Art Rapids! Wins State Grant to Expand Walk of Art
Art Rapids!, the Elk Rapids arts organization, received a wonderful Christmas present in the form of a $3,750 Michigan state arts grant for the “Walk of Art” sculpture exhibition in Antrim County’s Elk Rapids Day Park on South Bayshore Drive.
Art Rapids! is one of nine organizations in District 10 to share $24,900 in mini-grant funds made available through the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and administered by the NorthSky Nonprofit Network.
Walk of Art Chairperson Sherri DeCamp says the grant is a most welcome gift making it possible to expand the exhibit from six to sixteen sculptures in 2014. “During its first year, Walk of Art was enjoyed by many visitors and received numerous accolades. We didn’t know what to expect when we announced our call for artists at the end of the summer; but we were very pleased to receive several excellent applications from noteworthy artists. Because we help cover the cost of installation and also provide a small stipend to each participating artist to help defray the cost of production and transportation, these grant funds are critical to sustaining the program.”
Walk of Art Gains Ten New Sculptures
The Walk of Art Sculpture exhibit debuted in the Antrim County-owned Elk Rapids Day Park last summer with six sculptures. The display will more than double in size this spring with the addition of ten new works of art selected by Walk of Art jurors Paul Welch and Del Michel.
The new sculptures represent a variety of media including steel, wood, and resin, with artists hailing from New York, Chicago, and throughout the state. Works created by the following artists will be installed in May.
Maureen Gray, Interlochen, MI
Timekeeper, Painted Steel
Maureen Gray is represented by numerous midwestern galleries and exhibits her work widely. Her outdoor sculptures have been displayed most recently in Frankenmuth, Lansing, and Chelsea, Michigan. Gray’s steel sculpture for Walk of Art is an abstraction inspired by crop circle formations in the UK. Says Gray, “Crop circles have held my interest for years; they represent the unknown, unexpected and unexplainable aspects of living.”
Dace Koenigsknecht, St. John’s, MI
Golden Canopy, Painted Steel
Dace Koenigsknecht is the son of an artist and master metal smith. He says it was inevitable that metal would become his medium. Dace creates both functional and artistic metal pieces. “The intellectual exercise and challenge is motivating, and the craftsmanship of handwork is very rewarding. I enjoy creating unique objects that are used or encourage interaction.” Koenigsknecht describes his steel structure for Walk of Art as a celebration of the woods and creeks of Michigan. “It’s bright and cheerful, with imagery depicting foliage and flowing water. Ribbons add movement and enhance the overall visual appeal.”
David Greenwood, Grand Rapids, MI
Seedpod 10, Unpainted Steel
David Greenwood is a well-known Michigan sculptor and member of the faculty of Sculpture & Functional Art at Kendall College of Art and Design. He is the recipient of numerous honors and grants including four Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs grants and three Fulbright grants for research and teaching abroad. He has exhibited his work widely in the USA and internationally. Greenwood's sculpture for Walk of Art is based on abstracted/invented seedpods, which he collects during his travels. He says, "Art-making is a journey inward to discover what is both uniquely personal and universally human.”
Bart Ingraham, Suttons Bay, MI
The Lotus, Wood Carving
Bart Ingraham lives and works in Suttons Bay, Michigan, where he owns Bellwether Gardens with his wife. His interest in carving started when as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines he saw woodcarvings created by mountain tribes. Ingraham carves both wood and stone; his work has been juried into many shows and is represented in local galleries and at Bellwether Gardens. “The Lotus” is Ingraham’s second sculpture at Walk of Art, joining “The Dancers” installed in 2013.
David Petrakovitz, Cadillac, MI
Seek Alternate Route, Painted Steel
Growing up in Detroit, David Petrakovitz developed an interest in early industrial forms. He works to humanize the technology in our lives by making sculptures suggestive of industry but softened with figurative gestures. Petrakovitz says, “My main focus recently has been on fabricating objects of cut and hammered sheet steel or bronze, then welded into three-dimensional forms. I frequently combine forms of different materials for variety and impact.” Petrakovitz studied at Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies.
