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Doll Artist Could Win $250,000 for ArtPrize Competition
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 17:35
michelle-obama-dollGrand Rapids is gearing up for ArtPrize, an unprecedented competition that will award nearly one-half million dollars to prize winners, including $250,000 to the artist who receives the most public votes. ArtPrize, which will run from Sept. 23 through Oct. 10 in Grand Rapids, Mich., will have no formal jury, curator or judge. The public will decide who wins the prizes by voting, using mobile devices and the Web. More than 1,200 artists have entered the competition, including doll artist Nancy Tassin from Grand Haven, Mich., who will be showing her work at Fountain Street Church.

Tassin’s ArtPrize entry, titled “An American Family,” is an art doll portrait sculpture of President Obama and his family (at press time, a photo of the entire piece was not available). It respectfully captures the humanity and hope that lies at the core of who the Obamas are and what they mean to our nation. Each figure’s body is soft-sculpted out of fabric-over-wire armature. The hands, feet, and faces are free-sculpted from polymer clay. The eyes are glass and the wigs are handmade from Angora goat hair. The costumes are handmade from wool, silk, cotton and other fibers. Each sculpture is finished with oil paint. The figures range from 10 to 23 inches tall.

“People have always been my favorite subject to draw, paint and now sculpt,” explains Tassin. “I find the human face so interesting with all of the little differences that make each one of us unique.” 

Tassin chose President Obama and his family as the subject for her piece because they represent an important moment in history, and she wanted to capture them as they start their journey. “I think they are a beautiful family with strong values. Their closeness and the support they provide to one another seem to embody the hope our nation needs at this time. Whether or not one agrees with his policies and ideals, I feel like the Obamas as the First Family represent America ’s best qualities,” says Tassin.

Web sites to visit:
http://www.artprize.org/artist/id/2743 (Nancy Tassin’s ArtPrize Profile)


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