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Ran Ortner: Brooklyn Painter Wins 250K

October 10, 2009

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Ran Ortner, a painter from Brooklyn, was named the grand prize winner Thursday night in the ArtPrize, a public competition in Grand Rapids, Mich.
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He will receive $250,000, which organizers of the ArtPrize said was the largest cash prize ever awarded in an art competition. In all, the finalists shared $449,000 in awards.
Mr. Ortner’s work, “Open Water No. 24,” received the highest number of votes among 10 finalists on display across Grand Rapids, a city of 200,000.

The 16-day competition, created by the Web entrepreneur Rick DeVos, ended Wednesday night. It took place at 159 venues, with more than 1,200 artists participating. More than 334,000 votes were cast in the first-ever competition, open to anyone who registered in person at sites around the city. An initial round of voting, in which the top 10 were selected, ended last week.

Open Water No. 24, a three-panel depiction of deep blue waves, was the only painting to rank in the top 10.

Second prize, worth $100,000, went to Tracy Van Duinen of Chicago, for “Imagine That,” a colorful mosaic installed on the front wall of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

The third prize of $50,000 went to Eric Daigh of Traverse City, Mich., for “Portraits,” a series of three pictures created from pushpins.

Complete results are at

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