39 / 25
      41 / 28
      44 / 33

      Business booming for Art Prize winner one year later

      It's been one year since a northern Michigan native won an international art competition.

      The sixth annual Art Prize is set to kick off in Grand Rapids in a few weeks.

      Frankfort's Ann Loveless took home the top prize of $200,000 for her fine art quilts last fall.

      Loveless has been busy this past year. She bought a new sewing machine and has had plenty of orders to fill. She's putting in nearly 50 hours a week on her sewing machine to keep up with demand.

      She said Art Prize definitely put her on the map.

      â??Art prize has definitely opened up a lot of opportunities,â?? said Loveless. â??I have a book coming out and I'm getting requests from all of the United States to visit quilt guild and do workshops.â??

      Itâ??s not just her business thatâ??s benefiting.

      â??I think a lot of people from the Grand Rapids area or just lower Michigan in general come up north, but now they know about me and my win and now they make Beulah a destination. Instead of going straight to Petoskey or Traverse City, they take a turn and stop in Beulah and see the gallery and maybe go for lunch. So it's a great thing for Benzie County.â??

      Her award winning piece "Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore" has been on display all year at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Visitors to this year's event will still be able to check it out at the Art Prize Hub.

      As an Art Prize celebrity, loveless will be walking around the competition for interviews and to answer questions.

      â??It should be more relaxing hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the art more.â??

      After her mandatory year off, Loveless says she'll likely join the competition again, but without the pressure to win.

      â??I hit the top and I'm really happy with where I'm at. It's given me a lot of really nice opportunities. So I think I'd rather lay low and let somebody else have that opportunity like I had.â??

      The Dennos Museum in Traverse City is hosting Ann Lovelessâ?? artwork for the month of September. Itâ??s a partnership with the Jordan River Art Council Rare Threads Project.

      The exhibit starts Sunday, August 31 and runs through October 5.

      Loveless has nine different pieces that'll be displayed, including her biggest piece since â??Sleeping Bear.â?? It features the Pictured Rocks.

      She will share her story "From Art Quilts to Art Prize" September 12 at the Milliken Auditorium.

      Tickets are ten dollars.

      Loveless also just finished a piece for her alma-mater, Michigan State University. Itâ??s a seven foot quilt to decorate the Secchia Center in Grand Rapids.

      You can find more of Lovelessâ?? work at her â??State of the Artâ?? gallery in Beulah. Pieces range from $95 to about $3,000. The gallery is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.