Category Archives: artprize

Dusting Off This Old Blog: Artprize 2015


Time Fragments #6, details ©Colleen Kole, 2015

Time Fragments #6, details
©Colleen Kole, 2015

I think for a long time I was worried about too many silly things. The more I read online about what to write and what not to write if you were an artist , the more I just became overwhelmed and anxious when I sat down to write. Here’s the run-on sentences in my brain:

  1. Blogs are dead. So why write them then?  I still eagerly watch each day for my favorite writers or friends, so why wouldn’t others?
  2. I don’t have my MFA so I am not qualified to write a blog post.  Yes, they do have an edge but writing is a lot of “practice makes perfect”.  
  3. Nothing I say is really interesting or unique.  Well it is unique to me. 
  4. You need to brand yourself so don’t align yourself with something controversial. Controversial topics are fun to discuss in person and sometimes get lost in a short email or blogpost so hard to defend . I get this point. 
  5. Along similiar lines, don’t align yourself with one thing or person. Be your own person.  Authentic- be authentic. 
  6. I can’t or don’t want to show my work right now. Sometimes true but lots goes on in my town/life that is art related I can share with others.
  7. You need tutorials. Write tutorials.  Not opposed to sharing what I know. So I could write a tutorial. 
  8. I need a workshop to learn to write.  My default argument for all things hard in my life. 
  9. I take lousy pictures.
  10. I haven’t made as much work as others have.

So, the run-on in my brain could continue forever. Or I could quit hiding out. I could quit comparing myself to others. I could grab a little confidence. Risk a little skin and get to work and have some fun meeting up with my friends again.

How the heck have you been?

On an art related note, I will be at Artprize this year again. This year I will be in a different venue , the Women’s City Club showing my piece called Time Fragments #6 .

Time Fragments #6, 61x46, ©Colleen Kole, 2015

Time Fragments #6,
©Colleen Kole, 2015

Inch By Inch

     We have been enjoying great weather and a visitor this week.  It made me appreciate the views and just slow down a bit.

When I can squeeze it in, I am machine quilting. Last night I measured how far I had stitched on my Artprize piece and it was 18 inches out of about 83….just moving along inch by inch.

But things like this just keep pushing me along: a nice blog article in the Experiencegr regarding my work! They are doing a series in regards to the AQS show in Grand Rapids in August.


     I thought  I would have my piecing done today for my Artprize piece but decided to re-make a few of the blocks. Took longer than I thought. I am almost there and could have left them. But then I would always be frustrated that it was just off a little bit.  I dyed about 40 yards of fabric today on a hot 90 degree day, too.

     You know what I will be doing tomorrow! I will be washing out fabric and basting with a lot of pins. I think it will be 7×8 when I am done. That is kind of scaring me as I have never quilted anything that large with a machine.I don’t know where to photograph it as it is bigger than my design wall. Any suggestions?

Not a Good Secret Keeper: Artprize

    I am the worst secret keeper. My husband keeps the Christmas presents at his office because I find them, unwrap them and then wrap them back up and look semi-surprised. But I  have sat on top of this one for a week.

      I really went into this with no expectations. I entered a proposal for Artprize 2012 this fall. And last week while I was at the Barn for my class I was notified that I had obtained a spot for one of my pieces at Cathedral Square-a really nice venue for this event. I was so EXCITED that I did the little happy dance around the hotel room. Thank goodness Betsy didn’t record it on a video camera. And I didn’t sleep a wink that night. But I didn’t want to tell you until I signed the little contract and actually spoke with the venue curator.

     It’s a go. It’s real.  I am in and so excited. And a little nervous because I have yet to make it and it’s going to be 6×6. Goal: Composition done by July 15th so the machine quilting can be done is a stress free manner. Haha. I will share my progress along the way this summer.

The first year I went to Artprize I said to myself, “Someday, I want to be there. ” :):):):):)

Opening Night at Artprize

     It was a beautiful fall night. The crowds were larger than last year as the buzz is spreading about what a great event Artprize is. I even convinced my husband and son to go and they were disappointed when the night was over. Enjoy a few peeks at a great first night.

    The lovely Nellie Durand with her piece “Imelda’s Dream II.  I am always amazed at how talented Nellie is and her workmanship flawless. A pretty piece with very detailed shoes. It was wonderful to see her and her husband Lee . The location of her piece will allow many people to view it and vote for her. Go Nellie!

“Grand Rapids Inside and Out” By Alex Myrhodorsky
I missed taking a picture of the inside of the piece. Alex is the husband of one of my fiber arts friends, Gail Myhorodorsky. They are both very talented. Alex explained how these panoramic views took 600 shots to accomplish this piece.  The inside shots on this piece are just as fascinating as the outside views -another definite thumbs up view!

A moving photography exhibit by Ryan Reed Spencer
“Crucifixion” by Mia Tavonatti

This was a 9’x13′ stained glass mosaic. The intricacy of the piecing was stunning.

“The Game” by TAFA

The DeVos Exhibition Hall

     I only made  to two of the buildings and a few along the street as we walked.  I ventured down yesterday afternoon for about 2 hours. More photos coming. I am taking a break from making and just enjoying being inspired.

     I know my  pleasure comes from the making of my art, but many this week are taking pleasure in viewing  the of arts. It isn’t enjoyed this way unless it is out there, is it?  Congrats to all who have entered and good luck on the voting process.

