Pontiac, Michigan -- Public voting to choose Michigan’s next great artist begins today, Oct. 18. Individuals may vote for their favorite artist at the MI Great Artist website, www.MIGreatArtist.com, once each day through Oct. 31. The votes will be tallied to determine the top 20 artists. MI Great Artist is a quality of life initiative by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Park West Gallery founder/CEO Albert Scaglione to identify and promote up-and-coming 2-D artists.
This year, 66 artists will display their work on the MI Great Artist website for public voting. They are from Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb and St. Clair counties.
“We are excited about the works submitted this year for MI Great Artist. They have made it difficult to choose a favorite,” Patterson said.
The top 20 artists will be posted on the website Nov. 1. A panel of five respected judges with professional ties to the art world 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 MI Great Artist winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize; 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; 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.
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.
Entrants are 18 years and older and also live, work, or go to school in the Economic Growth Alliance (EGA) region. The EGA region includes Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Shiawassee, and St. Clair counties. They were allowed to submit up to five original 2-D works of art online. The art work may include oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, pastel, and collage, among others. Photography and digital artworks are excluded from the competition. Complete rules about which art works and artists qualify for submission are on the MI Great Artist website.
Last year's MI Great Artist was Deborah Hyde of West Bloomfield, who creates unique quilts that look like paintings. MI Great Artist partners include Oakland County, Park West Gallery, Economic Growth Alliance, AdvantageOakland.com, and Prosper® magazine.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.