Grand Rapids ArtPrize Includes Many Dog, Cat and Horse Art Entries

Photos and Descriptions Courtesy of ArtPrize

ArtPrize is underway in Grand Rapids and Pet Friends Magazine has found many entries that are cat, dog or horse related. ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition that takes place for 19 days each fall. This year’s competition runs through Sunday, October 8th. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded every year which includes a $200,000 public vote prize and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.

Art is displayed at many different venues in Grand Rapids as well as being showcased online. To sign up to vote, please go to the link here which includes directions on how to vote on your computer or to download a mobile app. Photos and artist’s entry information are below. Click on the name of the entry to go to that page and see the artwork and more about the entry.


1. Scout The Frisbee Dog









Scout, the Frisbee dog is a 3D cardboard/paper sculpture. Scout, appears to defy gravity while trying to grab a frisbee out of the air. His athletic pose creates a sense of anticipation and motion. The cardboard sculpture is painted to resemble a black and white border collie, the kind of dog you would likely see competing at an international frisbee dog competition. Overlapping layers of cardboard and paper gives Scout a life-like and whimsical appearance. Both the dog and frisbee are made of cardboard/paper, a renewable/recyclable material.

2. Stray Dog














Stray dog is a sculpture created for children of all ages who love dogs. There is a seat on the pylons, which is wrapped in what appears to be rope, for children to have their picture taken with the Stray Dog. The wood is created from a limb from the largest American Elm in St. Joseph County. The American Elm won an award for being the oldest living tree of it’s size!

3. The Dog Show








I’ve always loved drawing animals, but there’s something about the connection between dogs and humans that is extraordinary. The Dog Show aims to capture those special personalities only an owner can know. The bond, love and trust we share with our pets is such a personal and delicate experience. I work with charcoal on a semi-transparent plastic film called Mylar. This is what creates the smooth painterly quality of the work.

4. Who Let the Dogs Out





My entry is titled “Who Let the Dogs Out??”. It is my artistically whimsical “take” on “man’s best friend”! I have created five different 4ft x 4ft close-ups of my favorite breeds. My medium was acrylic paints on stretched canvas. America has always had a passion for these four-legged creatures and hopefully viewers will find these a welcome addition to this year’s Artprize!!!

5. My Favorite Thing








“My Favorite Thing” is a wire sculpture of a Boxer dog chasing a ball. It is constructed from nearly a mile of 12 gauge wire that I spun to mimic barbwire. This has been a fun project to create because it brought out the playful personality of a dog. I have named the sculpture “My Favorite Thing” because every time I see a dog playing with a ball, I hear them in my head saying in a goobery voice, “my favorite thing,” and it makes me laugh. So I wanted to create that feeling in this sculpture.

6. Lightkeepers








I like my sculpture to tell a story, and evoke emotion. My two bronze sculptures are of a man carrying a lantern with a dog by his side,looking up at him. I installed the statues with sand, grasses and driftwood as background to set the scene. In my story, the man is a Lightkeeper, committed to a chosen life of solitude as he tends a lighthouse on an isolated shore. But the real “light” in his life, is his dog, The love we humans have for our pets, and visa versa is really the story. With our pets we are unconditionally loved, and never alone. I hope that people viewing my pieces, will see and feel their own story, perhaps connecting to that familiar way a dog looks up to, and at his master,

7. We Buy Sell Trade Dicker








This unique photo is something God just dropped in my lap! I came upon this little antiques shop, and went inside to look around and snap a few pictures. Walking out to leave, I turned around to look at the front of the store. The composition, with the slogan, was quite appealing. I was about to snap the shutter, when some customers drove up and parked their car. A couple got out, and when the woman saw what I was doing, she immediately said, “Oh! You must take a picture of our little dog!” She went back, got the dog out of the back seat, walked over to the desk and set the dog down on it. That dog sat stock still, so I thought “Okay!” Dropping onto my knees for a low angle, I was amazed to see the reflections of the admiring couple. Bonus! [Click.] After they retrieved their dog I walked away, marveling at God’s playful sense of humor, and thankful for this spontaneous moment I’d been given to capture.

