"Arise" is my ArtPrize 10 entry. It is created using gold and silver leaf, enamel and acrylic paint, a mirror and birch panels. Here are details of the left wing of the horizontal paintings:
Here is the right wing, separated from the left by a mounted 12" square mirror:
My Artist Statement is as follows:
Arise means variously: to emerge, to become apparent, and to get up. In terms of this contemporary polyptych, “Arise” utilizes the language of painting such as, color, mark-making, organic, sacred and geometric forms; to convey the story of Christ’s betrayal, crucifixion, death and reemergence as a Holy Spirit. “Arise” has an installation and sculptural quality created through the incorporation of a dimensional cross-shape, complete with a central color-block story, mirror and painted borders around the edges, forming the frames. These objects have conceptual and symbolic meanings. The vertical color-blocking reiterates the horizontal story told through text and image. The linear colors signify the transformation of Christ from son of God to Spirit. The mirror invites the viewer to examine their role in this story. The two-inch red borders connote blood and sacrifice. It also reinforces the sacred nature of the cross, since red signifies the life-force. “Arise” is a multi-paneled abstraction, which seeks to tell the story of how Christ was betrayed, crucified, died and then arose from the dead. This story has resonated throughout the ages, and it has always resonated with me as an African American spiritual artist, though I'm not religious. Structurally, the panels create a cross-shape, moving left to right and up to down, to depict various aspects of the story. The text and image piece is 112” x 110" x 2" deep, created from mixed media, including birch panels, gold and silver leaf, acrylic and water-based enamel paint, ink and acrylic media; with a shimmering mirror in the center. Spirit exudes from the multi-paneled work, echoing the ethos of not being restrained by death, human acts or deeds. This piece focuses around the spirituality of the Passion of the Christ rather than any particular religion.
If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan during the duration of ArtPrize 10 (September 19 - October 7th) stop by Grand Valley Artists Exhibit at the Water Treatment Building. My vote code is: 67556.
Wondering about ArtPrize?
According to the website, ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days every other fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More than five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.
For me, it's been an incredible journey so far. I've had to cultivate more stamina than I thought I possessed. I've learned challenging, new techniques, such as working with gold leaf in a traditional manner. I've enjoyed praying and meditating to Medieval Music while I worked daily. The work was a physical and an incredibly spiritual practice. I was pretty much sorry when the piece was completed and out of my studio. I greatly look forward to seeing it in situ.