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Prized Artist Greg Constantine

Prized Artist Greg Constantine

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Mich., and view Greg Constantine’s two exhibits. The Canada native, Andrews University alumnus and Andrews Art professor emeritus has an extensive resume. He has taught art and history at Andrews University, exhibited his art nationally, and has been the recipient of awards and grants. His entries into the Art Prize competition included a painted vehicle for Honda’s Drive and Design competition, as well as a piece for his ongoing series “Art Myths.” The talented artist was kind enough to answer some questions I had about his works once I had finished my time in Grand Rapids.

 

 

How has your ArtPrize experience been so far?
This is my seventh time entering ArtPrize and I have enjoyed sharing my work in dialog with attendees (and there are thousands every day!)

 

Lighthouses are a very iconic part of Michigan, from which you based your paintings for the Honda Drive and Design contest, for which you painted a vehicle. Why did you choose to paint lighthouses on the vehicle?
There are 129 lighthouses in Michigan, more than any other state, likely because we have more coastline than all but Alaska. Many people enjoy visiting as many of them as possible, and some asked if I had visited all of them (which I haven’t). I did feature the two I identify with, however—Belle Isle at Detroit, which is in sight of the location where I was born and raised across the river in Windsor, Canada, and, the one in Saint Joseph near where I have lived the last 53 years.

 

What has your "Vincent van Gogh" submission at ArtPrize mean to you?
The “Vincent van Gogh” piece in ArtPrize is a grouping of four humorous statements about Vincent van Gogh that are part of a series of "Art Myths” and are also a part of my ongoing series of Art Quotes rendered in the medium of license plates that I create. People usually ask where I find the plates, and when I tell them that I fabricate and paint them myself, they suspect I made them while in prison.

 

How would you say your art has changed over time?
My art practice has changed little over the last 50 years, but I have been distracted from strictly painting on canvas when an idea has presented itself that needs to be materialized in another medium such as a book of drawings (of which I have had nine published).
 

What role does do you think the modern-day artist has in society?
The artist is still plays an important role in society when she or he attempts to call attention to issues that are best rendered in nonverbal abstract terms.

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