“I’m getting back to being a normal person,” says Ann Arbor artist Lynda Cole, calling while driving back from Grand Rapids where her kinetic sculpture “Rain” took third prize in the city-wide, much publicized ArtPrize competition. Pieces of the sculpture were in five boxes in her van. Her $50,000 check was in the bank.

As one of the top winners among the 1,713 artists whose works were displayed throughout the city, Cole enjoyed a few days of red carpet status–a sweet reward for her five months of seven-day weeks she put in to complete the painstakingly constructed piece. “Rain” consists of 7,600 silver and gold reflective squares suspended in a 3-dimensional grid ten feet on a side. It’s meant to be a “feeling” piece, she explains, not one to intellectualize about.

It’s the biggest triumph to date for Cole, long a mainstay of the Ann Arbor art scene and currently the president of Washington Street Gallery. What it means for future artistic successes, she can’t predict. Her phone’s been “ringing off the hook” with congratulations, she says, but no one has yet made a definite bid on “Rain” (asking price $45,000).

Click here for Coles October, 2010 “Ann Arborite” profile.