This year marks the 6th annual Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Art prize is an open art competition that takes up 19 miles of downtown Grand Rapids. “It is unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing to the art world and the public alike.” This year there are 1,537 entries dispersed between 174 venues around Grand Rapids. Anyone over the age of 18 can be an artist for Art Prize and any space within the Art Prize district can be a venue.
About Visiting Art Prize.
-With so many people downtown, it can get quite hectic. I would suggest visiting during the week. It was even extremely busy when I went on a Monday.
-If you can’t visit during the week, go early! Parking spots are limited in the city. Also, the public buses are being used as shuttles around the city (meaning you can also park at any Grand Rapids Meijers and be shuttled to downtown)
–Narrow down what you want to see. After the first 11 days of Art Prize, the top 20 in the public vote is released. This might help you to narrow down what you would like to see.
–VOTE: what a better way to get involved in the art? The public is responsible for choosing the winners of Art Prize, let your voice be heard! You can sign up via email or Facebook or at one of the voting locations downtown.
-The website is very helpful for planning your trip. Check out the interactive map before you go.
This Year’s Competition.
Art Prize brings all kinds of works of art to the scene from beautiful, to controversial, to down right wacky. There is something for everyone at Art Prize.
We All Live in Gaza by Maurice Jacobsen. Located in the Fountain Street Church. This time-based entry was especially touching for me because I spent a month in Israel this summer during the hostilities between Israel and Gaza.
Capitalism Works for Me by Steve Lambert. Located in the Kendall College of Art and Design. This piece of art poses the question to the public “Capitalism works for me? True of False” The interactive piece allows the viewer to decide by voting.
Weave Peace by Michele Miller-Hansen. Located in front of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. A structure transformed into a call for inspiration, happiness, and peace by the many positive thoughts placed on it by the public.
The Mudpuppy by Dan Chudzinski. Located along the river, behind the Grand Rapids Public Museum. One of the quirky pieces I was talking about. I love the imaginative aspect to this one as a scuba diver takes his dog for a walk on the ocean floor.
Breathe by Dave MacKenzie. Located behind The Bob. This living wall has made it to the top twenty finalist in the installation category.
Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha. Located in the Grand Rapids Art Museum. It is an interpretation of the geometrical patterns in Islamic sacred spaces. It is made of wood and the lights that shine from within. This piece is also in the top 20 for installations.