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and Students Since 1994


The Largest Art Show in the World, Art Prize

October, 2017 - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Last month, IAD visited the largest art show and competition in the world a second time. We were fortunate to be able to be a part of the first show. The public relations department at Grand Rapids, Michigan paid for many bloggers and art-related website owners to stay in Grand Rapids for a week in order to give the event plenty of coverage. Because this was the ninth showing, it obviously has been a success.


This year, the competition went on from September 17 - October 8, 2017. More than 1,500 artists representing 47 countries competed in the city-wide show. $200,000 was awarded to the grand prize winner, $62,500 was awarded for categories, and $300,000 in public votes. This year, visitors were able to download a mobile app to vote in addition to ballots.


The public vote grand prize award went to Richard Schlatter who used over 24,000 pennies to create the relief sculpture, A. Lincoln. 1,681 1943 steel pennies were used for the shirt. He also won the 2D category award, so his total award came to $212,500. Richard studied art at the University of Cincinnati and Ray-Vogue in Chicago. He has worked as an art director in Battle Creek, MI and founded the SchlatterGroup ad agency. He is semi-retired and obviously still creating art.


Because there was over 1,300 pieces of art in the event, it was impossible to visit every single piece of art over the weekend we were in attendance. We took many pictures and we will slowly upload these the next few months. Following is a small sampling of what we saw. Click on the images for full size.

Artist Davie Satterwhite

Freebird metal sculpture

The first featured entry is by artist David Satterwhite. David is a Vietnam war veteran and works primarily in metal. He specializes in works for the garden and outdoors. This entry is called Freebird and represents 500 hours of labor, several hundred feet of weld wire, 515 cut feathers, several hundred pounds of flat steel, 300 knife blades, 100 silverware handles, 100 spoons, 65 forks, 2 watches, 2 pipe wrenches, 6 pliers, a motor cycle frame, 10 brake pins, and 8 tips from a rotary hoe. The sculpture is 10'x16' with an estimated weight of 1,500 lbs.


Freebird metal sculpture


Artist Kirk Lucas

Elohim sculpture   Elohim sculpture


Says Kirk Lucas, "This piece began from discarded and heavily damaged early 1900's religious prints. I was inspired to see them in a new light. [The sculpture is] made from re-purposed plywood, found and collected images on paper, plexiglass and other adorning objects. The title is meant to invoke "Creative Spirit."

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