OSCEOLA COUNTY \u2014 Talented artists from around Osceola and Mecosta counties are competing in this year\u2019s popular ArtPrize competition and their pieces are sure to catch the eyes of attendees. ArtPrize, located throughout Grand Rapids, will take place from Wednesday, Sept. 18 and run through Sunday, Oct. 6. Pieces are located in both indoor and outdoor areas and the public can vote for their favorites as they get whittled down to the top 10. All top 10 finalists will receive cash prizes and the artist who receives first place by the end of the event will win $200,000. At least seven local artists are involved in ArtPrize. Here are a look at the contenders from Mecosta and Osceola counties: Glen Van Antwerp of Tustin PIONEER: What made you want to become an artist? VAN ANTWERP: Before I became an artist I became a fan carver. Through 50 or some years of carving, I\u2019ve refined and refined what I\u2019ve done. This piece is dramatically more refined and dramatically more artistic. Becoming an artist for me wasn\u2019t a conscious decision so much as it was a lifelong migration. My art has been a lifelong thing, it\u2019s been something I\u2019ve been interested in since I was 12 years old and it\u2019s something I\u2019m still interested in. What makes your art unique? VAN ANTWERP: The medium. You can go to any gallery and look at paintings and break them down into endless categories and subcategories compared to other paintings and painters. You can move to pottery and metal sculpture and in each of those genres you can do the same thing. Then you come to a cedar fan mobile and you can compare it to other mobiles, but that doesn\u2019t begin to take into account the special quality of cedar fan mobiles. What\u2019s unique is that I\u2019m in a genre that I\u2019ve invented and I have more than half a century of practicing in that style and developing it. Why are you participating in ArtPrize? VAN ANTWERP: I\u2019ve been thinking about it since ArtPrize began. The first year I thought it would be cool to participate and I went down and talked to other people in ArtPrize. When I retired I told everyone participating was one of my goals. ArtPrize is a chance to broadly display something that\u2019s not known. There will be nobody else there with something similar to this. What inspired you to do this piece? VAN ANTWERP: For about 20 years I\u2019ve made some mobiles with little birds and I\u2019ve been dreaming for about eight or 10 years to making something really big. I knew the way I make smaller mobiles wasn\u2019t going to work, so I thought of having a hub and making something bigger and having a smaller group of birds hanging over it. What are you hoping to get out of ArtPrize? VAN ANTWERP: I have no anticipation that I will win any kind of award at all. I have little anticipation that I will even sell the piece. What I\u2019m mainly interested in doing is developing an audience that will begin a conversation of \u2018what is this\u2019 and \u2018where did it come from.\u2019 It\u2019s an introduction. \u201cMigration\u201d can be seen at The Grand Woods Lounge, located at 77 Grandville Ave. SW Julie McDonough of Canadian Lakes PIONEER: What made you want to become an artist? MCDONOUGH: I\u2019m self taught and I\u2019ve been working with stained glass since I was 13. Since 1987, I\u2019ve been a professional artist. That\u2019s how I make my living, doing a lot of architectural stained glass, sand blasting and I make contemporary furniture and lighting. Three years ago I relocated up to Canadian Lakes from Oakland County. I\u2019ve always wanted to do large-scale sculptures. This I am creating to create. What makes your art unique? MCDONOUGH: I\u2019m combining glass and metal. With this piece, the lines and the design are really strong and that\u2019s the strength of the piece. I\u2019m using the glass to accent and highlight the lines. I also was fortunate enough to partner with the Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency\u2019s career tech and resource center to involve students and faculty in the fabrication of this piece and the graphics for the marketing of this piece. On Sept. 19 and 20 I have student volunteers down there and it\u2019s just been a great team effort. Why are you participating in ArtPrize? MCDONOUGH: Where else am I going to display a piece like this? I got the inspiration to create it and now I have to find a place to display it. What inspired