The Art Prize Winner for 2015 is from my area and the winning piece is on display in Frankfort, Michigan for the next couple of weeks.  I went to see it on Thursday afternoon for myself.

shopAnn and Steve Loveless have a shop in Beulah, Michigan and are local celebreties now.  I stopped by their shop on Wednesday and admired both Steve and Ann’s other work.  I talked briefly with the framing gal that works in the shop and she told me to look for the morel mushroom in the piece…more about that later.

closeupOn Wednesday evening there was a reception at the Oliver Art Center to welcome them and their Art Prize winning piece to be displayed at the gallery for the next few weeks.  This is a change from previous years of the Art Prize.  Before the piece went immediately on “tour” for the Art Prize winner’s circuit, now the art piece comes back to the artists community to be appreciated and the artist(s) to be commemorated for a job well done.  Another change with the Art Prize rules this year is at the end of the year and after the “tour” the piece becomes the property of the artist(s) and can be sold.  In previous years the piece became the property of Art Prize. Not anymore.

Here they are accepting the award this year for their collaborative piece, “Northwood Awakening”.  Ann also won the Art Prize in 2013 with her art quilt of Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.

photo to fabricThe piece is a collaboration between Ann and her husband Steve in a mixed media that they both excel in.  He is a photographer and she is a quilter and the twain SHALL meet…in the middle.  That’s right, this work of art starts out on the left as all photography and ends up all quilting. As the eye moves from left to right you can discern how the surface is smooth with only the photograph on the left and as you move your eyes to the right you’ll notice little bits of fabric and photos cut into confetti sized pieces begin appearing on the surface and increase in number as your eye travels along the piece.  When your eyes continue to the far right of the piece you will notice that the media used is all fabric.  Quite clever….and huge!  Did I mention that the piece is 60″ tall and 300″ long?  That’s five feet tall and 25 feet long!  It was done in 4 panels and is assembled on site to create the entire piece seamlessly with the joins covered by trees.

collage of working on pieceHere’s some information about the piece and some photographs of Ann and Steve:

  • over 1,100 combined hours of design, photo editing and production
  • 37,000 individual squares of batik and printed fabric
  • photo printed on various canvas and cotton broadcloth fabric
  • 450 fabric trilliums
  • 12,000 yards of thread, 60 yards of fabric and fusible web
  • 42 photographs merged into background image
  • machine quilted on an Avante 18 long arm Handi Quilter
  • photograph site is at the St. Pierre Trail in Benzie County, May 8, 2015

Can you find the little bitty morel mushroom in the piece?  You’ll have to get real close to find the morel, so I invite you to visit art center before it’s to late.  Call first for dates and times and go for yourself.  It’s on display at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort, Michigan I dare you to find it.  Before it drives you crazy…  Here’s the panorama that I took that captures this huge piece in one image.  Click on the image below to see it better.


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