Senior Jessica Loosenort prepares for second year at Artprize

GVL / Matt Oberski
Jessica Loosenort and her artwork

GVL / Matt Oberski Jessica Loosenort and her artwork

Matt Oberski

Jessica Loosenort didn’t plan on entering ArtPrize this year, but when the general manager of the Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown Hotel asked her for artwork – she decided to paint a new series.
The Grand Valley State University senior is one of a handful of students with 2012 entries amongst the more than 1,500 works displayed at 161 venues.

Loosenort fell in love when she started painting her sophomore year of high school. She entered her first ArtPrize piece last year, a series of paintings titled “Letting Go,” which got a lot of attention.

Now at 20 years old, she is putting the finishing touches on her second ArtPrize piece, three oil paintings as part of a series titled “Holding On.”

While her 2011 entry related to the hardships that come with letting go of important parts of life, this year’s piece represents the supportive bond a person has with their parents. She said the pieces strive to show that as parents care for and nurture their children, the roles must eventually reverse.

“I really wanted to drive home the fact that we need to grow up some day, and understand that they’re going to need us to take care of them,” Loosenort said. “That’s really what’s important.” Loosenort is double majoring in art and dance and hasn’t let the two very demanding, and time-consuming, fields slow her down. For her, both dancing and painting are great emotional releases.
“Letting Go” and “Holding On” are all paintings of either Loosenort’s friends or family.

“It makes it more powerful, painting people that I know. It kinda ties me to my art more,” Loosenort said. Loosenort’s work can be seen in the Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown Hotel Sept. 19 through Oct. 7. Vote for Loosenort using code 52732.
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