you to do this piece? MCDONOUGH: I\u2019m very passionate about the current issue on America\u2019s wild mustangs and burros. In 1971 there was a lot of land set aside for the preservation of the animals and it\u2019s gotten to the point where their numbers have been reduced by more than 90 percent. More of them are in captivity than in the wild, and the ones in captivity are sick. Ten percent die during the roundups and livestock outnumbers the horses on their land 50 to one. It\u2019s an issue I\u2019m really passionate about and I will donate up to 30 percent of all proceeds from this sculpture to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and to their holding facility. This is the only way I know how to contribute to this issue on the scale that I want to. What are you hoping to get out of ArtPrize? MCDONOUGH: I\u2019ve already gotten it. I look at the competitors that I\u2019m going to be judged with and it\u2019s very intimidating. As an artist, you have to let go of the outcome and focus on the process. Am I happy with the piece? Yes. Did it come together better than I expected? Yes. At this point, it\u2019s out of my hands. Certainly I would love to wind up in the top 10. I\u2019m very excited. \u201cFreedom\u201d can be seen at The B.O.B, located at 20 Monroe Ave. NW. Cheryl Gould of Morley PIONEER: What made you want to become an artist? GOULD: Since I was little I liked to draw and make things, so I went into art teaching in Vicksburg. When I retired, I wanted to start a body of work and start with native flowers. What makes your art unique? GOULD: I don\u2019t know of any other artists that are focusing on native Michigan wildflowers in their habitat. Why are you participating in ArtPrize? GOULD: Just to see if I could, for the challenge of it. I\u2019m very excited. What inspired you to do these pieces? GOULD: The venue chose three paintings of lady slippers. They are really rare flowers and I found them between Big Rapids and Paris on the White Pine Trail. Also, the flowers are so precious. If you disturb them, they\u2019re gone. They\u2019re pretty special things. What are you hoping to get out of ArtPrize? GOULD: Maybe I\u2019ll get a little more exposure and a little more business on my Etsy website. Art is meant to be seen, so if you\u2019re going to make it, you should show it. \u201cMichigan Native Wildflowers\u201d can be seen at Fifth Third Bank, located at 111 Lyon NW. Robert Routley of Stanwood PIONEER: What made you want to become an artist? ROUTLEY: I have been an artist since the late 1970s. I have a degree from Ferris State University in technical illustration, I also studied fine arts at the same time and I worked for 23 years as an illustrator for Steelcase in Grand Rapids. I always liked to draw, even as a kid. I would draw birds because I\u2019ve always liked birds. What makes your art unique? ROUTLEY: My detail. Most wood burners do a lot of shading and not a lot of color. I guess my forte is that I like color. It has texture to it because I sharpen my tools instead of using them dull. Why are you participating in ArtPrize? ROUTLEY: I really didn\u2019t have any plans to take part in it, but back in April I participated in Artists Creating Together in Grand Rapids in an art show. The prize for the top three winners was $500 and an automatic entry into ArtPrize. I was one of the top three. What inspired you to do this piece? ROUTLEY: I look around at farms and the piece is depicting how family farms are going away. This piece has pheasants and a farm scene. What are you hoping to get out of ArtPrize? ROUTLEY: The fun and to enjoy it. I don\u2019t do art to compete, I do art for enjoyment. I\u2019m looking forward to it, though. I hope people will come out and look at it. \u201cLife Continues\u201d can be seen at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, located at 187 Monroe Ave. NW. Additional artists competing in ArtPrize could not be reached. John Battle, of Paris, is featuring \u201cGreen Maple Portrait,\u201d which can be seen at West Coast Coffee, located at 55 Monroe Center NW. Pam Miller, of Morely, has created \u201cMandala,\u201d which will be at San Chez Bistro and Cafe, located at 38 W. Fulton. William Duley, of Tustin, is also a part of ArtPrize this year, but declined an interview. His piece, \u201cJesus as depicted on the Shroud of Turin,\u201d can be seen at Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 47 Jefferson SE.