MI Great Artist Announces First-Ever People’s Choice Winner, Top 35 Artists

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MI Great Artist 2018

“Lovers Leap” by Thomas Bos

MI Great Artist has announced its 35 semi-finalists for 2018—including one lucky “People’s Choice” winner who automatically moves to the competition’s final round.

Sponsored by Park West Gallery and Michigan’s Oakland County, the MI Great Artist contest showcases some of the best artists in Southeastern Michigan. The addition of the People’s Choice Award is new to the contest this year.

The first-ever People’s Choice winner is Thomas Bos of White Lake. Bos, a self-taught photographer, entered under the name Bos Exposures. He received the most votes of any artist during the voting period with a total of 1,687 votes.

Members of the public could vote for their favorite Michigan-based artists once a day from August 23 to September 5 at MIGreatArtist.com. A total of 26,944 votes were cast. Due to extremely close voting—resulting in a number of ties—the contest added five additional semi-finalist slots for 2018.

You can view the artwork of all 35 semi-finalists here.

“Congratulations to Thomas for catching the eye of the voting public and to our other semi-finalists,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Our judges have a real challenge before them as they decide the ultimate winner. I wish them luck.”

MI Great Artist 2018

“Blue Ice” by Thomas Bos

Not only will Bos receive $750 and an assortment of other prizes, he is guaranteed a spot as one of the five finalists who will vie for the title of 2018 MI Great Artist. The remaining four finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges and announced on September 18.

This year’s voting helped narrow down the field of contestants from 209 to 35. Here are the 35 semi-finalists (in alphabetical order):

  • @izzca
  • Vince Adragna
  • Bos Exposures
  • William Brody
  • Karen Buscemi
  • Nicole Buza
  • Aurina Counts-Garbovits
  • Arlinda H. Crossland
  • Lacy Draper
  • Susan Lori Emerling
  • Rachel Fernandez
  • Kim Fujiwara
  • Donna Gonzalez
  • Cindy Heming
  • Deven Joshi
  • Loren Lacy
  • Pat Langner
  • Lilian Rose Lebednick
  • Made of Earth
  • Mia Miller
  • Catherine Perez
  • Poppy
  • Arthur Richards III
  • James M. Siatczynski
  • Jen Spezia
  • Michael Tingley
  • Vasu Tolia
  • Robert J. Tyrrell
  • Brooke Voeller
  • Brian Wagnitz
  • Zach Joseph Wendt
  • Courtney Welch
  • Denise Cassidy Wood
  • Genevieve Van Zandt
  • Zoey Z.

The five finalists will be featured in a group exhibition on October 23 at Park West Gallery, where the winner will be revealed during an award ceremony. The public is invited to attend.

The winner receives a $1,500 cash prize, professional framing of their submitted artwork, a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery, a scholarship to attend business workshops at Oakland county’s One Stop Shop Business Center, and their artwork featured on an upcoming quality-of-life event for Oakland County.

The runners-up all receive a $375 cash prize, professional framing of their submitted artwork and a scholarship to attend a business workshop at Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center.

The MI Great Artist competition is open to artists ages 18 and older living, working, or attending school in the Michigan counties of Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, and Wayne.

Visit MIGreatArtist.com for more information, including a timeline of events and the full list of prizes.

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