ArtPrize artist Rena Detrixhe has been carefully using shoe soles to create a pattern in more than 240 gallons of red soil at Western Michigan University in Grand Rapids.

"Red Dirt Rug Monument" is nearing completion, but Wednesday night a centipede had some other plans for the time-based entry.

When I arrived at Western Michigan University on Wednesday night with my 9-year-old son for ArtPrize, we were greeted by a couple of security guards at the front door who were debating whether the arthropod on the ground outside was a centipede, millipede or something else. Shortly after heading up to the fifth floor to see the ArtPrize entries we found out what started the debate.

Rena Detrixhe earned her spot at WMU for ArtPrize Nine when she won Pitch Night Bentonville. The win gave her a prime location and also $5,000 to support her work. She said, “This piece is part sculpture, part performance, part ritual and meditation.”

Matt Milhouse, TSM

"Red Dirt Rug Monument" has been doing well at ArtPrize. It gained a spot on the Jurors' Shortlist and has been receiving votes from the public too.

The creation takes time and many have been visiting to watch the process. As we arrived shortly before closing time on Wednesday night to a nearly empty venue, Detrixhe had just finished working for the night. As we looked at the entry she invited us behind the roped-off area to see "something cool." She showed us the centipede tracks which ran for about three or four feet into and then back out of the red soil.

Matt Milhouse, TSM
Matt Milhouse, TSM

Time will tell if the tracks of the little vandal (it was escorted out by security after all) remain a permanent part of "Red Dirt Rug Monument." Look for the tracks just outside of the middle viewing area. Either way, it's an entry worth seeing and something extra to look for if you stop by WMU for ArtPrize Nine.