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MINI Art Car Motors into ArtPrize

Posted March 12, 2012 in Classes & PresentationsCompetitions

MINI Cooper owners are passionate about their cars. Often, owners individualize their MINI Coopers (a process they call “you-ification”), so that their MINI looks like no other.

In Grand Rapids, people are also passionate about Art Prize. 2012 marks the third year for the event, an international contest that is part arts festival, part social experiment, where winners are decided solely by public vote. In Art Prize, anything can become a vehicle for expression.
 

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So why not enter an actual vehicle? The history of MINI Cooper Art Cars started with BMW, which owns the MINI brand. In fact, Alexander Calder designed an art car. Hence, the Sharpe MINI Art Car competition. Open to Kendall students and alumni, participants had the chance to create a full vehicle wrap for a 2012 MINI Cooper. 

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I had the opportunity to attend a presentation to contest sponsor, George Sharpe (above) of The Sharpe Collection, by several Digital Imaging II students. “MINI Cooper owners see their MINI as an extension of their personality,” explained Sharpe. “A MINI Cooper may be a small car, but driving one is an emotional experience.”

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Students took to the concept of the MINI as drivable art right away. Many used the vehicle as an opportunity to express their personalities through art that traveled through space and time, or lands of fantasy populated by dragons that fly through the night sky. Some played upon the “checkered flag” motif popular with MINI owners, while others paid homage to the Grand Rapids community.

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Although the contest was open to anyone affiliated with Kendall, it was a class assignment for professors Mike Williams’ and Susan Bonner’s class. “Everyone was required to participate in the entire process, working as if their design was going to be produced. They began on February 6, and every three days that had to complete one of the four sides of the vehicle. Then, they to prepare files that measured 145-inches long (the length of a MINI Cooper.)

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Student entries were also displayed the Michigan International Auto Show where the people’s choice winner was Tyler Wayner for his Med Mile MINI.

At this writing, a panel of judges comprised of representatives from Kendall and Sharpe, as well as dedicated Mini owners, will decide the final top ten entries. The winner will be decided on by the public at an event at The Sharpe Collection of Premium Automotives and on the MINI of Grand Rapids Facebook page. Motor over to the contest website to see all the submissions.
 

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