8. Finding the Light













INDING THE LIGHT is a sculptural installation and tribute to our 2015 American Hero Dog Harley. Harley is nationally known as a Puppy Mill Survivor. He endured a dark and cruel beginning, existing in a cramped cage as a puppy mill breeding dog – never having the chance to play or feel the sunshine or be loved. He lost his eye when his cage was being power-washed while he was still inside, and he suffered many health problems due to neglect. When he was deemed no longer useful, he was discarded at the age of 10 and left for dead – until he was rescued and adopted by a loving family. FINDING THE LIGHT is devoted to Harley’s memory and to raising awareness about the realities of the puppy mill industry. Harley Found the Light during his final five years on our earth in the hearts and arms of his loving family and adoring public. In creating and exhibiting FINDING THE LIGHT, I hope to spark a dialogue of awareness about the realities of the puppy breeding industry and by means of education initiatiate positive change to help allow us all to FIND THE LIGHT and to help our innocent animals. – Martha Cares

9. Traveler (326)














My 2017 entry will be a painting of Traveler, my Paws With A Cause foster puppy. She was given to me at 8 weeks old. I turned Traveler into Paws on May 1, 2017 at one year old. We were together for 326 days. I am hoping my art work brings awareness to Paws With A Cause because it’s an amazing and compassionate organization.

10. Winnie the Pooh-dle
















Acrylic on Wood, 24×36. Painting of my grand dog, Winston. The whimsical, colorful take on his features represents the spirit and playful nature of dogs – something we can all learn from and agree on!

11. Favorite Breed: Rescued










Favorite Breed: Rescued. 36”W x 38”H x 11”D // Mixed-Media. Every dog deserves a loving home and a chance for a new life beyond the shelter cage. Unfortunate events such as natural disasters, job loss and human death can catapult dogs into shelters and rescue groups through no fault of their own. Approximately 3,500 animal shelters across the United States serve the estimated 6-8 million homeless animals who need refuge each year. As an up-cycle artist, I try to create something beautiful out of nothing, using scrap materials that no one wants… and in this case, it parallels the souls of these displaced dogs. This piece is comprised of reclaimed wood, aluminum, paint, printed card stock & chain link fence. I am the proud owner of of 3 rescues dogs: two Jack Russell Terriers and a lab/shepherd/pit mix.

12. By Popular Demand (also has cats)








By popular demand, I am including dogs into my entry this year. I plan on doing 24 pieces, 12 cats and 12 dogs. I am also experimenting with a new technique….mixed media with found objects and encaustic wax. I will have 12 collages that will be 8 x 10 and 12 that will be 10 x 10, framed in a natural wood shadow box.

13. K9 Teams of Kent County Search & Rescue (KCSAR)







Kent County Search and Rescue is an organization made up entirely of professionally trained volunteers. We serve all of West Michigan and sometimes beyond. One of our favorite resources is our K9 unit, which includes dogs trained in several disciplines: trailing, area search, human remains detection, and disasters. We have many dogs of a number of different breeds and mixes, and our handlers and support people have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. But we train hard as a team, year-round, in all types of weather, so we can help find the missing at any hour, any day of the year. We own and handle our own dogs, building close relationships with them as we train. I hope you see the joy, the deep affections, the skills, and the seriousness of our work in these pieces. This entry is a collection of 9 portraits featuring some of our many K9 and human teammates. It includes graphite, white charcoal, pastel and colored pencils on white, black, or brown paper.

14. Nike








I am an advocate for Pitbulls. They undeservingly have a bad reputation and are considered a violent and aggressive breed. They are in fact one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving breeds with a temperament surpassed only by labs. In my time volunteering at the Kent County Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of West Michigan and fostering for Hearts of Hope Dog Rescue I have met thousands of Pitbulls. There isn’t a breed I feel more comfortable around. I want to fight the negative stereotypes about Pitbulls and help people understand the truth about their temperament, demeanor and behavior. This piece is a mosaic made up of nine hundred pictures of my most favorites pitties, and the main image is one of my past fosters and my close friend Nike.

15. Happy Boy














Social Media, TV, and Movies have been known to portray this fun loving bred as vicious and ill tempered. With terrible owners using these beautiful animals for dog fighting, protection, and as an “bad ass” image enhancer they have gotten a “bad rap”. Cities and housing have banned pit bulls from living in certain areas and owners have experienced getting their long time family member taken away from their home because of laws banning the owning of pit bulls. With more and more negative attention being given to this wonderful breed, I wanted to express the side of pit bulls that I have gotten to know over the years. They are fun loving, goofy, and intelligent dogs that with a want to be loved and give love to a family of their own.

