Are you an up-and-coming amateur artist and need a venue to show the world your talent? Maybe you are planning a visit to Grand Rapids and are wondering what the best time to visit would be? Look no further than visiting Grand Rapids during ArtPrize. Taking place in September and October since 2009, this non-traditional art competition has thrown the art world for a loop and has given any artist the tools to get their art noticed and appreciated. Grab your easel, paintbrush, and palette and join us as we explore something that has helped Grand Rapids become a world-class city: ArtPrize.
Started in 2009, ArtPrize threw the traditional art competition upside-down by using the “crowdfunding” mentality. The event is free and open to the public. Any artist can enter their work into the competition (for a nominal fee) and display it at over 150 venues around Grand Rapids (mainly downtown). Visitors during the 19-day event vote for their favorite entries and each round several crowd-favorites are left in the running. There are over $500,000 in prizes up for grabs. There are two first-place winners selected annually; one selected by the public and one selected by art jurors.
The event has proven to be a success, with Grand Rapids earning a reputation around the world for its radical art and community engagement. ArtPrize annually averages over 1,500 entries, 40,000 voters, 400,000 votes and 450,000 visitors. Notable entries from the past eight years include Lights in the Night over the Grand River where two local artists created a magical scene sending 15,000 Chinese lanterns into the twilight sky, Open Water No. 24, an oil painting which depicts open water with waves and seafoam, Elephants, a large-scale pencil drawing depicting elephants, Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore, a four-panel quilt featuring a popular Michigan landscape, and Intersections, a 3-D visual light piece which cast geometric patterns on the walls and ceiling.
ArtPrize Nine takes place in Grand Rapids from September 20 to October 8 this year. Think we have it all covered? Are there any pieces that stick out in your mind from the past eight years of ArtPrize? Drop us a line and let us know.