The Rapidian

Artists Creating Together announces ACTion Art winners to be represented at ArtPrize

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Winners were announced at the 7th annual ACTion Art reception. The three juror's choice winners will be displayed in ArtPrize 2017 this fall, sponsored by ACT.
Juror's Choice Winners, from left: Wes DeVries, Tyler Vonitter, Jodie Dilno

Juror's Choice Winners, from left: Wes DeVries, Tyler Vonitter, Jodie Dilno

About ACTion Art

2016 is the 7th annual ACTion Art exhibit, hosted by Artists Creating Together. ACT hosts ACTion Art in a uniquely designed opportunity to empower adult artists with disabilities to show their art in a professional gallery format, and to market and sell their work in the larger community. Each year, over 50 adult artists with disabilities are showcased in the exhibit. Three artists will be selected by a jury of local professional artists to be awarded $300 cash and to represent ACT in ArtPrize 2016, where they will be displayed in the Amway Grand Plaza.

People's Choice Winner Breanne Kelderhouse

People's Choice Winner Breanne Kelderhouse

Late March, the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Education Center was bustling with several events — an education day for area special education classrooms, an artists’ panel, and more. At the center of these events was ACTion Art, a unique art exhibit for people with disabilities, held by Artists Creating Together. The exhibit culminated into an artists’ reception, where three juror’s choice award winners and one people’s choice winner were announced.

The juror’s choice winners, who will receive a $300 cash prize and be sponsored by ACT in ArtPrize, are Jodie Dilno, Tyler Vonitter, and Wes DeVries. The people’s choice winner, who will receive a $100 cash prize, is Breanne Kelderhouse. The artists and their pieces demonstrated the broad spectrum of art and ability.

Art has been a part of Jodie Dilno’s life until 2015, when Jodie was involved in a car accident that left her with traumatic brain injuries and several other injuries, leaving her bedridden. While recovering, Jodie returned to her hometown and began exploring acrylic paint to keep herself busy.  

For ACTion Art, Jodie created a three-piece architectural acrylic series titled “Pieces,” which featured three individual paintings: “Reflections,” “Door No. 3,” and “Escape.” The paintings were realistic-looking images of different urban buildings, twisted in a new perspective. All of the pieces, Jodie explained, are inspired by photographs that she took wandering through Grand Rapids and her hometown. The series “Pieces” is developed from cropped and manipulated photographs to create a visually intriguing set.

Tyler Vonitter is a student of the Community Transition Campus in Grand Rapids. His piece, titled “Kaleidoscope of My Mind,” is a series of five drawing made out of marker. Tyler’s series uses several colors and shapes combined in a busy but contained image of excitement. According to Tyler, the colors represented aspects of himself and the world he lives in, creating a beautifully personal collection. Tyler shared, “I am just like any other person in the world.”

Wes DeVries, a longtime ACT artist, created an acrylic piece called “Falling Cars.” In the piece, Wes created a multi-layered painting that was fully fluid—paints seemed to move seamlessly from one end to the other, making the piece come to life. Juror’s were thoroughly impressed with the way Wes created this piece, noting the way the layers and movement created a unique texture. The piece used different shades of green, white, and black in a way that caught the eye of all visitors and jurors.

The people’s choice winner was Breanne Kelderhouse, a painter from Hastings. Breanne was diagnosed with MS seven years ago, when the symptoms became dramatic and left her with long-term nerve damage. Breanne shared: “I found painting to be the perfect way to distract me from the daily pain and discomfort. When I have a paint brush in my hand, I feel that I have endless opportunities to create in a world free from paint and all life's worries. My philosophy is to paint your troubles away.”

Breanne’s winning piece was an acrylic painting called “Emotions,” which Breanne described as representing the multiple bursts of feelings throughout any particular day. Breanne has described that creating art such as “Emotions” brings great joy to her daily life and allows her to fully enjoy her environment.

“It’s my new circle of life,” Breanne shared.

The three juror’s choice award winners will have artwork on display at the Amway Grand Plaza in ACTion Art this fall. ACT will be preparing for ACTion Art 2017 shortly. Visit later this summer for registration information.

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