ArtPrize 10 winners: Human & personal connections

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The public vote grand prize winner at ArtPrize 10 is a photo series about the concept of the human connection, while the juried grand prize winner is a deeply personal piece about identity.

At the ArtPrize 10 Awards Friday, husband-and-wife team Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez won $200,000 for "THE STRING PROJECT" and Le'Andra LeSeur won for brown, carmine, and blue.

Nix and Cortez said they were inspired while working at their small soup kitchen in Guatemala. Called Project Simple, it feeds elderly women and homeless children.

"They use a lot of string — they're Mayan ... and one day we thought, 'Well, what about a string?'" Nix said in a live interview on 24 Hour News 8 after the win. "We were missing something in our photographs. There was a disconnect between our viewer and our art form."

The string, she said, unified the work. Each of their photos shows someone holding a white cord, connecting them to one another with a simple symbol.

Nix and Cortez, who live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, said they'll be using the prize money to expand their soup kitchen.

Full story on WOODTV8


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