Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Announces Winners of Unbelievable “RipCycle” Art Contest

By September 29, 2015Company News

Taylor Swift portrait made from more than 17,000 gumballs takes the top prize

ORLANDO, Fla.(Sept. 28, 2015) – Score another top prize for Taylor Swift; a portrait of the singer made from more than 17,000 gumballs has been voted the winner in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Unbelieveable RipCycle Art Contest.

The contest was a challenge to artists to take everyday items that are often discarded and turn them into amazing works of art.

Portrait of Taylor Swift made from 17,625 gum balls by artist Rob Surette

Portrait of Taylor Swift made from 17,625 gum balls by artist Rob Surette

Rob Surette’s Taylor Swift portrait was the overall winner, chosen by Ripley’s fans in an online vote. Surette, from Andover, Maryland, created this incredible likeness out of 17,625 gumballs. Even more amazing – the only colors used in this masterpiece are white, black, dark blue, light blue, green, red, pink and yellow. He wins $2000 in cash; the portrait becomes part of the Ripley’s collection and will be featured in the next Ripley’s annual book, as well as the world-famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not! cartoon, the longest-running syndicated cartoon in journalism history.

The other winners of the contest are:

2nd place: Tyler Perry, from Boston, Massachusetts, for his sculpture made from engine parts and other pieces of scrap metal.

3rd place: Alger Guevarra, from New York City, took an old pair of slippers and ground them into a powder to create the “paint” for his work.

4th place: Sharon Mines, from the UK, for her skull made from wire, old watch parts, and sequins from an old 1980’s jumper.

5th place: Taylor Armentrout from Summerville, South Carolina, who created an albino peacock from plastic bottles and plastic spoons.

Ripley’s received more than 130 submissions for the Unbelievable RipCycle Art Contest. The company nominated 25 finalists and let the public vote on the winners.

“We were blown away by the quality of the entries,” said Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives. “The artists took items that most people would throw away and turned them into something unbelievable and worthy of being part of the Ripley’s collection.”
Images of the winning entries (including all the finalists) are available in this Dropbox folder.

Media Contacts

Edward Meyer
VP, Exhibits & Archives
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
407-345-8010 – office
407-492-8256 – cell

Frank Wolff
Wellons Communications
407-339-0879 – office
407-637-6000 – cell

About Ripley EntertainmentRipley’s Believe It or Not! is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. ( family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment.  More than 13 million people visit its 95-plus attractions in 10 countries each year.  In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.