Living in the OC: Competing in ArtPrize.

September 24, 2016

artprize -2Exhibit is a local, collaborative effort.

#OceanaCountyNews #Pentwater #ArtPrize2016

‘Living in the OC’ is sponsored by Springstead Law Offices, with locations in Hart and Fremont, 231-873-4022 (Hart),

PENTWATER — A group of 35 local artists has created a masterpiece, “Michigan: A Great Lakes Love Affair,” that is competing in ArtPrize 2016.

artprize -1The impressive work showcases the local landscape, displaying some of Oceana County’s many amenities such as apple orchards, asparagus fields and the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. The artists put in a combined 7,515 hours of work to create the piece.

“The Pentwater Artisan Learning Center’s artwork is truly the creative work of 35 artists with a large variety of talents all working together,” states a press release from the PALC. “The idea came from Regina McCaleb and her husband Mac. They brought the idea to Gene Davidson who figured out what materials it would take to make such a large piece of art and how to build it.”

ArtPrize is an international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury that takes place each fall in Grand Rapids. It is recognized as the most-attended public art event on the planet. For more information, visit

“The 15-foot main structure of the State of Michigan and four of the Great Lakes (Michigan, Superior, Huron, and Erie) is made from dense blue construction grade foam board, layers glued together and artprize -3 then carved into the topographical relief of the State of Michigan. Then, two layers of concrete product were layered onto the face of the large piece. It was painted with the highest grade of exterior acrylic paint available. Painting details on land are of apple orchards, farm fields, asparagus fields, sand dunes, rivers, lakes and cliffs, and painting details on the lakes show the different levels of depth.

“Gene Davidson was the main creative guy figuring out how to make and how to support it after it was put it together. Jim Mize carved the topography. The construction crew on the large piece included Peter Lundborg, Harold Sytsma, Kenneth Lipps, Gene Jankowski, Ron Christians and Bill Bradley.

“The painting crew for the main piece include Judy Jankowski, Geri Ellinger, Lorretta Attridge, Juanita Pierman, Janet Nelson, Marilyn Thorensen, Barb Davidson, Susan Hacker, Joe Primozich (painted most of the rivers), Olivia Johnson, Joyce Weber, Margot Graettinger, Sara Southwell, Marty Rapp, Ronnie Pochyla, Jeri Bye, Bev Weber and Regina McCaleb.

SpringsteadVertical_091015Individual works of art displayed on the large work include:

  • Lake Michigan displays the Little Point Sable Lighthouse, a sailboat, the SS Badger, and a king salmon.
  • The State of Michigan (the mitten) displays a painting of the state flower, an apple blossom; a stained glass piece representing the symbol of Grand Rapids; the State Capitol building; a copper Model-T; a painting of the state bird, a robin; a brook trout; and copper bridge connecting Michigan’s two peninsulas.
  • The Upper Peninsula of Michigan displays famous mascot “Eugene” the Moose and a birch bark canoe. Lake Superior displays a clay whitefish and a painting of the Edmund Fitzgerald tanker. Lake Huron displays a Clydesdale horse, molded out of clay, near Mackinaw Island; a tanker; and a hand-carved lake trout. Lake Erie displays a hand-carved walleye.

Individual works of art attached to the main piece include:

  • Gene Davidson made the Capitol Building in wood, Mackinac Bridge in copper, a canoe out of birchbark, and a sailboat carved in wood.
  • Roger Wills created mascot “Eugene” the Moose out of wood.
  • Ted Buchan created the Model T in copper placed near Detroit.
  • Dick Johnson, created the lighthouse on Lake Michigan in wood.
  • Harold Sytsma created from clay a whitefish for Lake Superior.
  • Dave Raymond created the Lake Erie walleye out of wood.
  • Joyce Baker, painted the Lake Erie walleye.
  • Gene Jankowski created the Badger replica and the freighter Edwin H. Gott on Lake Huron of wood.
  • Joe Primozich created the Lake Huron lake trout.
  • Olivia Johnson painted the robin, our state bird, in oil on canvas.
  • Joyce Weber created the oil painting on canvas of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior.
  • Margot Graettinger painted the state flower, the apple blossom, with oil on canvas.
  • Ted Ehrean carved the brook trout and king salmon out of wood.
  • Karen Clark Antrim molded the Clydesdale horse in clay that is located on Mackinac Island.
  • Ruth Dufore made the logo of Grand Rapids in stained glass.

The collective work of art is located at the Tavern on the Square, 100 Ionia Avenue, SW in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Artprize number is 62561. Voters are encouraged to cast their ballots before Friday, Sept.30, in an effort for the exhibit to secure a spot in the top 20.