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ArtPrize Profile: "One" by Mike Moy

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“Art is forever exploring adventure. I have a style, but every piece isn’t the same. I like to share ideas. A lot of people will do something with it. Everyone has a talent, whatever you want to get out of it is up to you.”   ~ Mike Moy
When I first met Mr. Moy I was about to go out for dinner at the BOB and noticed an epic, ornate wood carving standing about 20 feet tall.  Next to it, working on the bottom of the carving, was a man who looked like a real life version of the bus driver from the Simpsons: in his forties, with crazy wavy long hair, a gravel-y voice, permanent headphones hanging from his ears, and a cigarette hanging from his mouth. I like to think it was a mix of luck and kismet that we met.
I was wearing a Led Zepplin T-shirt. One of the first things he told me was that his ArtPrize 2009 piece featured the hermit, a tarot card, and cover art from a Led Zepplin album. “I’m surprised at how many people responded to it, ” he says. Michael loves hermits and other fantasy characters such as wizards, dragons, and Lord of the Rings characters.
“One,” his 2010 ArtPrize entry is a wooden carving that stands 20 feet high and is easily one of the most noticeable and striking pieces featured at the BOB this year. According to his webpage, "'One' is based on the love of two people as their relationship grows, inevitably becoming more intertwined as they lose and then find themselves in one another, ultimately becoming 'One'."
During my interview with Moy, there were lots of people coming up to the table asking questions, a loud radio booming, and the sounds of chaos typical of the BOB’s ArtPrize parking lot.  Still, Moy and other artists maintained their focus and motivation - after all, it’s a very great prize.
Mike Moy was born in Grand Rapids and went to Union High School and later to Kendall College of Art and Design.  His hobbies include carving wood, hanging out with his family - I met his wife and two kids who stopped by to talk and thank me for the interview - eating good food, traveling, playing games like rock band on the ps3, and Guitar Hero. Legalize marijuana? “Yes," he says, with a smile.  
What is your goal for entering Artprize?, I ask Mike. “Its about making connections and making money with art in hand.” It’s a smart goal for any of the competing artists, and a great opportunity to publicise your art. Moy currently works as a commissioned artist. He doesn’t own a gallery but instead travels to his customers’ homes to create a unique and very personal design, to experience the element of his customers' yards and homes so his piece is in harmony with the surroundings.  “I like traveling to people’s homes - matching a piece to personalities.”   This unique way of doing business affords him some pretty fun possibilities.  At one point he was able to stay in a guest house in gorgeous northern Michigan in the summer while working on a piece for a family there. “I've met a lot of people doing this. I make friends. I’ve met people at ArtPrize and shows in Lansing.” Apparently art is a great way to bring him out out of his shell.  Art is indeed known for bringing people and communities together, and Moy's "One" is a wonderful example. He is self-described as shy and reserved, but luckily Art Prize has been invented and gives him opportunites to sell his art, meet new people, and come out of his shell.
Be sure to check out his website ,, and his artprize webpage at  Even better, stop by the BOB to see him carving his wood piece, "One."

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