(Photos by Kelly Ocock)
The popular art competition is already underway in Grand Rapids
ArtPrize Eight is underway in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will continue on until Oct. 9. For 19 days in the fall, around 400,000 attendees trek across downtown GR looking at art in over 160 venues. Museums, galleries, bars, restaurants, theaters, hotels, public parks, building lobbies, walls, bridges and even laundromats and body shops open their doors to guests. The best part of the festival is that it is all free.
The open international art competition is one of the most attended public art events on the planet, grossing 1.9 million visitors since its inception in 2009. Artists from all over the world enter the competition in the hopes of winning over the crowd and gaining their vote.
There are two grand prizes of $200,000 and eight category awards. The winners are decided by taking half the public vote and half of the juried art expert’s vote.
At this moment, with ArtPrize Eight having only a week under its belt, it is hard to say what the standout is. However, the jury of judges has announced the finalists in the categories of outstanding venue, time based art, installation, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art.
Art can be seen anywhere in the three square miles that ArtPrize covers, yet the most popular destinations are the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (UICA), the Grand Rapids Art Museum and anywhere around the Blue Bridge.
At ArtPrize, artists are able to explore any theme through their medium of choice. Many artists this year chose to create around the idea of social issues that art plaguing the world, such as “Cumulus” by Daniel Bare examines overproductions by creating a cloud of everyday objects. Robert ParkeHarrison’s “These Days of Maiuma” constructed photograph criticizes the contemporary wealth, decadence and a disregard for the environment through the remains of a bloody grand feast.
Currently, over 100,000 votes have been cast in this ArtPrize, join the festival and determine this years winners before the art leaves town.
Before making the 45 minute drive over to downtown Grand Rapids, plan out your visit through ArtPrize’s website, which is updated with all the latest news. Also, check-out to see what the finalists are and where they are located. Lastly, be prepared to walk around and take in the sites that the city has to offer.