16. Mother, Daughters and Domiciles (several entries – one is of a dog)











My entry is a collection of ten 14”x14” photo collages, comprised of fun, casual shots of my mom and her dog, my sister Mary, me and our places of residence. Together they present a slice of our everyday lives and surroundings. The eleventh separate photo is a home blessing piece to protect us and our domiciles. My mom’s is surrounded by trees, greenery and frequent blazing sun light and often displays a bouquet inside. Mary’s features a variety of artwork she created as a long-time artist. My role as family photographer is easy: I keep an eye open for interesting reflections, light patterns, views out the window as I travel back and forth from my place to theirs. The more challenging part is integrating all these visual treasures into well-balanced, cohesive collages that are eye-catching on a standalone, abstract basis with no knowledge of the subject matter. So they may seem straightforward but still be open to interpretation. They’re a doorway actually into a person’s own mental and emotional framework regarding home and its meaning. Beyond any attempt at artistry, my entry highlights the enduring joy, power and comfort of familial love.


1. IRL











I have been working as a fibers artist now for some time. My speciality is Amigurumi, small crochet creatures. For Art Prize I want to push my skill further. I plan on taking Amigurumi out of the small and ‘Into Real Life’. For my first life size project I wanted to choose the creature that saved my life, my cat. I will be creating a soft sculpture in crochet the same size and dimensions as my cat.

2. Madame V



















This painting was inspired by a favorite: Madame X by John singer Sargent. This “Modern Day Selfie” took three years for concept to this final piece. Painting this Venetian technique with oils require a first under painting of burnt umber, almost beautiful enough to call it finished. Next the colors are applied thin layer by thin layer. This layering allows the oil paint to capture the most reflective light possible. It is a long process but the results are exciting, especially with the red paints. I hope you enjoy Madame V’s red dress and her attitude that is matched by the Siamese Cat standing by her side in Symmetry. Visit ArtYourself.NET to see more

3. By Popular Demand (also has dogs)








By popular demand, I am including dogs into my entry this year. I plan on doing 24 pieces, 12 cats and 12 dogs. I am also experimenting with a new technique….mixed media with found objects and encaustic wax. I will have 12 collages that will be 8 x 10 and 12 that will be 10 x 10, framed in a natural wood shadow box.


1. Horses Being Horses: Western Wild Herd










Western Wild Herd was born by talking with a Montana wrangler, who found that the horse is viewed by what a horse can do for us. Their natural beauty and behavior is overlooked by many. In 2004 I created my first herd of near life size abstract horse sculptures that gesturally reflect horses’ instinctual behavior of interacting with one another and reacting to the environment. My 2017 herd, a band of 5, explores the connection of the horse and the cowboy culture. Natural materials of copper, wood, and twine create the gestural language, while cowhide, rhinestones, rope, and metal portray human influence. Horses have this incredible gestural language that we as humans misinterpret into being a part of our own language and behaviors. We tend to view horses as being at our disposal and forget that horses are animals that survive by being true to their own nature. Do we as humans truly understand and appreciate horses for themselves or their ability to adapt to our demanding commands?

2. White Horse II










I am so fascinated by the horse movements and figure. He is physically powerful yet gentle. The abstracted background is to give the horse scene of motion.

3. Mighty Fine High Horse















The inspiration for this sculpture is the current social political environment that seems to promote intolerance for other people and their ideas: the image of the high horse stems from when I was a child and would became self-righteous and unwilling to listen my mother would tell me to get off of my high horse, this memory inspired me to create this sculpture symbolic of the current social/political environment. Within the glass work located inside the sculpture, the small circular pieces, I fired small pieces of horse manure that appears as small tan spots as a purely symbolic element, intending to provoke farther thought into the subject that when someone truly rides the self righteous High Horse looking down on other people, intolerant to other peoples opinions and rights, their own ideas and believes can be seen as “toxic waste” by the people around them. For everyone who knows me the horse is an Appaloosa and her name is Annabella.

4. Unshackle











Unshackle is a leap to freedom. Red background suggests the action as the horse seems to fly through the air with nothing holding him back except a tiny chain that is ready to fall off. The horse’s head is white and featureless to represent the viewer and invite him to a bit of introspection. What do I need to unshackle from?

