GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – ArtPrize, an annual interactive art competition that attracts dozens of visitors to Grand Rapids, kicks off Thursday, September 15.
Residents will have a chance to check out 750 entries — paintings, sculptures, interactive performance art, and more — scattered throughout downtown Grand Rapids, and vote on which artists should take home a $250,000 prize.
“The hype is getting bigger,” said Craig Serer, CEO of ArtPrize. “We have place signage pickup happening in the past couple of days, art installations are underway and will continue until the start of ArtPrize.”
This year marks the 12th time ArtPrize has been held in Grand Rapids. Launched in 2009 by Rick DeVos, the event has been described as a “radically open” competition with the world’s largest art prize. Since then, there have been a lot of changes, with new prize structures, fewer entries, different voting methods and a much smaller prize pool.
One big difference this year: the Grand Prix cancelled.
Serer said the grand prize, which was once as high as $250,000 but dropped to $50,000 last year, has been scrapped in favor of an awards system that seeks to “distribute money throughout the entire event and honor and honor more artists.”
Despite the changes, Serer says there’s a lot to get excited about at this year’s event.
“The quality this year is very high,” he said. “It’s constantly getting better every year, and this is probably one of the best years entering art ever.”
ArtPrize is scheduled to run September 15 – October. 2.
Here’s a look at what you need to know about ArtPrize 2022:
ArtPrize will feature 150 venues, everywhere from parks and museums to restaurants, bars, and cafés, spread throughout downtown Grand Rapids. Places cluster downtown, but extend south as Wealthy Street and as far north as Ann St. NW. There are also several satellite venues outside of downtown, including MacKay-Jaycees Park, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Some places have one piece, while others, such as DeVos Place, the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, host multiple entries.
An interactive map showing the location of each entry can be found online at artprize.org/map.
Serer said there have been 750 entries this year. That’s down from 881 entries last year, and over 1,500 entries in 2012.
Although there are fewer entrances, Serer said attendees will see plenty of great exhibits downtown.
He noted, for example, some of the larger engagements that ArtPrize has helped bring into town through its grant program for artists. One such entry is the EIRO, a 35-foot-high tower in Calder Plaza equipped with speakers, lights, and screens, According to his online descriptionIt represents all human needs and desires.
“I think people really bowed to ArtPrize, whatever their profession,” said Serer, describing why he thought the level of art on display this year was noteworthy. “We’ve had artists who started in 2009, and they’ve been doing it now for 13 years.”
Voting and prizes
Voting will look different this year, too.
To cast a vote, attendees must create an online account at artprize.org/createvisitoraccount. Once done, attendees can drag the map online, choose a venue, and click the star icon next to the artist they’d like to support. Clicking on the star icon, also known as the artist’s preference, increases the artist’s chance of winning prize money and prizes, according to the site.
Serer said the most favored artists are eligible to win daily or weekly prizes ranging from $250 to $2,500.
In addition to daily or weekly prizes, ArtPrize will also offer two sets of awards: Jury Awards and Public Awards. Awards categories, for general and tribunal categories, include 2D, 3D, time-based, composition, and digital.
In the Jury category, there is a prize of $10,000 for each winner and a prize of $2,500 for the runner-up. For general prizes, there is a prize of $10,000 for each winner.
The closing ceremony, where the artists will be honored, takes place September 30 at Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids.
An array of events are scheduled throughout ArtPrize, including walking tours, art workshops, music and art markets, expert-led discussions about art, meeting and welcoming artists, and more. For a full list of events planned during ArtPrize, visit the event website at artprize.org/events.
Some events are free while others have an admission price.
ArtPrize 2022 kick-off event Held on September 16th, at Calder Plaza from 7pm-11pm, the event will feature DJ SuperDre music, the Stone Soul Rhythm Band, as well as food and liquor vendors. Those wishing to attend must create an account with ArtPrize online to enter.
To navigate ArtPrize, check out the event’s interactive map, which shows the location of all event venues. The organization has also provided the following tips for those inquiring about the transportation options available for the event.
- “Mobile GR It offers several parking options in Grand Rapids, including surface, ramp, and metered parking. There are varying price points across the city to accommodate budgets of all kinds. The streets, lots and ramps are conveniently located, accessible and well lit, so you can find a parking spot quickly and get to where you are going safely.”
- Ramp and parking lot: “Take a look at this Interactive parking map From our friends at Mobile GR that highlights all the city slopes and open spaces. Ellis’ position Slopes and surface areas A great option and easy to get to around town.”
- parking meter: “Say hi to the convenient street parking moto! You no longer have to plan or mine for coins. Just look for signs with the Motu logo, stop them and pay directly from your mobile phone. Remember to check the meter enforcement hours signs so you don’t get a ticket! “
- car use: “When you can, please consider using shared cars with others. It will help relieve traffic congestion and make finding a parking lot much easier for you and your friends and family.”
- rapid ride: “Make your way to and from ArtPrize more comfortably than you can imagine. Get on the bus, enjoy peace of mind, and stop spending time dealing with traffic. Mobile GR partners with Rapid to provide transportation systems throughout Grand Rapids. Find your path.“
- Dash free transport: “Free transportation and minimal waiting await you at Grand Rapids. Sit back and leave DASH buses Do the work for you! With fast frequency and convenient routes, Mobile GR partners provide free public transportation between many points in the city center with DASH bus lines. Avoid parking costs during transportation! “
- Want to bring your bike downtown? amazing! Cyclists will find hundreds of bike parking spaces, many public bike repair stations, and an increasing number of bike-friendly businesses when traveling in and through downtown.”
Lime electric bikes and scooters: “In the summer of 2022, the City of Grand Rapids Commission approved ‘Lime’ to operate e-scooter and e-bike sharing programs in a designated area of Grand Rapids. The program covers a 12 mile area. These new, eco-friendly options will allow travelers, visitors and residents to get around Grand Rapids in new and fun ways. learn more“