Two members of the Hope campus community and several alumni have entries in ArtPrize Nine, which is running in multiple venues in Grand Rapids from Wednesday, Sept. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 8.

Dr. Charles Cusack, associate professor in the departments of computer science and mathematics, has entered “Squares,” constructed of Lego bricks.  In his artist’s statement, he notes, “My entry is a collection of both 2D and 3D representations of various types of squares made out of Lego elements. Some of the pieces are a representation of one or more mathematical objects. Included are pieces that represent Latin squares (similar to Sudoku), sets of mutually orthogonal Latin squares, fractal Latin squares, and partial Latin squares. I have included Menger sponges, a few Latin cubes (Cubes are just extensions of squares to three dimensions), and a few pieces inspired by Josef Albers and Piet Mondrian. My entry includes about 70 2D pieces (60 small pieces and about 10 larger ones) and about eight 3D pieces.”

“Squares” is on display at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown, located at 11 Monroe Ave. NW in Grand Rapids.  The venue is open to the public on Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sophomore Emily Lindbloom has entered “How It Ends,” an oil painting featuring the hands of her parents.  In her artist’s statement, she notes, “‘How It Ends’ is an exploration of real-life love that permeates our world — the love that calls to us day by day, the love that draws us together, and the love pulsing through our veins from our creator, Jesus. ‘How It Ends’ is a piece about lasting connection and togetherness, a simple grasp of hope, courage, and peace. It portrays a delicate gesture and a gentle touch amidst the loud, chaotic world of rough edges and false love. What would happen if the world were to operate out of peace and gentleness instead of hustle and selfishness? If we listen close enough, perhaps we will hear the whisper, ‘You are loved, you are loved. Rest in this love.’”

“How It Ends” is on display at Central Reformed Church, located at 10 College Ave. NE in Grand Rapids.  The venue is open to the public on Monday and Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m., Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Alumni with work in the contest (based on a search for “Hope” and “College” on the ArtPrize website, which was the best method we could devise) include Richard Aardsma (’71), Michelle Calkins (VanderVelde ’90), Melodee Jackson (’14), Matt Jung (’97), Joel Schoon-Tanis (’89), Rachel Syens (’11), Christine Towner (’07), Meghan Vanderlee (’11), Amelia Volwiler-Stanley (’14) and Eric Westra (’93).

ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition in which any artist working in any medium anywhere in the world may participate.  Across the event’s 19 days, art is exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids, in venues including museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto body shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces.  The 2016 event featured work by artists from 40 states and 44 countries, with more than 500,000 visitors attending.

The contest includes two grand prizes of $200,000 each and multiple category prizes (2D, 3D, installation and time-based) of $12,500 each, with winners chosen in each through public vote and jurors.  The first round of public voting runs Wednesday, Sept. 20-Saturday, Sept. 30, and the second round runs Sunday-Thursday, Oct. 1-5.

This year’s ArtPrize features 1,346 entries in 175 venues.  More information about ArtPrize Nine, including a searchable database of artists, entries and venues, is available at

Note:  If this article has missed any Hope faculty, staff, student or alumni participants in ArtPrize Nine, please email with the artist’s name, the title of the work and the venue.  They’ll be added as soon as possible, even if only (depending on the timing relative to the event itself) to chronicle here their participation for posterity.