5. Morning Routine








It is time to go to work for these three horses, however they are not entirely cooperating. The body language of each horse will tell you their story.

6. Warhorse
















This years entry will consist of the figure of a horse, created from steel and copper using various metal working techniques forging ,welding etc. I hope to bring out the strength and fire in the metals natural colors to convey the strength and fire in the animal .

7. Spirit of Freedom















This glass and metal sculpture is 10’h x 12’w x 7’d and weighs approximately 1200 pounds. I have been working with a new glass process using clear glass rather than stained glass, and adding images with sand and glass frit then sealed with a weather resistant epoxy. Some of the students and faculty from the Newaygo County Resource Center (NCRESA) were involved in the fabrication to educate and inspire the students in the hopes that they will consider their own Art Prize entry in the future. “Spirit of Freedom” speaks to the current situation of our endangered wild horses, our environment and to all people of all races facing threats to their freedom as individuals and communities.

8. The Salvere Hitch













Salvere…Latin for “to be saved”. The Salvere Hitch is made from barbed wire, saved from from the local salvage dump. This sculpture is not completed yet. I have one draft horse completed as shown in the picture provided but another will accompany it along with a addition special touch revealed at the start of the show. When this piece is completed it will be two draft horses side by side complete with a full set of metal harnesses pulling their special load. I’ll be updating as this project progresses.

9. Taking You Home








The reflection of a military funeral procession from the eye of the lead caisson horse.

10. Embrace Your Pasture – Innocent Wild Soul











Such strength within a body and soul, Their beauty, dynamic. A mysterious, wild and gentle creature, A power that captivates many. What’s behind those eyes, so dark and glassy; What they think? Feel? Know? A curious and playful friend, that we may never entirely behold. Wisdom comes from acceptance of ourselves and where we are at this moment in time. Our lives are a product of our experiences. As we grow and learn, we collect, build on, and refine ourselves. The path of life, from early infant, to prime of life, and into the wiser years represents the various stages that we all face in time. Canvas grows in size as one progresses through the series. I live locally in Grand Rapids, and am very excited to be a part of ArtPrize for my second year, and share in the excitement that this event brings to the city.

11. LeWitt, Fuseli and 2 Roberts (photo not posted due to nudity)

acrylic and stucco on canvas, 2016, 30″ x 40″ I often reference art history in my work. Here it is Fuseli’s Nightmare and Sol Le Witt’s Incomplete Open Cube. Today most view the Nightmare in post-Freudian terms: a woman in the throws of an erotic dream or nightmare characterized by her abandoned pose, a golden incubus crouching on her lower torso, and the ghost-like horse whose head parts blood red curtains symbolizing repressed animal passion and sexual penetration. But I decided to replace Fuseli’s swooning female with a male nude. I wanted to subvert the notion of the male gaze as controlling the female body. Far too long, women were viewed as irrational, highly strung, and neurotic. It was a notion that held sway in 1781 when Fuseli painted this work and even more so a hundred years later when Freud was interpreting dreams. I also replaced what was probably a nearly empty bottle of laudanum on the table in the lower left of the original painting–perhaps the narcotic source of the woman’s erotic dream–with LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cube, a modernist “nightmare” for many. Finally, I referenced 35 mm slides, the way that images in art were recorded and transmitted in the pre-digital age, by painting the edge of a slide mount with a red dot in the lower left corner. That dot marked the correct position of the image when loaded in a carousel slide projector.

12. Interval by David Robinson (photo not posted due to nudity)

Interval is a sculptural riff on the archaic equestrian hero that so prodigiously populates the language of ‘statuary’ in its historical role as political place-marker. And unseating this self-assured champion is no mean feat; the work’s mimetic feedback – looping between cloned rider and mount – distorts the syntax of this hackneyed idiom into a strangeness from which it does not here recover. To erect such a ‘monument’ before our collective eye is to make visible by estrangement that which we might wish had never become so familiar. Pictured here as an installation in Palm Desert, California, this work resonates with both building and monument as re-sampled remnants of Western Europe, while perhaps troubling the assumed power of this history.

13. Thirsty








Horse and pack mules take a water break before continuing their journey through Little Lakes Valley, California. Above 10,000 ft., this stream feeds Heart Lake, a popular hiking destination less than two miles from the Mosquito Flats trail head, near Rock Creek La


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