The Top 5 Finalists Have Been Announced For 2017 MI Great Artist Competition

The five finalists for the 2017 MI Great Artist Competition

The five finalists for the 2017 MI Great Artist Competition

Five finalists have been chosen for the 2017 MI Great Artist Competition, a contest in support of up-and-coming artists in Southeast Michigan.

232 artists from 8 different local counties submitted entries for the competition, but only five artists are now in the running to be named the 2017 MI Great Artist.

In a recent announcement, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson called the finalists “supremely talented individuals” and noted that their “skill and passion is evident in the incredible works they’ve created.”

The 2017 MI Great Artist Finalists are:

Meredith Lea Bailey from Rochester Hills

"Alfred Hitchcock" (2017), Meredith Lea Bailey

“Alfred Hitchcock” (2017), Meredith Lea Bailey


Michael Bollerud from Taylor

"Caught in a Moment" (2017), Michael Bollerud

“Caught in a Moment” (2017), Michael Bollerud


Margret Grace McDermott from Clarkston

"Tete-a-Tete Champagne and Roses" (2017), Margret McDermott

“Tete-a-Tete Champagne and Roses” (2017), Margret McDermott


Thomas Tunney from Commerce Township

"Existing in Wheat" (2017), Thomas Tunney

“Existing in Wheat” (2017), Thomas Tunney


Jennifer M. Whaley from Rochester Hills

"Oh Deer!" (2017), Jennifer Whaley

“Oh Deer!” (2017), Jennifer Whaley

The ultimate winner of the competition will be announced at a public reception at Park West Gallery on October 25. The work of the five finalists will be on display at the gallery from October 26 to November 2.

The contest was originally started in 2012 as a partnership between Michigan’s Oakland County and Park West Gallery’s Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione.

In discussing the inspiration behind the contest, Scaglione said, “Our gallery has a long history of exposing people to art, not just by international artists, but those in the local area. We are pleased to continue this tradition and look forward to supporting and shining a spotlight on some of Michigan’s most talented artists.”

The 2017 competition began when 232 artists submitted their artwork for review on the MI Great Artist website. This kicked off a round of online voting, resulting in over 34,500 votes being cast. This narrowed the field down to the top 22 artists, who had their artwork reviewed by a panel of distinguished local judges.

The panel included Scaglione; Elliott W. Broom, Vice President of Museum Operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Dominic Pangborn, founder of Pangborn Design Collection and a former professor at the College of Creative Studies; artist and sculptor Don Tocco; and Kristie Everett Zamora, Coordinator of Arts and Culture for Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

Beyond bragging rights, the 2017 MI Great Artist winner will also receive a $1,500 cash prize, professional framing for five pieces of their art, a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery, and more.

For a full list of prizes and more information about the contest, visit the MI Great Artist website.

One Response to The Top 5 Finalists Have Been Announced For 2017 MI Great Artist Competition

  1. t. hayes says:

    how do you pick the winning artist?? it’s really not possible! I tried. they are all so talented and offer their own unique, individual style; it seems they all deserve top honors. I don’t envy the judges, I can say that.

    (maybe it’s just me, but ms. whaley’s submission screams for the title: “not now deer, I have a headache!” hehehe!)

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