Sam Soet, Farwell, MI
Aspen Walker, Carved Wood
Sam Soet is a subtractive wood sculptor from central Michigan. Soet studied fine art at Ball State University and spent a summer learning the art of wood sculpture from master sculptor Leslie Scruggs. Sam works primarily in subtractive wood sculpture using gouges, rasps, chainsaws, grinders, sandpaper, and other woodworking tools. His work is heavily inspired by the lines, forms, and movements of nature. Soet has another piece called “Hardwoods” on display in the Walk of Art exhibit.
Dave VandeVusse, Manistee, MI
Sun Over the Red Sea, Painted steel
Dave VandeVusse has been making mobiles for forty years. He was so inspired by the sight of a Calder mobile he saw while in graduate school that he was compelled to learn to make mobiles and stabiles himself. He studied all sorts of mobiles wherever he came across them, but remains a true fan of the Calder style. Says VandeVusse “I feel sculptures should brighten people's lives. For me, a good sculpture is one that brings a smile to a person's face when they first look at it. Any sculpture that needs to be explained falls into the same category as a joke that needs to be explained.”
Ray Katz, Pontiac, MI
Sentinel, Unpainted steel
Ray Katz became interested in art while serving in the United States Air Force. After the military, he attended Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts and Eastern Michigan University where he received his BFA. He earned his MFA in sculpture and drawing from Wayne State University. Currently Katz is a Professor of Art at the Auburn Hills, Michigan, Campus of Oakland Community College. Katz has exhibited his sculpture in Japan, France, and throughout the United States. His abstract works are represented in private, corporate and institutional collections. Katz is interested in public sculpture noting, “I believe that public art transforms the way people look at visual phenomena in their environment. Whatever its form, public art attracts attention and affects peoples attitude toward their surroundings and often stimulates an exchange of ideas that can be enriching emotionally, intellectually and aesthetically.”
Margot McMahon, Oak Park, IL
Margot McMahon’s sculptures, drawings, and videos interpret her environmental vision of the interdependence of life forms in nature. Margot fuses human, plant and animal forms into unique sculptural statements that are inspired by familiar natural forms reinvented into a unique visual vocabulary. Her sculptures have been collected throughout the United States, Japan, England and France and the Smithsonian’s Portrait Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago History Museum, Yale University, DePaul University, St. Patrick’s Church, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Soka Gakkai International.
Molly Dilworth, New York, NY
36 Degrees 30’, Textile
In 2012, Dilworth was commissioned to create a banner for Manhattan’s World Financial Center Plaza. The banner was done as part of an exhibit Dilworth created titled “36o 30’,” The name comes from the latitudinal circle that divides the globe into north and south, the same circle that was used to draw the U.S. Mason-Dixon Line. The composition is constructed from visual references to global trade and labor, with imagery inspired by quilt designs. Dilworth studied at the University of Washington in Seattle and received a MFA in Studio art from New York University. Dilworth says she is interested in things that invisibly influence us. “I’m generally interested in things that invisibly effect our daily lives – technology, the natural world, cultural codes – painting is a great tool for making these forces visible.”
Dilworth has donated the banner to Art Rapids! for a special, three-month exhibit in connection with the Walk of Art Sculpture Park.
Walk of Art is a permanent sculpture park with a rotating exhibit of works, organized and developed by Art Rapids! in cooperation with Antrim County. The exhibit will include up to 30 sculptures, with each piece on display for three years; most are for sale. The project is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Walk of Art is open year-round to pedestrians; a parking area is accessible May-October. More information about each sculpture in the park and exhibiting artists is available online at www.ArtRapids.org.
Since its founding in 2005, Art Rapids! has attracted thousands of visitors to the community for its annual art shows and free summer concerts, and has provided over $60,000 for scholarships, arts grants, community gifts, and awards to artists.