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ANN CHUCHVARA ENTRY: “Canopy”


VENUE: Women’s City Club P


owerful yet delicately invisible, Ann Chuchvara’s work is homage to what is taken for granted.


Utilizing inconspicuous materials like tracing


paper, thread, latex and wire, she lets pattern and repetition serve as a reminder of the beauty held in the periphery of our lives. “Canopy” is the Rockford-based artist’s at-


tempt to transform ordinary into valuable with her use of hand cut web-like strips of tracing paper coated in gold leaf. An offer of protection and a reminder of how brief our experiences can be, it was inspired by nature’s sometimes discreet splendor. “I was walking in a field and the light was


hitting on these weeds a certain way,” Chuchvara said. “And normally you wouldn’t see anything, but the way the light was hitting them; there were all these webs and each one of them was this intricate beautiful thing, and if the light wasn’t hitting it at that time in that way, I would have never seen it.” After earning a BFA in ceramics from GVSU and


a MFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she discovered that clay was too heavy a medium for the point she was trying to get across. “I think what attracted me to ceramics in the


first place was the process,” she said. “It’s very repetitive. Time equals worth and if you spend a lot of time with something, there’s a value associated with it. The more you give it attention, the more valuable it becomes.”


AL WILDEY ENTRY: “Quatre Saisons”


VENUE: Grand Rapids Art Museum


digital photography, Wildey creates layered images, and his ArtPrize entry, “Quatre Saisons” (The Four Seasons), is a colorful example. “It’s an extension of a series that I’ve been


A


working on for five years called the Journey Series,” he said. “It continues the investigation of mine to document my world … and it pushes the concept of photography for me.” Composite digital photography is a way of


combining multiple images into just one composite image. Sometimes using hundreds of layers in a


l Wildey’s photographic images represent more than just a time or place; they are a direct link to his journey as an artist. Using composite


single photograph, Wildey is able to tell a story that is more than first meets the eye. “During travels, I take images and make com-


posite images,” he said. “The more layers, the fuzzier it gets. To me, that a really interesting metaphor. The longer we live, the more our experiences start to fall by the wayside.” The concept of travel has been of monumental


importance to Wildey. His military experience gave him the opportunity to travel the world; he was sta- tioned in England for two years and has since lived in six states across the U.S., now calling Mt. Pleasant home. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Wildey says traveling has greatly impacted his photography. “It’s informed it in a really significant way,” he


Not initially interested in ArtPrize until she was


invited to display her work in the Women’s City Club atrium, Chuchvara became intrigued by the space and its past. “The home was built in the 1890s, so it has


a lot of remains or memories associated with it,” she said. “I am intrigued by the notion of memory that has collected in old spaces. I am always in question of how we attempt to remember or hold on to something after it is gone.”


said. “It’s my trying to come to grips — trying to understand — attempting to record and process the world I’m in. It really is about me trying to tell the story of my journey through those images.” After earning his MFA from the University of Idaho and a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Wildey now teaches in the Art and Design Department at Central Michigan University. Back for his third round of ArtPrize, he anticipates having his work “Quatre Saisons” on view at GRAM.


THE WATER CLOCKS ENTRY: “The Water Clocks”


VENUE: St. Cecilia’s Music Center T


ogether since early 2010, Grand Rapids rock band The Water Clocks has already enjoyed a healthy music career. Now with ArtPrize initiat-


ing music performance as a full-blown entity in the competition, the band members, especially frontman Craig Nelson, look forward to being part of the event. “We’re all musicians and want to be artists


underneath,” Nelson said. “Anything we can do to create and contribute in any way we can … and be part of the art and sculpture and everything else.” The Water Clocks began when Nelson, along


with bassist Joe Sarnicola (Lowlight) — who had played together in the past — decided the time


was right for a reunion. With the addition of two other members, the band was basking in the ease of songwriting and would release its self-titled debut EP in March 2011. Nelson says the fan reception after the EP’s release has been a positive experience. “I think we had a successful release party,”


Nelson said. “We had a blast and sold a good amount of discs at the show and since then. It’s been really positive. I really want to be humble when I say that. We’ve heard a lot of people saying, ‘We don’t hear anything like this around here…’” The Water Clocks include Sarnicola and Nelson


(former lead guitarist for Papa Vegas and Brian Vander Ark), Jordan Gilliam (former lead guitarist for Still Remains), Kevin Max (Grammy-winning vocalist for DC Talk) and drummer Ross Veldheer (Sweet Japonic). Nelson admits what he anticipates from the band’s first ArtPrize involvement: “Kicking everybody’s


ass! [laughs] No, like I said, we’re a little humble and laid back,” he said. “We prefer to go out there onstage and close our eyes and play our asses off and show everybody who we are … We’re the kind of band where you tell us where and when and we’ll play.”


RITSU I


KATSUMATA ENTRY: “Variations on Heaven and Hell”


VENUE: UICA


f you’re a lover of electric violin, Bob Marley and/ or Buddha, you should


experience Ritsu Katsumata’s ArtPrize entry, “Variations on Heaven and Hell,” a per- formance with collaborators Hugo Claudin (drums) and Rachel Finan (dance) at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. Katsumata has teamed up with the local per-


formers to tell a tale based on a Japanese Buddhist story of the soul attempting to climb to heaven on a spider’s thread. “Every culture has some kind of notion of


heaven and hell or of life and death and there are similarities and differences and I wanted to mix them all up, but I wanted to show that there are different ways of expressing them,” she said. For the performance, Katsumata will represent


Buddha in heaven while playing riffs from Bob Marley songs such as, “Get Up, Stand Up,” “No Woman No Cry” and “Redemption Song,” as Finan signifies a soul attempting the climb to heaven and Claudin embodies Earth. Originally from Pennsylvania, Katsumata began her career at age 10 as a classical violinist.


As a regular in the children’s competition circuit in Philadelphia, she also competed in Washington, D.C. and New York. By 20, Katsumata admits she had burned out after years of playing music that didn’t fit her style. Ten years later, she plugged into a Marshall stack and was blown away by the sounds she was able to produce. After years of touring with a rock-based power


trio, Katsumata discovered the thrills of a looping device called an Echoplex, and was able to take her music to a new level. “I think what I’m doing now — I’m still using


all those classical things — I’m doing a modern version of the Gregorian chant…,” she said. “I wanted to make it crystal clear that I wasn’t trying to recreate Bach or something. The electric violin gives me freedom.”


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SCENE


SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING | SCHEDULE


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