Toledo artist taking aim at one of world’s largest prizesWritten by John Dorsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sculptor and Toledo native Calvin Babich is one of several artists competing for a shot at one of world’s largest art prizes.
The competition, known as ArtPrize, is being sponsored in Grand Rapids, Mich., by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, with prizes totaling $449,000, to be split among 10 finalists with a grand prize of $250,000. The winner is determined by popular vote. This is the first year for the competition, which features the work of 1,262 artists at 159 ArtPrize registered venues.
Babich, who works in stone, created a piece called “Rock Family,” which will be on display at the Design Plus offices located at 230 East Fulton St. in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.
“I just set out to create a depiction of a family on an outing that expresses their joy,” Babich said. “The piece is based on several things I’ve worked on in the past. I know that a lot of people that look at it will just think it’s cute.”
Babich, who works as a stone mason by day, could be called a late bloomer when it comes to his creative sculpture work.
“I spent three years as a journalism major at the University of Toledo, and then worked various jobs to take care of my family,” he said. “I only really started making sculpture about 12 years ago, though I’ve always had a passion for working with stone, there’s just such a permanence to it. I think being an artist leads you observe more.”
Babich has previously exhibited his work at a number of events throughout the area including the UT’s 4th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit and the 91st Toledo Area Artists exhibition. Those interested in seeing more of Babich’s work can visit the Web site www.calvinbabich.com.
ArtPrize is set to run through Oct. 10, with all voting for finalists running through Sept. 30 and grand prize voting until Oct. 7. The winner will be announced at Rosa Parks Circle on Oct. 8.