Gerald Ford

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In October 2011, Sunti placed 4th overally out of every artistic medium in the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, competing against 1,582 artists from 39 countries and 43 states. Sunti was the only international artist as well as the only sculptor selected in the Top 10. The competition, based solely on public vote, allows only one entry per artist. Having placed in the Top 25 out of 1,713 artists in 2010 with his hyper-realistic fiberglass resin sculpture, Grandfather Monk Luan, Sunti was eager to return to ArtPrize with a more recognizable sculpture. His entry commemorates an American legend, beloved by the people of Grand Rapids – President Gerald R. Ford, featuring a fiberglass resin sculpture of President Ford “viewing” a bronze bust of himself that has a more “presidential” expression. Sunti was granted permission to undertake this project by former First Lady Betty Ford, five months prior to the competition. Demonstrating his forte in the mediums of fiberglass resin and bronze, Sunti captures the personality and physical likeness of the 38th President of the United States, working from dozens of black and white photographs by David Hume Kennerly. His work was displayed outside of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP (PNC Bank) at 171 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids.