Local artist in Grands Rapids show

Ashley Rafferty will have work on display at ArtPrize, an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days every other fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More than five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.

Any artist working in any medium from anywhere in the world can participate. Art is exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids—museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto body shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces. Artists and venues register for the competition then find each other through an online connections process in late spring. No one at ArtPrize selects a single artist or artwork, directs an artist where to show work or directs a venue what to show.

In 2018, 1,260+ works created by 1,400+ artists from 41 states and 40 countries will be exhibited in 165+ venues. This year’s event is Sept. 19-Oct. 7.

Rafferty’s piece, “Life’s Picnic,” is 16 feet long and 4 feet tall. She describes it on the ArtPrize websiteas:

“A visual diary of daily life over five years. Begun in May of 2013, this piece evolved over time into what it ultimately is today. The length of time was never intentional but rather a result of the business of life interrupting a constant consistent progress. Spans of time elapsed without a great deal of work being done due to being a mother to an only child, holidays, other activities requiring “more” time.”

My art and this piece were always put on the back burner and held on warm until I could pick the work back up again. Each picture or image within the piece is a reflection of what was occurring and important to me in my life at the time. The piece is meant to be read from right to left and ultimately end with a picnic and the crowned bird painting the last berry.”

“Life’s Picnic” will be on display at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown/Waters Center, 161 Ottawa Ave NW, starting next Wednesday, Sept. 19.

ArtPrize lets people from all over the world vote on the winners. You can vote for Rafferty at artprize.org/vote. Use Vote Code: 66747.