Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2011: Radically Different

Photo Credit - Ashley FoxGrand Rapids is changing the conversation about art. The Grand Rapids ArtPrize is an international art competition which opens tomorrow, September 21st, and continues through October 9th. This event was created to reset and broaden the conversation about public art, and offers a rare opportunity for people to view art from around the world in a single location.

This year, ArtPrize will host artists from 39 countries and 43 states who will display their work in 164 venues within three-square miles of downtown Grand Rapids. Art from around the world pops up on street corners, in restaurants, in parks, and even inside office buildings, and then people come to see it.
It awards the world’s largest monetary prizes for art, totaling $474,000, and it is unique in that its prizes are awarded by public vote—your vote. This is what makes the event most interesting.

Anyone who shows up to Grand Rapids can vote for the idea they believe should be the winner. It’s completely unorthodox by the standards of the art world, but that’s okay.

ArtPrize is doing something radically different, and that is a defining factor of the world’s greatest artists—those who chose to diverge from the established path and forge their own.

ArtPrize is considered a social art experiment. Its greatest innovations come from the artists who can transform their ideas into an interactive experience. As a result, ArtPrize inspires discussions, relationships, and community to everyone who comes to town. It offers a platform for people to unite under one common experience, but also allows for every person to discover his or her own story.

We invite you to join us in Grand Rapids to see how an entire city is changing the conversation about art.

Have you attended the Grand Rapids ArtPrize before? Do you have any suggestions for making it a fun experience for a first-time visitor?