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Artists Creating Together ACTion ArtPrize Winners Announced

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Nonprofit, Artists Creating Together, announced the winners of the ACTion Art Exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The selected winners, chosen by a juried vote, won a cash prize and will be entered into ArtPrize 2015. A People's Choice Award was also chosen by the public.
Hey! It's Raining Cats and Dogs by Michael Johnson

Hey! It's Raining Cats and Dogs by Michael Johnson /Artists Creating Together

ACT Info

Artists Creating Together, a non-profit organization, brings children, youth and adults with disabilities together with artists, the arts and art projects. ACT has been a part of the Kent County landscape since 1986. Today, ACT helps over 5,000 individuals from West and Northwest Michigan to celebrate, succeed and grow with art each year. Since its inception, ACT has benefited over 20,000 individuals with disabilities from throughout West Michigan.  

Upcoming Events: Celebrate! A Community Arts Day (March 28th). Festival Day (May 8th).

Pill Pile by Morgaine Tempest Fambrough

Pill Pile by Morgaine Tempest Fambrough /Artists Creating Together

Proud Parent by Phillip M. Seigel

Proud Parent by Phillip M. Seigel /Artists Creating Together

Grand Rapids, Mich.- Artist Creating Together is pleased to announce the award winners of their sixth annual ACTion Art Exhibit. The event drew nearly 500 visitors to the Grand Rapids Art Museum Education Center March 3rd through 7th with over 100 attending the artist’s reception on March 5th. Each year, the exhibit is open to adult artists with disabilities from throughout Michigan and beyond.

Three winners were chosen by a juried vote for a Juror’s Choice Award. The ACTion Art Jury included George Bayard, founder of Bayard African American Gallery; Grand Rapids artist, Derrick Hollowell; Tori Pelz, executive director of Culture Works; and Michael Rodriguez, curator of Have Company Gallery. The selected artists won a cash prize and will also be sponsored by Artists Creating Together in ArtPrize 2015. A People’s Choice Award was also selected by the public to win either a cash prize or two free art classes at ACT.

The 2015 Juror’s Choice Award winners are:

     • Pill Pile by Morgaine Tempest Fambrough

     • Hey! It’s Raining Cats and Dogs by Michael Johnson

     • Proud Parent by Phillip M. Seigel

The 2015 People’s Choice Award winner is:

     • Art Journal by Debra Dieppa

Morgaine Tempest Fambrough, an artist from Kentwood, Michigan was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of six. She describes her winning piece Pill Pile, which is comprised of over 2,000 replicas of pills created from polymer clay, as a representation of a time in a format that is familiar to her. Each replica signifies pills she took in just six month period in 2014. “Over time, pills have become an opportunity to control the negative in my environment,” Morgaine explains. “Another pill, another day, another prescription without resolve.”

Michael Johnson, Juror’s Choice winner for Hey! It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, is a freelance artist from Evanston, Illinois. He uses his portraits and illustrations to support himself and give back to the community. Michael says he is a proud ambassador for Down Syndrome. His art has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for non-profits and is owned by famous people by the likes of Hilary Clinton, Steven Spielberg and Liam Nelson.

Phillip M. Seigel was also awarded for the piece Proud Parent. Phillip is a Grand Rapids native who contracted infantile paralysis, more commonly known as polio, at just two and a half years old.

He is a self-taught artist who did not begin to fulfill his dream as an artist until after 30 years old. He explained that through his artwork, he expresses his concern and his love for God’s wonderful creatures.

Artists Creating Together will pay for each of the artist’s ArtPrize registration fees, assist with setting up an ArtPrize profile, secure a venue and coordinate marketing for the ArtPrize entries. The ArtPrize venue for the ACTion ArtPrize artists will be announced in Spring 2015.

The Peoples Choice award was selected by public voting that took place at the exhibit throughout the week. Debra Dieppa had the most votes for her piece Art Journal, a mixed media piece in her own unique, beautiful painting style and a visual representation of one of her own art journals.

Every piece entered received at least one public vote. Artists also had the option to sell their artwork with 100 percent profit going directly to the artist. Artists Creating Together congratulates all of the winners and participants in this year’s ACTion Art Exhibit.

This is ACT’s sixth ACTion Art event and it was a great success for the artists as well as the organization. All of the participants are individuals with disabilities. A parent of one of the ACTion Art artists shared, “This was our fourth year participating and I have seen real growth in my son since our first experience doing something like this.”

Artists Creating Together is a non-profit arts organization that brings children, youth and adults with disabilities together with artists and art projects. Annually, ACT helps over 5,000 individuals celebrate, succeed and grow through art.

“Thank you to Artists Creating Together for providing students with such unique and inspiring opportunities that take them out of their daily routines and into the great big wide world,” says Betsy Edgerton, a parent of an ACT student.

ACT has been serving this community since 1986. ACT programs can be found in schools, hospitals and other community venues throughout West Michigan.

To learn more about Artists Creating Together, the programs it offers, upcoming events and donation or volunteer opportunities visit, Facebook page @ArtistsCreatingTogether or on Twitter and Instagram @ACTWM. 

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