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/// ARTPRIZE ART I ABSORBED BY


WADE GUGINO ENTRY: “Comangra City”


VENUE: Grand Rapids Public Museum


characters from comics, manga and graphic novels in the form of a 3’x 4’ book. Consisting of 12 pages of scenes on glass, the book was created by laser etching. Complete with LED strips to illuminate the story in various places and a free-standing metal base, the result is a whopping six-foot mega comic. “The idea of it came a few years ago, that


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it would be fun to get people to see comics from around the world,” Gugino said. “The idea is to bring all of them [characters] to the center. They’ll all have their own suburb but come together at the city center.” What initially spurred the Holland-based


artist’s interest in comics, apart from his childhood ambition to become a cartoonist and his affinity for cartoons like “Peanuts” and “Calvin and Hobbes,” was his post-college stint as a basketball player in Europe. After being immersed for 15 years in a culture that sees cartoons in an alternate light, and even contributing some of his own cartoons to French newspapers and magazines, Gugino wanted to bring that mentality back home. And since 2007, he’s done just that with his ap- plied cartooning business, Googenius. Catering to anything from school curriculum and programs to


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local businesses and churches, Googenius even offers summer camps for kids. Though ArtPrize 2011 will be Gugino’s second


go-round with an etched glass entry, he looks forward to the ensuing exposure from the competition. “I had a great time last year,” he said. “I live


near Grand Rapids and I had more people see my art last year than I could have ever hoped. I sold the piece. It was also a great opportunity to get people to know my work and other things I’m doing.”


ade Gugino is taking comic books to in- credible new heights. His ArtPrize entry, “Comangra City,” incorporates popular


hosted by Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Freeman’s entry, “Landscape Reliquary,” is part of “Sculpture Today: New Forces, New Forms,” an exhibit running from Sept. 21-Dec. 31.


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by Kelli Kolakowski | kelli@revuewm.com


n its third year, ArtPrize is giving the art of music a bigger opportunity to be featured, with the addition of St. Cecilia’s Music Center to the Exhibition Center lineup. The Exhibition Centers include Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Cathedral Square, Frederik Meijer Gardens


& Sculpture Park, The Grand Rapids Art Museum, The Grand Rapids Public Museum, GVSU Outdoor Art & Sculpture, St. Cecilia’s Music Center, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art and the Women’s City Club. Here is a selection of local artists from Exhibition Centers.


DANA FREEMAN ENTRY: “Landscape Reliquary”


VENUE: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


rtist Dana Freeman is not only participating in ArtPrize, but also will have her entry left on display until December as part of an exhibition


Freeman, an associate professor of Art at


Aquinas College, is a third-time ArtPrize participant and anticipates the extended length of time her work will be exhibited, along with the perks it will allow her. “The last two years I worked so hard to get my


work up and it seems like it’s down as soon as it’s up,” she said. “I can get in there earlier and install and see the rest of ArtPrize and participate a little bit more.” “Landscape Reliquary” drips with nostalgia.


It features 250-300 stacked honey bear bottles, each with water and pressed flowers floating inside. Though the flowers come from places she’s connected to — Blandford School, Frederik Meijer Gardens, Aquinas College and various others — the sentiment of the honey bears runs deep for Freeman. “They are a little bit of an icon for me,” she


said. “It refers to sweetness and nostalgia. My mother always made me tea when I was sick. I think something about it is like a guardian angel in way too.”


As the competition unfolds, the flowers will


begin to fade, which brings up yet another hidden meaning. “I want the experience to be one of beauty and


one of realizing that beauty is fleeting,” Freeman said. “I like viewers to find something in my work that relates to their life. If they see it over time … you still have the beauty and importance of it even if it starts to fade, like a photograph. Even though the experience is gone, you still have the memory.”


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE


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