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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

SmartArt announces its 2021 top 10 finalists

Photos of artwork by GRPS students
Consumers Energy

10 finalists have been announced for this year’s SmartArt competition. The event is a partnership between Grand Rapids Public Schools, Art Prize and Consumers Energy and creates conversation around renewable resources.

Finalists were selected out of more than 4o entries and were chosen by a panel of art professionals with Kendall College of Art & Design at Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University. Names of the finalists, their entries and academic information are listed below:

  • Manual Gomez Diaz, Sewing Power, 10th, Innovation Central;
  • Sharon Gonzalez, Sandhill, 10th, City;
  • Nevaeh Martin, Left Untreated, 11th, C.A. Frost;
  • Sarah Robinette, Life Underwater, 10th, City;
  • Gavin Scanlon, It’s Not Too Late, 9th, C.A. Frost;
  • Ruby Taylor, Changing Tides, 11th, C.A. Frost;
  • Lilly Tuttle, Wind of Wetlands,  11th, C.A. Frost;
  • Jayde West, Something Better, 9th,  City;
  • Silas Williams, Earth Wise, 10th, City;
  • Theo Stella Williams, Life’s Helping Hands, 9th, C.A. Frost

SmartArt stands for Students Making Art with a Renewable Theme. GRPS Director of Fine Arts, Maggie Malone, said it’s an opportunity that can have a lasting impact on both students and future generations.

“I think it helps students change how they see themselves. Right because we have one impression when we look in the mirror of what we’re about and who we are," Malone said, "But when we create opportunities like SmartArt, that changes... Now students can see themselves on a stage, on television in front of people. That’s life changing.”

Artwork of the finalists will be displayed on a large banner in downtown Grand Rapids. The overall SmartArt winner will be announced September 19 during ArtPrize at Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids, and will receive a $1,000 scholarship as well as an Apple computer.

“We're thrilled that SmartArt and ArtPrize are back for 2021,” said Craig Searer, ArtPrize executive director. “These creative, thought-provoking works and the students who create them continue to be shining examples of how ArtPrize can serve as a stage to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of our city’s youth.”

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