Art experts and the public often disagree over what is great, but consensus over the weekend brought $300,000 to Anila Quayyum Agha of Indianapolis.
Agha, who teaches at the Herron School of Art and Design, was the first artist ever at the ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., to capture first place in the contest’s popular review and critical review.
ArtPrize, in its sixth year, is an unusual, citywide 19-day art show open to any artist. Artists have to procure a location for the piece. Agha’s, an installation called “Intersections,” got a choice spot at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Powered by a single lightbulb that cast intricate shadows, it transformed an empty, white-walled room into a temple of sorts.
More than $500,000 in prize money is put up each year by the billionaire DeVos family, whose patriarch, Richard DeVos, co-founded Amway.