ArtPrize Eight Transforms Grand Rapids
ArtPrize, the radically open art competition launched eight years ago in Grand Rapids, has been officially recognized by The Art Newspaper as the most-attended public art event on the planet. More than 400,000 people visit downtown Grand Rapids over the course of 19 days to view art in every space imaginable – from museums and parks to laundromats and auto body shops.
This year, more than 1,500 artists from around the world are displaying their work, hoping for a share of the $500,000 prize money. Half of the awards are determined by public vote and half are decided by a jury of experts. Sometimes the public and experts agree and sometimes they don’t - either way, it generates fascinating conversations about the nature of art.
ArtPrize lets you take in as much art as you want to – all free. The longer you stay, the more you can see, so consider booking a local package. Plus, there are all sorts of ancillary events, tours, exhibitions and performances you can take advantage of, including many children’s activities.
New Neighborhood Hubs
ArtPrize is enhancing its visitor services by expanding its headquarters "hub" and adding seven new neighborhood "hubs" at anchor venues. These hubs will serve as welcome centers, voter registration sites and guideposts for visitors looking for venues and events specific to each hub's neighborhood.
New Park & Ride Shuttle
Many area hotels are offering a new perk for guests – free transportation from surrounding areas into downtown. Guests can make their way to the Park & Ride location within 10 minutes of their hotel and board the ArtPrize Hotel Shuttle to avoid traffic and parking hassles.
If you prefer to stay downtown in the midst of the festivities, there are two new hotels to check out: Homewood Suites by Hilton and Hampton Inn & Suites join the five hotels already within the ArtPrize district.
New Foodie Faves
A number of new downtown eateries have debuted since last year’s event, so there’s an even wider variety of refueling options during your ArtPrize adventure. Try Brick & Porter, IRON Restaurant and Wheelhouse Kitchen & Cocktails. Social Kitchen and Bar is new at the Downtown Market, which is also an ArtPrize venue.
New Libation Stations
Atwater Brewery, City-Built Brewing and The Knickerbocker Brewpub and Distillery by New Holland Brewing are slated to open before ArtPrize, doubling the number of downtown breweries. The new Hemingway Lounge, a tasting room for Artesian Distillers, is an ArtPrize venue. Gray Skies Distillery, new since ArtPrize Seven, produces and pours handcrafted spirits downtown.
Come see why ArtPrize draws more visitors than any other public art event on Earth. Even if you’ve ArtPrized before, every year (late-September to early October) is a brand-new experience!