ArtPrize 2011 organizers held a press conference introducing the winner, Mia Tavonatti, last night, and Michigan Radio reporter Lindsey Smith was there.
For receiving the most votes, Tavonatti took home the top prize of $250,000 (Tavonatti placed second last year and won $100,000).
She lives in California now, but Tavonatti is originally from Iron Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Smith described the winning piece this way:
The piece towers in the same performance hall where the winner was announced last night. It’s 9 feet across, 13 feet tall; made up of tiny pieces of stained glass that make up a vision of Jesus Christ dying on the cross.
Tavonatti said "when you bring Christ to town. I just knew he had certain things in store for me. And I wasn't going to tell him how to do his job."
Tavonatti's win was bittersweet. Her mother died early yesterday morning after a bout with pneumonia.
Here's the video of the press conference: