Thirteen Oakland County residents and eight from Wayne County are among 25 artists who have a chance at becoming the 2015 MI Great Artist winner.
More than 22,000 public votes were cast in 10 days during the online portion of the competition. The field of 109 entrants was reduced to 25 semi-finalists for consideration by a panel of judges. Originally the top 20 artists were to be selected but the closeness of the voting and the quality of the entries made it necessary to include the additional five artists.
“I continue to be amazed by the work of these talented artists and how the public has embraced the competition,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “In less than two weeks, we had more than 22,000 votes – 13,000 more than we had last year. The contest gets bigger and better each year. I thank the artists for entering and congratulate those whose work will go before the judges.”
Besides Oakland and Wayne counties, semi-finalists include entrants from Lapeer, Macomb and St. Clair counties. A panel of judges will review the work of the semi-finalists beginning Wednesday and announce the five finalists on Nov. 13. Their work will be displayed at Park West Gallery from Dec. 1 – Jan. 8, 2016. Patterson and Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione launched the contest in 2012 as a quality of life initiative to identify and support up-and-coming artists. They will announce the winner at an evening gallery reception on Dec. 8. The finalists will share a prize package worth more than $16,000.
The judges are Scaglione; Elliott W. Broom, vice president of museum operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Dominic Pangborn, founder of Pangborn Design Collection and a former professor at the College of Creative Studies; artist and sculptor Don Tocco; and Kristie Everett Zamora, arts and culture coordinator for Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.
The semi-finalists listed alphabetically are:
- Meredith Lea Bailey – Rochester Hills
- Emilie Beadle – Romulus
- Chanel Beebe – Detroit
- Michael Bollerud – Garden City
- Conni Culp – Wolverine Lake
- Tecla Kuhl-Dallaire – Wayne
- Darin Darby – Romulus
- Andrew Dillard – Waterford
- Francesca Gagliano – Royal Oak
- Lisa Hermann – Canton
- Kenneth Hershenson – Clawson
- Heidi Keesling – Ortonville
- Walter Kempski – St. Clair Shores
- Alexandra Kern – Detroit
- Kelly O’Hara – St. Clair Shores
- Melissa Parks – Bloomfield Hills
- Hunter Pope – Lapeer
- Jernard Robinson – Detroit
- Vasundhara Tolia – Bloomfield Hills
- Teng Vang – Rochester Hills
- Jennifer Wallace – Kimball
- Jennifer Whaley – Rochester Hills
- Mihwa Yoon – Auburn Hills
- Larry Zdeb – Troy
- Jennifer Zimmerman – West Bloomfield
The MI Great Artist winner receives $1,500; five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery; a group exhibition at Park West Gallery in Southfield from Dec. 1 – Jan. 8, 2016, with an award ceremony and reception; a scholarship to attend workshops at the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center; a 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 Gallery; a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery; and a two-month solo exhibition at the Oakland County Galleria in the Executive Office Building in Waterford.
Four runners-up will each receive $375 and other services. MI Great Artist partners include Oakland County, Park West Gallery, AdvantageOakland.com and Oakland County Prosper® magazine.