For nearly three weeks every autumn Grand Rapids, Michigan is overtaken by ArtPrize, an international art competition unlike any other. Art installations sprawl through the entire city; murals cover walls of buildings, paintings adorn stores, restaurants, and banks, and sculptures pop up in parks and on sidewalks. The concept is simple; visitors are allowed to walk around the city and view the art for free and then they are encouraged vote, by internet or mobile device, for their favorite piece. The winning artist of the public vote receives $200,000! That’s right, a panel of experts is not responsible for handing out top honors. The public is in charge of determining the winner of one of the largest art competition awards in existence. With that kind of power it is important to make the most out of your ArtPrize experience. After visiting ArtPrize this year, here are some of my personal tips to make sure you do just that.
1) Plan ahead! With over 1,500 entries sprawling 3 square miles, it is important to look at a map and make sure you hit all the venues that peak your interest.
2) Visit ArtPrize.org! Before heading to Grand Rapids check out the ArtPrize website, I wish I had. On the website you will find information about the venues, how to vote and about special events that go on throughout the competition.
3) Finally, and most importantly give yourself time! Have I mentioned yet how HUGE ArtPrize is? It takes time to see everything. Plus, Grand Rapids is a great city with a lot to offer. After spending your day touring ArtPrize, make time in the evening to go out on the town and have some fun!
Check out the 2013 Top 10 Finalists: http://www.artprize.org/entries/?promoted=top-10
ArtPrize 2013 wraps up this Sunday, October 6th. If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend, forget whatever else you were considering and go experience ArtPrize.