White Lake photographer is “People’s Choice” in 2018 MI Great Artist Competition

A White Lake Township photographer whose entries focused on a Great Lakes theme was the top vote getter which guarantees him a place in the finals of the 2018 MI Great Artist online art competition.

The photography of Thomas Bos was the runaway winner of the popular vote, getting nearly 1,700 votes for his entry. Bos will receive $750 among other prizes for being the inaugural “People’s Choice” winner. He is also the first of five finalists in the competition. Thirty-four other artists from Southeast Michigan were also selected by a public vote to have a chance at becoming the 2018 MI Great Artist winner.

“Congratulations to Thomas for catching the eye of the voting public and to our other semi-finalists,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Our judges have a real challenge before them as they decide the ultimate winner. I wish them luck.”

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 October 23. The finalists will share a prize package worth more than $16,000.

Nearly 27,000 votes were cast over two weeks during the online voting. The field of 209 artists was reduced to 35 semi-finalists. Originally the top 30 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.

A panel of judges will review the work of the semi-finalists beginning Monday and announce the five finalists on September 18. Their work will be displayed at Park West Gallery in October.

Twenty-two Oakland County residents, five from Wayne County, four from Macomb County, two from Genesee County and one each from Livingston and Shiawassee counties were selected as semi-finalists:

  • Vince Adragna, White Lake
  • Thomas Bos (Bos Exposures), White Lake
  • William Brody, Holly
  • Karen Buscemi, Rochester Hills
  • Nicole Buza, Livonia
  • Izzy Cagalawan (@izzca), Macomb
  • Aurina Counts-Garbovits, Waterford
  • Arlinda H. Crossland, Bloomfield Hills
  • Lacy Draper, Roseville
  • Susan Lori Emerling, Keego Harbor
  • Rachel Fernandez, Detroit
  • Melissa Filimon (Zoey Z.), Swartz Creek
  • Kim Fujiwara, Rochester Hills
  • Donna Gonzalez, Wixom
  • Cindy Heming, Waterford
  • Devendra (Deven) Joshi, West Bloomfield
  • Loren Lacy, Shelby Township
  • Pat Langner, West Bloomfield
  • Lilian Rose Lebednick, Farmington Hills
  • Mia Miller, Waterford
  • Catherine Perez, East Pointe
  • Wendy Popko (Poppy), Sterling Heights
  • Arthur Richards III, Madison Heights
  • James M. Siatczynski, Troy
  • Curtis Simmons (Made of Earth), Bancroft
  • Jen Spezia, Ortonville
  • Michael Tingley, Southfield
  • Vasu Tolia, Bloomfield Hills
  • Robert J. Tyrrell, Grosse Pointe Farms
  • Genevieve Van Zandt, Brighton
  • Brooke Voeller, Livonia
  • Brian Wagnitz, Waterford
  • Courtney Welch, White Lake
  • Zach Joseph Wendt, Rochester Hills
  • Denise Cassidy Wood, Northville

The artists’ work can be viewed at MiGreatArtist.com.

The MI Great Artist winner will receive $1,500; five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery; a group exhibition October 23-30 at Park West Gallery in Southfield, with an award ceremony and reception October 23; and a selection of business services from the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center; among other prizes.

Four runners-up will each receive $375 and other services.

The judges are Scaglione; Charles Boike, artist, lawyer and 2012 MI Great Artist finalist; Phil Gilchrist, executive director of The Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens; Barbara Heller, director and conservator – special projects for 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.

MI Great Artist partners include Oakland County, Park West Gallery, AdvantageOakland.com and Oakland County Prosper® magazine.