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Public Date: 9/10/2013 12:10 AM
Contact: Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1048

Southfield, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has raised the stakes for the 2013 MI Great Artist contest. He announced today that cash prizes would grow to a total of $3,000 for the second annual art competition which begins Sept. 16. Patterson and Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione launched the contest last year as a quality of life initiative to identify and support up-and-coming artists in the Economic Growth Alliance (EGA) region.

"Our inaugural year succeeded in connecting residents in the EGA region with the work of more than 120 local artists,” Patterson said. “We hope the additional prize money will create a buzz about MI Great Artist and inspire more Michigan artists to submit their work."

Artists who are 18 years and older who also live, work, or go to school in the EGA region are eligible. The EGA region includes Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Shiawassee, and St. Clair counties. They may submit up to five original 2-D works of art online at MIGreatArtist.com for a public vote to determine the top 20 artists. The art work may include oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, pastel, and collage, among others. Photography and digital artworks are excluded from the competition. A panel of renowned judges will choose the five finalists and winner. Complete rules about what art works and artists qualify for submission are on the website.

"We are delighted to co-sponsor this contest and talent search." Scaglione said. “It provides a unique opportunity to expose artists to an unprecedented audience. Myself and the other judges are looking forward to reviewing the work and discovering more extraordinary Michigan artistic talent."

The MI Great Artist winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize, up from $1,000 last year; five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery; a group exhibition at Park West Gallery Dec. 2 – Jan. 3 with an award ceremony and reception; a scholarship to attend three Business Basics workshops at the Oakland County One Stop Shop; 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 Gallery; a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery in Southfield; and a two-month solo exhibition at the Oakland County Galleria in the Executive Office Building in Waterford.

Four runners-up will each receive a $375 cash prize, up from $250 last year; framing by Park West Gallery of five artworks included in their submissions; a group exhibition at Park West Gallery Dec. 2 – Jan. 3 with award ceremony & reception; a scholarship to attend one Business Basics workshop at the Oakland County One Stop Shop; a one-hour consultation with an Oakland County business development representative; and a two-month solo exhibition in the Oakland County Galleria.

Artists may submit their work online from Sept. 16-Oct. 4. Public voting will take place at MIGreatArtist.com from Oct. 18-31. The top 20 artists will be posted on the website Nov. 1. Judges will review the top 20 beginning Nov. 4. They will announce the top five on Nov. 15. There will be an exhibition of the five semi-finalists at Park West Gallery in Southfield from Dec. 2 – Jan. 3. Patterson and Scaglione will announce the winner at an evening gallery reception Dec. 12.

The judges are Scaglione, founder and CEO of Park West Gallery; Elliott W. Broom, vice president of museum operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; 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, culture & film coordinator for Oakland County's Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

Last year's MI Great Artist, Deborah Hyde of West Bloomfield, has her unique quilts on display at Park West Gallery. More than 120 artists entered the inaugural competition with about 13,500 online votes to determine the top 20.

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

About the Economic Growth Alliance
The Economic Growth Alliance was formed in 2009 as a partnership among Oakland, Livingston, Genesee and St. Clair counties to collaborate on joint opportunities for economic growth, diversification and affect legislation that may impact the counties. Since its inception, the EGA has grown to include Lapeer, Macomb and Shiawassee counties. Together, the EGA region represents nearly 3 million residents and is leveraging its infrastructure and work force assets to attract more jobs to the region.

About Park West Gallery
Founded in 1969 by Albert Scaglione, Park West Gallery has brought fine artworks to more than 1.4 million clients around the world through its gallery locations in Michigan and Florida as well as cruise ship art auctions and in major metropolitan areas. Park West Gallery's mission is to create an educational, entertaining, and welcoming environment that ignites a passion for the arts and creates a collecting experience like no other company in the world. Park West Gallery supports a myriad of artistic talent, engages the widest array of audiences, and advocates genuine artistry while maintaining only the highest of professional standards. For more information, please visit Park West Gallery at ParkWestGallery.com, or connect on Twitter, Facebook, and on its blog.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.