrize every year. “You always do the best work you can possibly do, so at least you get your name out there to the public,” Llano said.
Llano hopes that everyone can get something from his piece, but his target audience is little kids and their moms. Llano talked about how little kids and their mothers would walk by and their eyes would light up.
“When you get to see the excitement on their faces and they’re eyes light up, it’s kind of the cool part of my piece,” Llano said. While every artist has their own difficulties creating their piece, Llano had to deal with a recent shoulder surgery. After surgery in April, he was only painting with one arm.
If Llano wins, he plans to take the money and build a water well in Africa in a town he used to visit. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the community would be able to visit that well every single day, instead of walking miles to get water from somewhere else.
Llano’s piece “Zebras” can be found right outside the front entrance of DeVos Place.