Out of 1,517 entries in 161 venues across 3 square miles, there is one installation that's causing quite a stir at Artprize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The world's largest art competition has just completed its first round of voting and listed in the top 10 is this incredible installation by mixed media artist Richard Morse called “Stick-to-it-ive-ness: Unwavering pertinacity; perseverance.” The first ArtPrize entry in the water since the inaugural event in 2009, the artwork consists of nine life-size horses made of dead apple trees making their way up the Grand River.
As Richard Morse states on Artprize's website, “The visual representation of horses running on the river's surface, symbolize the struggles and perseverance, the simple grace yet powerful attitude that everybody needs in difficult situations. The title came about as a life lesson: since surviving stage 4 cancer, I don't take life for granted anymore. As an artist, I challenge myself to create more of an impact among the others by transmitting a message inspired from the normal life of Mother Nature. To create something out of nothing pushes me more, so this is how it was born the idea of using fallen but sound branches, to bring nature back to life, to illustrate the struggle and drama that horse's must face, as they step into the unknown, under the water's surface. Together they are strong and support each other towards their goal to succeed. Passion for this project comes from my connection with the nature and love for wood. I hope my artwork will become a force of nature for others…”
Artprize is giving away a total of $560,000 in prizes. The overall grand prize winner will be decided on by the public and he or she will receive an astounding $200,000. Second round of voting began yesterday, September 30, and ends at 11:59 pm on Thursday, October 4th. Winners will be announced on Friday, October 5. (If we were gamblers, we'd put our money on the horses.)