What’s New at ArtPrize 2014

by Amy Busse on September 16, 2014

Made of Stars Lucille Evans 2D Photo Courtesy of ArtPrize.org

Made of Stars
Lucille Evans 2D
Photo courtesy of ArtPrize.org

The countdown to ArtPrize has officially begun and September 24 will be here before you know it. We’ve assembled a quick primer to help you navigate some of the exciting changes to this year’s competition.

ArtPrize 2014 will have four judging categories for both the public and the juried voters-2D, 3D, time-based and installation. Here is a breakdown of what kind of art you can expect to see in each of the categories according to ArtPrize.org

  • 2-D entries are entries that exist primarily on a flat plane. Painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and most textiles are examples of 2D work.
  • 3-D entries occupy space and are intended to be viewed from multiple angles. Sculptures that are not site-specific belong in the 3-D category.
  • Time-based entries are durational and change over time. The viewer has to spend some time with the work to view it fully. This includes performance, video and film, dance, music, and interactive work.
  • Installation entries are dependent upon their installation site. The location is not a neutral ground, but makes up an important ingredient of the work. Installation is different from 3-D in that changing the location of the piece would dramatically change the work.

ArtPrize 2014 features the largest prize money purse ever with a total of $560,000 available to winning artists. The Public Vote is the foundation of ArtPrize-so remember to register to vote! [read more…]


The Grand Rapids Silver Line Is Here…and Ready for ArtPrize

by Kirsetin Morello on September 11, 2014

As of August 25, 2014, Grand Rapids has joined the ranks of cities offering bus rapid transit (BRT) service. The Silver Line, as it’s called here, whisks riders along an almost 10 mile stretch of Division Avenue that begins in the south at 60th & S. Division, runs all the way to Michigan Street and the Medical Mile, and includes a loop with key stops at stations downtown. (Click here for a Silver Line route map.)

Silver line with bus racks

The Silver Line boasts several special features to make taking public transportation easier, more convenient, and more attractive for riders.

  • Easy on-off through front and back doors that open simultaneously.
  • Stations with raised platforms that are level with the bus, making boarding accessible for everyone.
  • Bike racks on the front of the bus.
  • Stations shelters that include surveillance systems, sidewalk snowmelt systems, and real time next-bus signage.
  • Ticket vending machines (TVMs) at every station. Riders pay and validate tickets beforehand, saving time. (No showing tickets upon boarding. Instead, the Rapids will do spot checks.)
  • Free wi-fi all on Silver Line buses.
  • Free parking (based on availability) at the southernmost station, 60th and S. Division.

[read more…]


A Peek At This Fall’s Thriving Theatre Scene in Grand Rapids

by Kirsetin Morello on September 4, 2014

We recently wrote about the exciting, jam-packed music scene taking place in Grand Rapids this fall. From Beethoven’s Fifth to The Eagles, there’s something here for everyone.

But music isn’t the only thing happening downtown this fall. This fall Grand Rapids offers a thriving theatre scene with a wide array of shows, including Grammy award winner, ONCE, and the world premier of The Boatwright.

Broadway Grand Rapids

ONCE photo courtesy of Broadway Grand Rapids

Broadway Grand Rapids makes it easy to treat yourself to a Broadway experience without ever leaving our fair city. This season’s shows include 2013 Grammy Award winner, ONCE (Nov. 4 – 9), which also won eight 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. “ONCE uses music and dance in a unique way to help tell a beautiful story, and how music has the power to connect us,” says Meghan Distel, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Broadway Grand Rapids. “There are 30 different instruments played on stage all by the actors in the show. It’s really beautiful piece of musical theater.” [read more…]


Grand Rapids is Bursting with Music This Fall

by Kirsetin Morello on September 2, 2014

Grand Rapids’ music fall season is just around the corner and I hope you’re ready! Here is a peek at two of our region’s most renowned musical performance opportunities – definitely add them to your calendar this autumn!

