An Awakening ArtPrize

Kendall student among the many displaying their work

by Published: Sep 25, 2013

rBrianna Baurichter, a Kendall graduate student, has an entire hallway at this year’s ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. This is just one of the many submissions under the main title of “Awakening,” which focuses on the study of dreams. Courtesy Photo Provided By Brianna Baurichte

rBri­anna Baurichter, a Kendall grad­u­ate stu­dent, has an entire hall­way at this year’s ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. This is just one of the many sub­mis­sions under the main title of “Awakening,” which focuses on the study of dreams. Courtesy Photo Provided By Brianna Baurichte

ArtPrize is under­way, and for one Kendall stu­dent, it’s every­thing she’d hoped for.

The mas­sive annual art com­pe­ti­tion began on Sept. 18 and will run through Oct. 6, tak­ing over much of Grand Rapids. Independently orga­nized and pub­licly voted upon, the event will occupy 169 venues through­out the city with the work of nearly 2,000 artists.

One of those venues, the Boardwalk Condominiums on Monroe Avenue, is where the work of Kendall grad­u­ate stu­dent Brianna Baurichter can be found.

Before ArtPrize, venues and artists nego­ti­ate the dis­play­ing of the artists work in a process called “Connections.” Baurichter, who reached out to sev­eral venues sim­ply look­ing for one that would be dis­play­ing paint­ings indoors, struck gold.

“I got a whole hall­way,” Baurichter said, openly excited. “I hit it off with the lady who owns the build­ing, Kelly Crawley. A lot of artists at her build­ing had like, one piece up, and I got to put up twelve pieces.”

Those twelve pieces are all a part of a series, one well-suited for lin­ing a long, low hallway.

“I sub­mit­ted a series of paint­ings under the main title of ‘Awakening.’ They’re all oil paint­ings, mostly on can­vas, some on pan­els. They’re related to a study of dreams, but it’s more broad [than that]. Dreams, hal­lu­ci­na­tions, altered per­cep­tions, lay­er­ing real­i­ties with those things that seem a bit surreal.”

Baurichter began apply­ing for ArtPrize when she was still in Chicago, after decid­ing to fol­low her time at Columbia College with post­grad­u­ate stud­ies at Kendall.

“I met Jay Constantine [Kendall pro­fes­sor and artist] at port­fo­lio day in Chicago. I saw his work, I saw fac­ulty work, I saw stu­dent work, and I loved it,” she said.

She went on to explain how, though there’s a per­cep­tion that Kendall is more con­cerned with con­cep­tual and con­tem­po­rary art, it was one of the most sup­port­ive pro­grams of tra­di­tional paint­ing that she’d encountered.

“Every other grad pro­gram for fine arts… they really don’t care if you know how to paint or not. Yale is the num­ber one paint­ing pro­gram in the USA, but I’m not impressed. I’ve not really seen work from them that I really appreciate.”

The choice has been the right one thus far, accord­ing to Baurichter. Though she still has three more years — and three more ArtPrizes — the pro­gram has already been help­ing her improve. Not many other art stu­dents have the oppor­tu­nity to be part of one of the most renowned inter­na­tional art com­pe­ti­tions, and to have it hap­pen­ing right their in their backyard.