Several top ArtPrize Eight entries address social issues

We've reached a critical moment for the international competition known as ArtPrize.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - While thousands of people take in hundreds of entries during ArtPrize Eight, some artists are using the internationally recognized competition as a podium to push social causes.

One popular theme that arose among the Top 20 public vote finalists: poverty.

Displayed at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, 3-D finalist "One Thousand Shacks" explores the many faces of the 1.5 billion poverty-stricken people.

"Emoh", a time-based finalist, highlights homelessness in America. The artist Loren Naji stated on his biography page that if he wins ArtPrize, he “will donate $20,000 to homeless charities in Michigan and Detroit.”

ArtPrize Eight: See public's favorite 20 entries

ArtPrize Eight: See jury's favorite 20 entries

Naji has lived inside his sculptural display throughout the duration of ArtPrize.

Allison Legih Smith and Bryce Pettit's entry, "The Butterfly effect," gained recognition in the installation category. Their piece is meant to raise awareness about the decline in the monarch butterfly population.

"We hand out milkweed at our installation," said Smith, adding it's "a message of plant this and help the monarch butterfly numbers come back."

(© 2016 WZZM)


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