Grand Rapids Symphony

photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony begins its 85th season – and final season with music director David Lockington – on September 19 with Beethoven’s Fifth, part of its 10-performance Classical series. Throughout this symphony season, you’ll enjoy new works, world-famous artists, and an unparalleled musical experience. [read more…]


15 Fun and FREE Things to do in Grand Rapids

by Amy Busse on August 28, 2014


The Power of Three by Bruce A. Niemi Photo courtesy of ArtPrize.org

The Power of Three by Bruce A. Niemi
Photo courtesy of ArtPrize.org

Whoever said, “nothing in life is free” hasn’t been to Kent County, Michigan. The greater Grand Rapids area offers a wide variety of no cost activities to keep you busy throughout the fall. So take out your planner and get moving – here are 15 ideas for fun, free things to do this autumn!

1. One word-ArtPrize! Starting September 24 through October 12 roam the streets of Grand Rapids and experience over 1,500 pieces of art for free

2. Get your disc on at free disc golf courses at Brewer Park, Fallasburg and Johnson Park.

3. Geocaching is a fun, family-friendly activity available in all Kent County parks. And a great way to get out into the fresh air.

4. Take your bike, shoes etc. out for a walk on Kent Trails. Explore 15 miles of non-motorized trails with parking in five different county parks.

5. The Eastown Street Fair September 13 features arts, crafts. music and of course food. Bring the whole family and enjoy the celebration. [read more…]


Grand Rapids, MI has been home to the international art competition ArtPrize® since 2009. For three weeks starting the end of September through the first half of October, Grand Rapids becomes a destination for art lovers and art learners alike. With over 1,500 entries and three square miles to cover it can seem daunting to a first time visitor. But don’t worry, with a little planning and some tips and tricks from seasoned ArtPrize attendees you’ll look and feel like an ArtPrize pro in no time.

So let’s go!

First, check out all 1,536 entries to start making your “must see” exhibits list. Jaenell Ott, public relations manager for ArtPrize wants visitors to know if they have an iPhone, iPad or Android device, there is an app for that! The ArtPrize app lets you search for specific entries or discover art near you when you come to town. “You can also skip the lines and place your votes through the app,” said Ott.

With so much to see, past attendee Laura Henkel suggests planning more than one day to visit if possible. And luckily Grand Rapids has some amazing hotels to make your overnight stay a fantastic experience.

Now that you have planned where you are going and where you might be staying, come on over!

Grand Rapids is easy to get to by plane, train and automobile. By car, the city is only three hours from Detroit and Chicago and a myriad of flights come in and out of Gerald R. Ford airport every day. Greyhound and Amtrak both stop right in the heart of the city.

Whether you take a cab directly to your hotel or drive a car, fear not parking.

“We have found parking to be every easy – especially if you get there early,” two-time patron Dave Serino said. “There is plenty of parking in the downtown surface lots and it is really right in the middle of everything. It is affordable and easy to get in and out.” [read more…]


From the Suburbs to the City: Getting Around Downtown on the Silver Line

by Kirsetin Morello August 19, 2014

Ready to head downtown but don’t want to drive? The Rapid Silver Line is at your service! The Silver Line debuts on August 25, 2014 and will offer riders a new option to get downtown from the suburbs of Wyoming and Kentwood. Transportation on the Silver Line will be quicker for sure (more like an […]

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Craft Distilleries Bring High-Quality Spirits To Grand Rapids’ Booming Beverage Scene

by Lyndsay Israel August 14, 2014

Grand Rapids has nurtured craft beer lovers for around a decade now, calling all types of beer drinkers to appreciate the subtlety of just four ingredients.  Breweries have covered the region and bolstered the tourism and restaurant industries immeasurably.  Now, the spotlight turns to the next tier of craft beverage production as local businesses like […]

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A Progressive Dinner at Reserve, Osteria Rossa & Rockwell-Republic: A Restaurant Week Grand Rapids Preview

by Molly Crist August 12, 2014

Chefs around town are busy today preparing for the 12-day-dining-marathon that is upon us: Restaurant Week 2014. And I hope you’re grabbing the phone to make reservations, because it’s going to be good. Last night my husband and I embarked on a progressive-style dining experience to sample Restaurant Week menu items at three of our favorite […]

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Hop Aboard: Riding the Silver Line with Kids

by Kirsetin Morello August 7, 2014

For kids, life is one big adventure and when you take them for a ride on Grand Rapids new Silver Line, Michigan’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, you’ll give a big boost to your I’m-a-fun-parent street cred. Silver Line service begins on August 25, 2014 and they’re making it easy to climb aboard. Start […]

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