This Year’s ArtPrize is Fount of Inspiration, Testament to Faith

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Paradise LostParadise LostArtPrize 2015 has more than 1,500 works of art on display at 160-plus venues across three square miles of Grand Rapids.

Since Rick DeVos founded it in 2009 in what he bills as a radically open, independently organized international art competition, ArtPrize has inspired a number of artists to create drawings, painting and sculptures with subtle and overt Christian themes.

This year is no exception.

Here is a sampling of this year's entries that includes an explanation of the artists' intent

• Artist: Ron Pleune

Entry: Paradise Lost: The Great Divide

What Pleune said: "Man gives in to serpent and tree - enlightened mind and new eyes to see - to be a god and get his due - left with a curse, his decision to rue - causing thus a great divide - paradise lost, on the wrong side - flesh wastes and dies until it's dead - strife filled life with longing and dread - serpent afflicted, once beautifully born - tree and leaf give way to thorn - fog and dust, rocks cry out - until set right beyond a doubt - tho' paradise lost, not alone - savior comes to silence stone - cross the great divide and bring man home - restore forever and sit on throne."

The Hand of CreationThe Hand of Creation• Artist: Charles Sherman

Entry: The Hand of Creation

What Sherman said: "The Hand of Creation depicts the creative process of the Divine. The sculpture is also a metaphor for birth and the creative process. When we do creative work, we are also creating ourselves, giving birth to ourselves."

KissKiss• Artist: Robyn Bomhof

Entry: Kiss

What Bomhof said: "Oil on canvas painting. Abstract conceptual painting referencing the biblical union of Christ and his Bride, the worldwide body of believers; as the Father of Light pours out both water and fire. This photo is of the work near completion."

Body and Soul in CancerBody and Soul in Cancer• Artist: Rachel Hinz

Entry: Body and Soul in Cancer

What Hinz said: "Since 2014, I've been dealing with the return of my mother's cancer: Stage 4 Melanoma that has metastasized to her liver & lung. The horror of this cancer is that there is no way to eradicate the cancer, only attempts to contain it for as long as possible & minimize its effects. Despite the prognosis and gradual spreading of the cancer, my mother remains hopeful. She's a testament to Christian faith, strength, and perseverance in the face of darkness and ugliness."

Let Justice Roll Like a RiverLet Justice Roll Like a River• Artist: Mary Steenwyk

Entry: Let Justice Roll Like a River

What Steenwyk said: "The great need for justice is so evident in this world. It must be a justice of love not fear. I am inspired by so many who give their time and talents to bring justice to those who are hurting and in need. Embedded in the churning waves and the supportive rocks are pictures of people doing justice in their community and across the world. The people at Evergreen Ministries, Jenison Christian School, and my family inspire me with their actions. I hope viewers are inspired to bring justice through love to their communities. Amos 5: 24 "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"

Yahweh Nissi - The Lord Our BannerYahweh Nissi - The Lord Our Banner• Artist: John Katerberg

Entry: Yahweh Nissi – The Lord Our Banner (includes four panels)

What Katerberg said: "Yahweh Nissi (The Lord our Banner) - Describes God as a rallying point during battle. This polyptych is reminiscent of the Isenheim alter piece. Images of the confusion, absurdity, and results of war are meant to symbolize the trials experienced in life. The Banner, is meant to encourage and inspire faith in Christ."

A link to additional religious entries can be seen online.

ArtPrize continues through Oct. 11.

Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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