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"People's Choice" award added for Southeast Michigan artists in 2018 MI Great Artist competition

2012  Deborah Hyde

2013  Henry Heading

2014  Weatherly Stroh

2015  Kenneth Hershenson


Artists from Oakland County and seven other southeast Michigan counties can strut their stuff as the MI Great Artist™ online art competition kicks into gear.

Artists are vying for cash and prizes that total more than $16,000. Entries may be submitted to MIGreatArtist.com beginning Wednesday at noon until noon Aug. 17. A “People’s Choice” award is new to the competition this year, which gives $750 to the artist who receives the most votes during public voting, which begins Aug. 23.

“We have a wealth of superbly talented artists who enter the competition each year,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “We’ve added a “People’s Choice” award this year to reward the artist who makes the biggest impact on the public. I encourage those talented individuals to join us as we begin the search for the next MI Great Artist winner.”

Patterson and Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione launched the contest in 2012 as a quality of life initiative to support up-and-coming artists. Patterson said the cash awards have grown to a total of $3,375, with additional prizes bringing the total to more than $16,000 in cash and prizes.

“Since 2012, we’ve been proud to sponsor the annual MI Great Artist competition,” Scaglione said. “There are so many world-class artists right here in Michigan, and every year this contest introduces exciting new talent to art lovers everywhere. The point is, don’t be scared to enter, you might just become the next MI Great Artist.”

Artists who are 18 years and older who live, work or go to school in the following counties are eligible: Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Wayne counties.

They may submit up to five original works of art online at MIGreatArtist.com for a public vote to determine the top 30 artists. The “People’s Choice” winner is automatically one of the finalists. A panel of renowned judges will choose four other finalists and ultimately the winner. Complete rules about what art works and artists qualify for submission are on the website.

The MI Great Artist winner receives $1,500; five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery; a group exhibition in Oct. 23-30 at Park West Gallery in Southfield, with an award ceremony and reception Oct. 23; a scholarship to attend three Business Basics workshops at the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center; a one-hour consultation with an Oakland County business development representative; their artwork featured on a poster to promote one of Oakland County’s signature quality of life events, printed by Park West; a solo exhibition at Park West; and a solo exhibition at the Oakland County Galleria in the Executive Office Building in Waterford.

The “People’s Choice” winner receives $750; framing by the gallery of five artworks; inclusion in the group exhibition; a scholarship to attend one Business Basics workshop; a one-hour consultation with a business development representative; and a solo exhibition in the Oakland County Galleria.

Three runners-up will each receive $375; framing by the gallery of five artworks included in their submissions; a group exhibition in Oct. 23-30 at Park West; a scholarship to attend one Business Basics workshop; a one-hour consultation with a business development representative; and a solo exhibition in the Oakland County Galleria.

Artists may submit their work online through noon Aug. 17. Public voting takes place at MIGreatArtist.com from Aug. 23 through Sept. 5. The top 30 artists will be posted on the website Sept. 7. Judges will review the top 30 and announce the finalists Sept. 18. There will be an exhibition of the five finalists at Park West in October. Patterson and Scaglione will announce the winner at an evening gallery reception Oct. 23.

The judges include Scaglione; Phil Gilchrist, executive director of The Anton Art Center; Dominic Pangborn, founder of Pangborn Design Collection and former professor at the College of Creative Studies; Don Tocco, an artist whose work includes award-winning photography, paintings sold to high end art collectors, portrait sculptures of famous global leaders; and Kristie Everett Zamora, arts and culture coordinator for Oakland County's Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

MI Great Artist partners include the participating counties, Park West Gallery and Oakland County Prosper® magazine.
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