Former President, Nicholas Kroeze and Alumnus, Amanda Gilbert have work in ArtPrize Nine

September 22, 2017

Former president of Kuyper College, Nicholas V. Kroeze and the Kroeze Krew have entered a piece titled, ONE. 

About the piece:
ONE expresses the unity we strive for in our global culture by recognizing how diversity forms a beautiful fullness in the human experience. Using exotic hardwoods from around the world to represent individual groups of people, ONE combines the shape of arms and hands melding together to form a singular limb stretching skyward. Each species of hardwood is grouped together at the base, conveying the segregation of people such as we have experienced in our history. As time and events unfold—proceeding upward through the arm—the pieces begin to integrate, reflecting our changing attitudes and our striving toward embracing diversity. Each individual piece was hand-drawn and cut to shape. The inexact fit of each piece with its neighbor resulting from this process conveys that even within homogeneous groups, we do not experience perfect harmony. However, we continue to aspire toward unity, bringing us to the “ONE” finger that melds the woods together, forming the dream toward which we strive: to be ONE in mutual respect, common purpose and celebration of each other's uniqueness. The woods used in ONE are: Wenge, Walnut, Mahogany, Yellowheart and Ash. ONE is 12 feet tall and 8 feet around the base.

ONE is on display at Peppinos Pizzeria & Sports Grille, located at 130 Ionia SW Grand RapidsMI 49503. For more information about this entry, please visit


Amanda Gilbert, class of 2013, has entered a piece titled, Crowns of Courage.

About the piece:
Crowns of Courage challenges the traditional aesthetic of feminine beauty and explores a vision of empowerment where pain and shame are normally found. This exhibit is made in collaboration with dozens of West Michigan cancer patients who are experiencing radical cancer treatments. Chemotherapy in and of itself is grueling, and in a culture where women are often judged by superficial standards of beauty, hair loss can add emotional pain to the intense physical cost of chemotherapy. The women of Crowns of Courage are living art. They collaborate with a henna tattoo artist to design a temporary piece of henna art that celebrates their baldness, their struggles and their pain, and draws attention to what is is normally a private struggle concealed beneath wigs and hats. The tattooed portrait subjects are enshrined and preserved in dramatic lit studio photographs.

Crowns of Courage is on display at DeVos Place Convention Center, located at 303 Monroe Avenue NWGrand RapidsMI 49503. For more information about this entry, please visit