Dozens of ArtPrize entries getting installed on Mackinac Island first

Can’t wait for ArtPrize? You can get an early look at more than 40 of this year’s works during a preview show this summer on Mackinac Island.

“Crossing the Straits” is an exhibition of Yooper art organized by the Mackinac Arts Council and the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba. Through the last three weeks of August and into the first week of September, you can visit any of 10 locations on the island to see the works of Upper Peninsula artists who are competing in this year’s ArtPrize in Grand Rapids.

The preview show is not a part of ArtPrize, though it is supported by the organization that each of the past 10 years has awarded the world’s largest art prize. Just like the original competition, “Crossing the Straits” will showcase art in public spaces that are free to visit like hotel lobbies, the library and outdoor venues. A map and photographs of the artwork will be available here, and printed maps will be distributed at the island’s visitor center.

There won’t be any public voting for the art on display for “Crossing the Straits,” and no six-figure cash prizes. But you’ll be able to use the ArtPrize app to save the codes for your favorite U.P. works, so you can cast votes from anywhere after ArtPrize begins Sept. 19.

An opening reception for “Crossing the Straits” is 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at Mission Point Resort. The works will remain on exhibit through Sept. 7 when they’ll get shipped to Grand Rapids for ArtPrize.

Three past ArtPrize works from ArtPrize-winning U.P. sculptor Andy Sacksteder already are on display on Mackinac. You can see the Gladstone artist’s “Reach and Splash,” a 2015 ArtPrize category winner, at Mission Point’s The Greens of Mackinac putting course, and “UPlifting,” which took third place in the ArtPrize public vote in 2013, near Fort Mackinac. Another bronze sculpture by Sacksteder, “The Lightkeeper and his Dog,” is by Hotel Iroquois on the beach near Windermere Point and the Mackinac Island Public Library.

The past ArtPrize works are on display because Sacksteder’s 2018 ArtPrize entry is still being created, said Philip Rice, the art council’s program director. Everything else coming to the island for “Crossing the Straits” is entered in this year’s ArtPrize.

There’s still time to find a place to stay on Mackinac and get an early look at some of this year’s ArtPrize entries.

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