This Friday, the Loop will host 191 works of art for the Art Loop Open and you can vote for the winner of the $25,000 grand prize. Below are some of the works that will be on view. This competition is Chicago's response to ArtPrize and annual competition in Grand Rapids, MI. An important difference between the two competitions is that artists participating in Art Loop Open are juried, whereas ArtPrize is open to any artist as long as they can "secure a venue" to show their work. This means that the majority of work shown at ArtPrize is usually traditional and conservative. Realism usually rules the day, this year's winner was Chris LaPorte's a large life-size portrait titled Cavalry, American Officers, 1921 which showed just that subject, executed in graphite. Last year's winner was Ran Ortner's Open Water, no. 24, which also showed just that subject in high realism, executed in oil paint on canvas. I should note I've never gone to see ArtPrize, but with winners like that why would I?
Art Loop Open promises much more diverse fare and diverse subjects that don't shy away from hot political topics. Just check out all the oil spill-related work in the slideshow (four examples at least), or the portrait of Bush made of rolls of toilet paper.
I'll be writing more about the Art Loop Open in the coming days.