World’s Largest Prize for Art, Set to Take Over Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ — More than 1,700 artists from 21 countries and 44 states are heading to Grand Rapids, Mich. to compete for the world’s largest prize for art. A 19-day event, ArtPrize will take over the city from Sept. 22 through Oct. 10 and will allow the public to decide the top-10 winners of $449,000 in prizes, including the top prize of $250,000.

ArtPrize is an open competition which has no formal jury, curator or judge, and asks the public to vote and decide the winners using mobile devices and the web. The competition is open to all artists who are able to secure a location to display their art from any of the 192 venues within a three-square-mile district of downtown Grand Rapids.

“The city has become a working gallery with art beginning to appear on our sidewalks, the sides of buildings, fences, downtown bridges and in our parks,” said Mayor George Heartwell.

The Midwest has hundreds of artists coming to Michigan to compete. Illinois alone has more than 100 artists traveling to Grand Rapids. Hundreds more are coming from Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin. Canada, in particular the Ontario region, has more than twelve artists who will display their works.

Visitors making the trip to Grand Rapids will be greeted with travel, hotel and restaurant specials. There are simple maps and a shuttle system in place for the public to vote and navigate the ArtPrize district with ease.

“ArtPrize is designed for both artists and the public,” said Rick DeVos, ArtPrize founder. “For artists, both known and unknown, the purpose is to bring ideas into the world. For everyone else, ArtPrize is about making it whatever they want it to be – to go look, interact, talk about, vote on and take the event into their own hands.”

During its 2009 inaugural season, more than 200,000 people attended ArtPrize and more than 334,000 votes were cast. From all over the world, 1,262 artists displayed their works at 159 locations.

The 19-day event, also offers a comprehensive program of guest lectures and concerts. Information about ArtPrize and scheduled events can be found at


Tyler Lecceadone

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