This is my ArtPrize proposal. I submitted it last week but might not know until July if a venue is willing to display it. If you click on it you can see a larger version to make reading the text easier. I call it the State of the Union flag because I plan to propose that it be used as the backdrop behind the President during the State of the Union address, in the hopes that commentators will talk about the art behind the President rather than their interpretations of what was said.
I went to the lumber mill/yard last week to select the wood. Although the proposal says bird's-eye maple for the blue/navy/purple stripes, they didn't have any that would work. Instead, they had some blistered maple, which I decided would actually be better because it would be more visible from a distance. I also selected two large boards of curly maple for the white stripes but, unfortunately, because of the way one of the boards was warped, the white stripes would have only been about 3 inches wide instead of the 4 that I'm planning. So I need to go back sometime and look again. For the red stripes I found some yellow curly maple that is more figured, and more fabric-like, than what I had previously selected. Although the other lumber was good, I couldn't honestly say that it was $250,000 good. One way I could tell that the new curly yellow birch was better than what I had previously selected was that in rough cutting and milling it, it was binding around the bandsaw and tearing out terribly while flattening it with the jointer. The earlier lumber didn't give me any of those problems.
Because of the success of ArtPrize last year, all indications are that it will be a much larger event this year. The competition just to get in is going to be huge, let alone into one of the prime venues and having a chance of winning. Regardless of whether the work is selected, I'm still committed to building it. One of the best things about the event is the inspiration to make something that has a chance to win, which alone could be enough to launch an art career.