Kate Gilmore Wins ArtPrize’s $200,000 Juried Award

A hot-pink former convent was the stage for Gilmore's swinging performers.

Kate Gilmore, Higher Ground, at Art Prize 2015. Photo: Neil Blake, courtesy Michigan Live.

The two $200,000 grand prize winners of the seventh annual ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are artist Kate Gilmore, chosen by the expert jury, and husband and wife duo Loveless PhotoFiber, the people’s choice. Steve and Ann Loveless become the first artist team to win the public prize, while Ann is the first repeat champion, having originally won the prize in 2013.

“I’m happy to have some money,” Gilmore told Michigan Live.

Gilmore’s installation, Higher Ground, was part of Rumsey Street Project, an urban redevelopment project from Habitat for Humanity and SiTE:LAB, a repeat winner of ArtPrize’s best venue award. SiTE:LAB converted a number of abandoned properties, slated to become affordable housing, into art installations.

Kate Gilmore's installation at Site:Lab

Kate Gilmore’s installation at Site:Lab
Image: Courtesy ArtPrize

The windows of the Higher Ground home—a former convent painted hot pink—became a stage for female performers in long white dresses perched atop fire-engine red swings suspended from the ceiling. Juror Dan Cameron, founder of Prospect New Orleans, described the resulting work as “really kind of magical” in a statement.

The jury also recognized five additional entries in the categories of two- and three-dimensional art, time-based work, installation, and outstanding venue, the latter again going to SiTE:LAB, now a four-time honoree at the annual competition.

Ann and Steven Loveless, <em>Northwood Awakening</em>, at Art Prize 2015. Photo: Cory Morse, courtesy Michigan Live.

Ann and Steven Loveless, Northwood Awakening, at ArtPrize 2015.
Photo: Cory Morse, courtesy Michigan Live.

The Loveless’s Northwood Awakenings, on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, was selected through 422,763 votes; the duo created a new hybrid art form that they call PhotoFiber. The resulting work begins as a photograph, and blends in quilting elements along its length until it becomes an entirely textile work at the other end.

After her first win, for her quilt quilt Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore, Loveless had to take a year off as per contest rules. In her absence, artist Anila Quayyum Agha snagged both the public and juried prizes in 2014, splitting the latter with artist Sonya Clark.

Here is the full list of ArtPrize winners for 2015:


($200,000 winner) Northwood Awakening at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Loveless PhotoFiber from Frankfort, Michigan
michigan petoskey stone at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Randall Libby from Manistee, Michigan
Triple Play at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Anni Crouter from Flint, Michigan (Crouter won the second place $75,000 public vote award in 2013)
In a Promised Land… at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Shawn Michael Warren from Harvey, Illinois
As Above at Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Judith Braun from New York, New York

($12,500 winner) Greatest Generation/Beta Team/November at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Fred Cogelow from Willmar, Minnesota
MAYA 7624 at Kendall College of Art & Design/Fed Galleries at KCAD, by Seungmo Park from New Jersey City, New Jersey
Seasons at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Robin Protz from New Hartford, Connecticut, (Protz won the seventh place $5,000 public vote award in 2013)
The Race at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Kurt Swanson from Grand Rapids, Michigan
Rolling Down at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Kroeze Krew from Grand Rapids, Michigan

($12,500 winner) REACH and SPLASH at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Andy Sacksteder from Port Clinton, Ohio (Sacksteder won the third place $50,000 public vote award in 2013)
TIME & AGAIN Grand Rapids at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Midge Bolt from Pepin, Wisconsin and Doreen Gunnink from Kentwood, Michigan
Balancing Act at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Calvin Babich from Toledo, Ohio
SENSI at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Gianluca Traina from Ventimiglia de Sicilia, Italy
The Grand Rapid Tape Drawing at TowerPinkster: Architects|Engineers, by the Tape Art Crew from Providence, Rhode Island

($12,500 winner) Whisper at 250 Monroe, by Emily Kennerk from Zionsville, Indiana
BREAKTHROUGH at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Breakthrough Team from Ada, Michigan
Hometown Hero at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, by Pamela Alderman from Grand Rapids, Michigan
Symphony of Gestures at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, by Sara Dittrich and Benjamin Buchanan from Baltimore, Maryland
Movement at Grand Rapids Public Museum, by Craig Merchant from Wyoming, Michigan


Two-Dimensional: The Fearless Brother Project Presents: Realistic Neglects — A Graphic Series by Monroe O’Bryant
Three-Dimensional: The Last Supper by Julie Green
Time-Based: That Was Then by Prince Thomas
Installation: In Our Element by Ruben Ubiera
Outstanding Venue: SiTE:LAB / The Rumsey Street Project

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