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ArtPrize Revisited


Before I let ArtPrize lay dormant until September 2010 when Grand Rapids buzzes and twitters about hundreds, maybe thousands of works of art installed around the city,  I’d like to re visit ArtPrize 2009 to take a look at one of my favorite artists and her submission.

Ok, right up front, with full disclosure, I want to say that Sarah Bereza Bates is a young woman I’ve known and loved for many years.  The daughter of dear friends of ours, and now a friend in her own right, I’ve watched her grow from an awkwardly charming young girl who always looked at life in her own way, to the drop dead gorgeous, accomplished and interesting person she is today.

With her permission I am posting her piece on view at ArtPrize along with her statement about it.  It is a marvelous painting to be enjoyed and pondered. I wish everyone could see it full size.

I’m also posting what I call our “early Sarah Bereza.”  This image of blueberries is one we commissioned from Sarah when she was in high school and had her first solo show (yes….at her proud parents’ home). The theme for the show was fruit.  We were so entranced with her work we asked her to do a piece for us. We chose blueberries because we owned a blueberry farm at the time.   We love and continue to enjoy it.

So, I post them both showing how an early and a current example of Sarah’s work. We look forward to seeing what she does next year for ArtPrize.

The Graduate

2009

Oil on Canvas frame: Wood, Foam, Resin

71″ x 48″ x 2″

Artist Statement

I am drawn to people who reveal a double personality- a mix on innocence and a darker side.  I find painting subjects of this sort a challenge that reveals as much about my own psychology as it does that of my subjects – who happen to be my friends.  As part of a generation of painters who came of age in New York City, my paintings explore the range of personas from innocence to subtly perverse that they employ in their daily lives.  I see my work as part of an ongoing tradition of revealing psychological portraiture.  Using styro foam and epoxy, I make frames that replicate 18th century picture frame motifs in an effort to link my work to that tradition.

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Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

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