ArtPrize work inspired by 'emotion of Michigan'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon artist decided to go big for ArtPrize 10, and it landed him in the Final 20.

"Michigan Effect" is on display in front of the Biggby Coffee on Monroe Center.

"It's two photos in the shape of Michigan," third-time ArtPrize artist Tom Gifford explained Sunday after finding out he was a public vote finalist, "one of a sunset over Lake Michigan and the other one's the Northern Lights."

He said he wanted to "capture the emotion of Michigan."

"The Lower Peninsula, you've got the calmness of sunsets and water and rocks. But then the U.P., you've got the sense of adventure," he said.

Over the course of four months, he cut huge plates of fiberglass into the shapes of the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, paying close attention to the details of the lakeshores.

"I wanted you to be able to look at it and say, 'Oh, I live there,' or 'Oh, there's my little bay or peninsula,'" he said.  

Put together, the piece stands 12 feet tall.

"Michigan Effect" is a finalist for the $200,000 public vote grand prize at the world's largest art competition. Winners will be announced Friday in a live awards show on WOOD TV8.

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