Public Online Voting Has Begun to Choose MI Great Artist

Got an eye for art?

Here’s your chance to get an eye full as the online public voting is underway for the 2015 MI Great Artist competition. Artists from Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, St. Clair, Shiawassee and Wayne counties – 109 of them – have entered the competition in hopes their work catches the eye of the voting public. The 109 will be whittled down to the top 20 semi-finalists and then the final five artists, who will share of a prize package worth more than $16,000.

“Last year more than 9,000 votes were cast and we had 72 entries,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “This is the first year artists from Wayne County have entered the contest and I expect there to be well over 10,000 votes cast. There is so much talent in the region. I encourage everyone to go online and vote for their favorites.”

Individuals may vote for their favorite artist at once every 24 hours. You may vote for as many artists as you like each day but you can vote for an individual artist only once every 24 hours when the system resets and allows additional voting. Voting ends at noon on Oct. 30.

Patterson and Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione launched the contest in 2012 as a quality of life initiative to identify and support up-and-coming artists.

““It provides a unique opportunity to expose artists to an unprecedented audience,” Scaglione said. “We are delighted to co-sponsor this contest and talent search.”

The top 20 artists will be posted on the website Nov. 2. Judges will review the top 20 beginning Nov. 4. They will announce the top five on Nov. 13. There will be an exhibition of the five semi-finalists at Park West from Dec. 1 – Jan. 8, 2016. Patterson and Scaglione will announce the winner at an evening gallery reception on Dec. 8.

The judges, who will choose the five finalists and winner, are Scaglione; Elliott W. Broom, vice president of museum operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Dominic Pangborn, founder of Pangborn Design Collection and a 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 and culture coordinator for Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

The MI Great Artist winner will receive $1,500; five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery; a group exhibition at Park West Gallery in Southfield from Dec. 1 – Jan. 8, 2016, with an award ceremony and reception; a scholarship to attend workshops at the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center; a 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; and a two-month solo exhibition at the Oakland County Galleria in the Executive Office Building in Waterford.

Four runners-up will each receive $375; framing by Park West Gallery and other services.

MI Great Artist partners include Oakland County, Park West Gallery, and Oakland County Prosper® magazine.

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