High Caliber Karting Art Contest Enters Voting Stage

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Photo courtesy of Lainey Yehl.

When High Caliber Karting announced a local artist contest, we shared the news on how this family entertainment business aimed to showcase the greater Lansing community’s creativity. Now through Sunday at midnight, you have a chance to vote on the art produced in the contest process.

Here’s the background:

On the heels of their 25,000 square foot expansion, High Caliber introduced Pigskin Pins – a combination of football, bowling, and cornhole. Each of the 20 lanes planned will include two 42″ x 96” platforms. These platforms became “the canvasses” for Michigan artists to design their works of art using paint, carving, vinyl decal, wood burning, stain, graffiti, or other media.

All 50 platforms were delivered to participating artists (chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis), completed, and now are in the voting stage. The voting had been expected to take place earlier. But delays in artists being able to get supplies, due to COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, caused the deadlines to be pushed back a bit.

High Caliber Karting CEO Jordan Munsters said voting on the pieces began on June 12, and will end June 28 at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced July 1.

A total of 45 participating artists transformed the 50 oak plywood platforms, utilizing various media. Munsters spoke to ELi about the finished pieces.

“The majority of the art was created using acrylic paint,” he said. “The artists provide us with pieces that are well beyond what we expected! The community is rich with very talented individuals! We were regularly blown away by the flow of creativity coming in.”

According to Munsters, some artists used latex paint, others used spray paint, and others included mixed media, featuring metal, wood stains, woodburning, carving, and even blacklight details.

East Lansing artist Lainey Yehl heard about the art contest from ELi’s story. She had about a month to finish her acrylic paint piece, which took about 25-30 hours.

Lainey Yehl working on her entry. (Photo courtesy of  the artist.)

“I wanted to create a visual that would resonate with all viewers,” Yehl said. “I love doing hand-lettering, so I chose to illustrate a quote that I love, and that makes people think. I illustrated the phrase, ‘life isn’t black & white – it’s colorful,’ because especially in this moment, people seem to fall into one of two camps on each and every issue we face as a society.”

She continued, “I hope people look at this phrase and think about how there are more than two ways to look at any particular situation. Life is full of nuance. Innovation allows for creative solutions, and considering alternative viewpoints allows for broader understanding. The idea that we live on one side of a ‘fence’ is an illusion.”

Yehl’s work is often digital and graphic design-related. She said it feels strange that her bold, graphic platform will be displayed and open to judgment, but she is grateful for the opportunity.

“I think community art is a great way for people to feel involved with local businesses,” Yehl said. “It is mutually beneficial for artists to gain exposure, and businesses to recognize and respect their patrons.”

For Lansing creative Melik Brown, the contest provided an opportunity to showcase his local business, Lansing Made, a champion for love of Greater Lansing.

Lansing artist Melik Brown’s entry for the contest. Photo by Julissa Munsters, High Caliber Karting.

“I commissioned a fantastic graphic designer, Ben Graham, to design my business logo. He is outstanding in his field. After several hours of discussion, he was able to take it to the drawing board and come up with wonderful designs. I wanted a real representation of the logos. I hired a printing company to create the platform design,” he said. 

Brown spoke about the theme of his art entry: “I wanted something that could represent Lansing. And eventually represent Lansing without needing the word ‘Lansing’ in the design.”

He describes the finished product as vibrant, a word that would ideally represent the community that will embrace, view, vote, and comment on the art displayed at High Caliber Karting. 

“If someone doesn’t think [the] arts is important, then try living without arts during a pandemic shutdown. Life would be drab,” Brown said. “The contest gets the public to engage with the artists. It’s fun.”

Munsters said it’s been fun, too, for his staff to see the creations, describing himself as “blown away” by the art.

High Caliber Karting will award $500 to the first place winner, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. They will also be hosting a Meet the Artists Night to launch their expansion (date TBD). The profits from that night will be divided among each artist that completed a platform, according to Munsters. 

“We’re hopeful this community art project brings a sense of pride and common unity to the area,” he said. “For many people, it has already created a very genuine connection with others. For years, our guests will be able to walk the Pigskin Pins lanes and see the culmination of weeks of artists’ expression during quarantine.”

The submissions can be viewed and voted on here until June 28.

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