This page will be dedicated to tracking this art phenomena that has gained international recognition. It is open to any artist of any background and voted on by the public.
A radically open art competition, giving away the world's largest art prize. Part arts festival, part social experiment - this international art contest is decided solely on a public vote. Art festival runs Sept. 21 through October 9, 2011. Come and see.
1,582 artists from 36 countries and 43 states will show their work in 164 venues within three-square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Each artist will compete for the world’s largest prize for art, which will take place Sept. 21-Oct. 9, 2011. Participating artists and venues can all be viewed on the Artist List.
Event organizers today closed Connections—the period when artists can officially secure a venue and participate in ArtPrize 2011. Applications for entries were open to any artist who could secure a location to display their art.
“ArtPrize facilitates relationships between artists of the world, venues in Grand Rapids and people from all over,” said Catherine Creamer, executive director of ArtPrize. “We broaden the conversation about art by making it accessible to everyone who comes to the event, inviting each person to create and discuss their own story.”
While Michigan is home to a large number of participating artists, as an international competition, artists from as far as Singapore and South Africa will descend on Grand Rapids. Canada, with 23 artists, has the greatest number of artists participating in ArtPrize 2011 who are coming from outside of the United States.
The number of national artists has also increased in 2011. Illinois alone has more than 96 artists traveling to Grand Rapids. New York artists total 29 participating artists, while California and Ohio will send 30 artists each to ArtPrize 2011. Hundreds more are coming from Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
A complete list of artists and their corresponding venues are available at www.artprize.org/artists/list.
Inspired by such competitions as the X-Prize and large-scale events like the Sundance Film Festival, ArtPrize is among the most unique competitions in the art world. It has no formal jury, curator or judge, asking the public to vote and decide winners using mobile devices and the web.
During its 2009 inaugural season, more than 200,000 people attended ArtPrize and more than 334,000 votes were cast. Numbers swelled in 2010 to more than 400,000 people and 465,000 votes cast. ArtPrize organizers expect more than 500,000 people to attend the 19-day event.
It'll be months before we know whether the exhibition and competition created by Rick DeVos will be better.
But we may know whether it'll be bigger when venue registration ends at 5 p.m. Thursday.
With 24 hours left to go, ArtPrize's website listed some 171 banks, bars, offices and churches that had joined the exhibition covering 3-square miles of downtown Grand Rapids and competition offering nearly $450,000 in prize money. Meanwhile the total has continued to rise.
The inaugural ArtPrize in 2009 had 159 venues. The second event last fall had 191 sites downtown plus Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for a total of 192 in all.
It's likely that that many already are in the pipeline for the 19-day exhibition opening Sept. 21.
Last Thursday, with one week to go, some 113 sites were listed on ArtPrize's website, but another dozen were waiting final approval.
By the numbers on Wednesday, one-third of the venues were located in Center City downtown, one-third in the Heartside neighborhood to the south, and one-third among the Westside, North Monroe and Hillside neighborhoods all together.
Already ArtPrize has one more exhibition center than it did in ArtPrize 2010. St. Cecilia Music Center has come aboard as the eighth center, which will house at least 25 artists and serve as a neighborhood hub for other venues nearby.
Coming next will be artist registration opening Monday, beginning a six-week process of signing up artists worldwide to be a part of the world's largest art prize, awarded by registered viewers, voting online or through social media.
ArtPrize 2011 will offer a total of $484,000 in cash prizes beginning with $250,000 for first prize, $100,000 for second prize, $50,000 for third, and $7,000 each fourth prize through 10th prize, all chosen by the public.
Five juried awards, each chosen by a professional juror, have been increased from $5,000 to $7,000 for ArtPrize 2011.