Artwork Details

Adonna Khare

b. 1980

Elephant Whirlpool
Carbon pencil on paper
96 x 72 inches
Not on view
Accession Number
Museum Purchase, with funds from Bill and Marilyn Crawford and the Artist
Image Copyright
© Adonna Khare

About the Artwork

California-based artist Adonna Khare won the Public Vote Grand Prize for ArtPrize 2012 with her drawing Elephants, shown at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Elephant Whirlpool, commissioned by GRAM, reflects and celebrates Khare’s experience with ArtPrize and with Grand Rapids. 

This drawing is a sort of homage to the Elephants piece that won ArtPrize. By starting with the Elephant, it is akin to my new start as a full-time artist. The piece really speaks to my gratitude to GRAM, Grand Rapids, and ArtPrize. In it I reference everything that has happened since 2012. For example the Gorilla represents the death of my father due to a brain tumor, the Lion is my daughter Kinsey. 

The whirlpool speaks to enormity and the endlessness of Lake Michigan. Having spent some time on the lake I became obsessed with the lighthouses. Same as family, lighthouses are beacons that get you through the dark and the fog. The storm is my feeling of chaos and change since ArtPrize — the future is unclear, it has its share of danger and life. 

The animals are purposely situated to confront the viewer. They’re tightly packed, almost claustrophobic, to try to express how much has happened in my life over the past two years. My hope is that the drawing will evoke a dialogue, sense of wonder and connection with the viewer. A sort of lens to view the human condition with all of its heartbreak, joy and wonder.”

–Adonna Khare