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Massive art covering WMU Grand Rapids unveiled at ArtPrize

by Cheryl Roland

Sept. 19, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU Grand Rapids Graduate Center.
Epic Broncos will be unveiled Friday at WMU Grand Rapids Graduate Center.
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will unveil a four-story by 160-foot piece of art that will cover two sides of its downtown Grand Rapids facility during the opening weekend of ArtPrize.

"The Epic Broncos," created by Durham, N.C.-based artist Revere La Noue, will be unveiled during an ArtPrize After Party at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at the WMU-Grand Rapids Graduate Center, 200 Ionia Ave. S.W. The gala event will include food, drink and jazz performances and is open to the public. Tickets are $15 per person and are available for purchase by calling (269) 387-8746.

Artist La Noue and his Mascot Gallery have developed a national reputation by telling the stories behind the campus mascots for many of the nation's top universities, including Duke University, University of Notre Dame, University of Texas, Stanford University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

WMU is the first college in Michigan to be featured by La Noue's Mascot Gallery. Examples of La Noue's mascot artwork can be found at

Artwork related to the WMU building wrap is La Noue's official ArtPrize entry, titled "The Bronco Epic." It will be displayed at the B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave. N.W., and his sketches will be displayed at The Tavern on the Square, 100 Ionia Ave. S.W., near WMU-Grand Rapids.

La Noue took his inspiration for all of the Bronco art from a visit to WMU earlier this year. He spent three days on the campus and met with more than 80 students, alumni, faculty and staff members, and donors to learn what it means to be a WMU Bronco.

Once his artwork for the building was done, it was turned over to Britten Banners of Traverse City, Mich., to produce the 8,500-square-foot rendition that will be suspended from two sides of the WMU-Grand Rapids downtown building and covered until the unveiling ceremony.

Art fans in West Michigan, friends of the University and the general public will have several opportunities to meet and hear from La Noue:

Grand Rapids' ArtPrize, now beginning its third year, is the only international contest for public art that is solely decided by public vote. More than 1,200 artists have entered their work in this year's ArtPrize, which runs from Sept. 21 through Oct. 9, with artworks on display citywide. Last year's event drew more than 2.1 million visitors to the city of Grand Rapids.

For more information, contact Cheryl Roland in WMU's Office of University Relations at or (269) 387-8412.