The Rapidian

World in color: Highlighting ArtPrize ACTion artist Tyler Vonitter

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In a personal and captivating collection, Tyler Vonitter brings intricacy and color to ArtPrize 2016.
Three drawings from "Kaleidoscope"

Three drawings from "Kaleidoscope"

About ACT and ArtPrize

For over five years, Artists Creating Together has partnered with ArtPrize to bring art to all members of the community. Each year, the three Juror's Choice winners in the ACTion Art exhibit are sponsored by ACT to participate in ArtPrize, empowering artists with disabilities to display their artwork in a national, renowned competition. During ArtPrize, ACT also hosts a series of events through ArtPrize. This year, ACT will be hosting Alphabet Soup!, a free, family-fun event on October 2nd. ACT will also be hosting the To Market, To Market Education Days, which offer workshops in sensory arts, culinary arts, creative movement, and ACT's signature truck painting to classrooms in the greater Grand Rapids area. For more information, visit

The three Juror's Choice winners, from the left: Wes DeVries, Tyler Vonitter, and Jodie Dilno

The three Juror's Choice winners, from the left: Wes DeVries, Tyler Vonitter, and Jodie Dilno

When Tyler Vonitter first entered the ACTion Art exhibit in March of this year, it was with a set of five drawings titled “Kaleidoscope.” After being selected as one of the Juror’s Choice winners in the exhibit, “Kaleidoscope” has expanded into a set of fifteen drawings, all displaying Vonitter’s immense creativity and eye for detail. This expanded set is what Tyler will be displaying during this year’s annual ArtPrize event, starting on September 21.

Vonitter is a student of the Community Transition Campus at Eberhard in Grand Rapids and has long-since been involved with Grand Rapids-local nonprofit, Artists Creating Together (ACT). ACT is an arts organization that connects the art community with the disability community in Grand Rapids. It focuses on empowering individuals with disabilities to learn, grow and celebrate through the arts.

The ACTion Art exhibit, where “Kaleidoscope” first appeared, is one of ACT’s community programs that empowers adult artists with disabilities to display their work in a professional gallery format (the GRAM). Each year, a jury selects three pieces from the exhibit that stand out the most, and ACT sponsors the winning artists in ArtPrize. Looking at the intricacy of “Kaleidoscope,” it is no wonder Vonitter was selected as one of this year’s juror’s choice winners.

The piece is a series of fifteen intricate, abstract marker drawings on notebook paper. Each drawing starts as an outline in black marker, which Vonitter spends hours creating. Then, he carefully fills each section with a variety of colors and hues so that not one space is left without color. With each piece, Vonitter deliberately chooses a palette that fits the emotion of the piece. Some of his more flowing pieces use one primary palette, while others use a wide spectrum of bright and bold colors.

"Colors represent some aspects of myself and the world I live in," Vonitter shared about the piece’s beautifully personal influences.

The shapes created in Vonitter’s drawings are fluid and organic, and the colors add a wonderful sense of movement that comes to life when seen. He prefers to draw on notebook paper because it is lightweight and allows the colors to bleed through to the other side of the paper. He also uses the lines of the paper as a framework for creating movement and color. The result is a series of drawings that are distinct in their own way, yet fluid with each other. Combined, they show a unique perspective of the world.

“Kaleidoscope” will be displayed at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel during ArtPrize. For more information about Vonitter and his artistic process, visit his ArtPrize bio page at, or visit the ACTion Art page through Artists Creating Together at Vonitter is vote code 63817.

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