‘A GREAT START!’ | More than 20,000 vote in ArtPrize over first 3 days

“We’re excited to keep the ball rolling as we move forward over the next couple of weeks,” said an organizer.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — For the 14th year, ArtPrize has returned to Grand Rapids! The iconic art festival kicked off Sept. 14 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Hundreds of artists have brought their artwork, ranging from digital art to massive installations, to venues around the city to compete for a variety of awards. Attendees can find art pieces in local businesses, churches, outdoor spaces and more as they explore the festival.

Art is split into five categories—2D, 3D, digital, time-based and installation.

A total of $400,000 will be distributed to artists at the end of the competition. $175,000 will be awarded through public voting, $125,000 will be given to the top two artists in each category, and $75,000 will be given in additional awards.

Just like in previous years, attendees will have a say in who takes home the grand prize, a whopping $125,000. 

Catlin Whitington, executive director of ArtPrize, says this year is off to a great start. 

“The response that I’m getting back from everybody involved has been so positive. And there is such a great energy around the downtown area and throughout the ArtPrize district, and I’m just really pleased to see it,” he said. 

That energy is showing through votes, too. Over the first three days, there have been more than 20,000 votes cast for pieces. Whitington says 90% of artists have seen multiple votes from the public. 

“We’re excited to keep the ball rolling as we move forward over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

How do I vote for artists during ArtPrize?

When you find a piece you want to cast a vote for, there will be a QR code on the artist’s label that you can scan. The code will take you to a website to cast your vote. You can also enter the artist’s five-digit Artist ID to vote for an entry.

In order to vote, you must have a cell phone and be within the ArtPrize district boundaries at least once between Sept. 14 and Sept. 28. 

You can register in advance to vote, but votes will only be counted after 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.

If you need help voting, the concierge desk in the ArtPrize Clubhouse can help. 

How many rounds of voting are there?

There will be two rounds of public voting that will distribute $175,000 to the winners.

The first round will determine the Top 25 artists in the Public Vote category. It begins on Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21.

In the second round, voters will choose the winner, who will take home a $125,000 prize, as well as second and third place. The artist in second place will receive $50,000 and the artist in third place will receive a $25,000 prize.

The second round begins at 8 p.m. on Sept. 22 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 28.

What other awards are up for grabs?

In addition to the publicly awarded and categorical prizes, there are five additional awards to recognize artists in different communities. Called Visibility Awards, the winner of these categories will take home $15,000 each. The winners are decided by experienced jurors.

  • Vanguard Award — Supported by LMCU — Contemporary Black Artists 
  • Originators Award — Supported by Gun Lake Casino and Gun Lake Investments — Contemporary Indigenous Artists 
  • Horizontes Award — Contemporary Latino Artists 
  • Crossroads Award — Contemporary Asian Artists 
  • Prism Award — Contemporary Queer Artists

The awards ceremony announcing the winners will be held Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle.

Along with artwork and installations, ArtPrize is offering events, live performances and more for attendees to enjoy. To see a full list and learn more about the festival, click here.

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