Another Great Day at Artprize

     I know that I have been playing for almost two weeks now. And I have had soo much fun. But yesterday was a great day downtown with one of our own Artprize artists, Nellie Durand. Nellie was going to attend one of the artist workshops today and wanted to spend some time prior to the workshop just seeing the art. We walked.  We talked. We admired. We looked.  We sat and visited in a quiet cool spot and got to know each other. We walked even more. Lunch. Art talk. Dinner and more Artprize with a very quick trip to the Meijer Gardens to see some of their Artprize sculptures before it got dark.


     One of my favorites, by Beiliiu Lui, installed in our new UICA-except construction isn’t done and you could only view it through a window from the sidewalk. Kind of made it even more alluring. I really wanted to reach out and touch this one or lay underneath it.IIt is  thread coiled and hung but a needle piercing the coil and installed- hanging by a thread. They were all floating and moving ever so slightly. 
    The ever famous elephants that always drew a crowd. 
     Their heads bobbed up and down. The kids enjoyed them.
     After dinner, Nellie and I had show and tell. Nellie brought some of her” Interpret This” pieces and so freely shared how she had done each piece. And she so graciously looked at some of my pieces-finished and unfinished, made helpful hints and was just a delight to learn from. She brought me a wonderful present- a piece made from her Lake piece. I was just about beside myself after a day of art and spending time with a new art friend. 
     Unfortunately, I lost my camera-500 pictures on my little Coolpix guy-birthday, quilt show and Artprize with Nellie. I didn’t realize it until last night when I went to download them. Left it on a counter I think in the last building we were in. These pictures were actually taken from one of my earlier trips. I haven’t quite figured out what I will do. My big guy is lost in the Nikon factory warranty repair abyss…..As soon as I solve my new pictureless problem-I will show you my new present. 
     The biggest treasure though was spending time with a new friend-met by another on the internet. 
A day to be remembered. Thanks Nellie! 
Back to sewing tomorrow. I did some painting on fabric today with acrylic paints for about an hour. 🙂 Too bad I can’t show you a picture.
Be creative, my friends!

Another Artprize Trip

     My car is sick. Really sick but being fixed. My computer is fixed but they deleted my software for the desktop. I have housework to do before I am swallowed up in our guild show. But the weather was— really nice. So for 2 hours, I played hooky. And went back downtown to Artprize. And I am never disappointed.

Enjoy this amazing felted piece which is two stories high at points.

Close-ups of the work-

And then at the walking out on the other side. It is at our new art museum.

There was a great video of her making this huge piece. I want to look her up and just enjoy the process again!

Totally different form this was a pencil drawing which felt life size.

Both of these pieces obviously got a thumbs up from me when I voted today!

Miss Nellie is in the top 100 right now. If you live here and haven’t voted yet, you have until tomorrow for the first round.

Off to bed as tomorrow will be long.

Be inspired by Artprize, my friends!

Fussing Over

    I am so a creature of habit  I didn’t even want to look at how the upload of pictures was changed on Blogger. Such a baby at the end of the week. I am just tired after all my fabric dyeing-labor intensive but I love doing it.

 Beautiful colors-stormy grey, mustard, lapis from ProChem. I decided  to not goof around with trying to mix my own. I really like the grey.

 Two little work of the weeks using Shiva Paintsticks. I have had these paintsticks in a drawer for over two years and why haven’t I tried them before? I enjoyed the leaf rubbing and even tried free motion quilting again on the leaf. That was fun rather than the fighting with free motion quilting I have done in the past.

 More Artprize from the other night.

Also, a nice series of artist lectures sponsored by Kendall College of Art and Design.

 Different interactive art exhibits.

The Scar project was an Artprize entry. It included 500 people stitching an example of their “scar” on a canvas and then journaling. It was really sad but overwhelming to see how eagerly people were willing to jump in and participate.
I am too tired to figure out/ question why I can’t align this so good night my friends. Next week is very busy with the quilt show so I’ll see how the time is for blogging.
Be creative, my friends. 

My Own Little Art Prize

       Artprize begins today at 6:00 pm . All around town for the past week, we have been hearing about it in the paper and on tv and seeing it come together as signage has been put in place. There was even an article about it in the Wall Street Journal magazine this weekend. Lots of publicity this year so it will be busy!

     I hoped to get a head start today by finding a venue to register at, so I stopped by the Meijer Gardens. The entryway is open to the public for the next two weeks and the tour buses were lined up already. Lots of people trying to catch an early peek. When I arrived, the Artprize computers were down-probably overloaded. But then I noticed that portions of the conservatory were closed and lights dimmed. The power was out following a really nasty storm last night.


 But I still took time to see some of the exhibits. This was one of my favorites-paint cans. Loved the colors. Each piece identifies the artist and name of the work as well as gives you a voting number for it. You either like it or don’t like it-it’s  a viewer’s choice show. You have to show id onsite to be able to vote. I was finally able to register and hope to go to the opening downtown tonight. Lots more pictures coming the next two weeks of my favorites.

     I came home and put my newly dyed fabrics on the line.

     All darks this time and definitely fall colors.

I was disappointed that more of my fabric didn’t arrive today as it’s really warm here. I need to do the mustard and butter yellows yet. I had my own little art prize party hanging them on the line!


Off  to enjoy some art, my friends!