Dynamic Variation:

ArtPrize

September 15 - October 2, 2022

Did you know that the world’s most attended public art event takes place every fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan? Since its inception in 2009, millions of people have visited ArtPrize to see thousands of artworks displayed all over downtown.

ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition that celebrates artists working in all mediums from anywhere in the world. It’s also an urban adventure like no other, full of wonder, excitement and the opportunity for visitors to award a share of $450,000 in prize money to their favorite artists.

What you need to know

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ArtPrize Events

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A Community Celebration

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Art brings joy – and ArtPrize infuses all of Grand Rapids with a celebratory air. While the event is centered downtown, outlying sites (including Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park) also join in. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts see their busiest crowds of the year. (So do downtown restaurants and breweries). Concurrent events and festivals bring even more people to the city center to have fun.

Legacy of ArtPrize

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You can visit Grand Rapids any time of year for a glimpse of ArtPrizes past. Many former ArtPrize pieces remain as permanent installations or parts of collections in the Grand Rapids area – from massive murals outside the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Grand Rapids Ballet headquarters to these six pieces. They’re all part of a rich, vibrant art scene that makes Grand Rapids one of the Best American Cities for Creatives (Thrillist).

ArtPrize History

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ArtPrize: The First Decade

ArtPrize began in 2009 as an experiment – a totally new event, unlike anything the world had ever seen. Radically open by design, it transforms Grand Rapids into an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Powered by technology, the exhibition organizes independently with artists from around the world submitting their entries for display at hundreds of venues throughout the heart of the city. And it’s all free and open to the public who ultimately decides the winners.

In 2014 and 2015, London-based The Art Newspaper declared ArtPrize the world’s most attended public art event, topping exhibitions at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia (#2 in 2014) and The Tate Modern Gallery in London (#2 in 2015).

After celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, ArtPrize was scheduled for an every-other-year format, alternating with another community-wide art festival (Project 1). However, ArtPrize 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the advent of effective vaccines and a greater emphasis on outdoor art installations, ArtPrize returned in 2021 – and will continue on an annual basis from now on! 

Experience 10 years of ArtPrize history with this entertaining recap.

More to Explore

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Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $24.00 Culture Pass.