Enjoy great art and a great walk during ArtPrize 2012

In its fourth year, ArtPrize has become a cultural phenomenon for West Michigan, as well as the world’s largest art competition.  Originating as a completely unique spin on an art competition, ArtPrize is an international open call for artists and venues, while entirely incorporating community involvement as a necessity for its success.  Founder Rick DeVos provides the mission of ArtPrize as an “international art competition open to any artist and decided by public vote, promoting critical dialogue and collaboration throughout the year.”

ArtPrize 2012 runs from September 19th to October 7th with a total of 162 venues and 1,517 artist entries.  This year’s prizes cumulate in a grand total of $560,000, with $360,000 awarded by public vote and $200,000 awarded by a select group of art experts.  Eligibility for the competition is wide open to anyone over the age of 18 and any space in the ArtPrize district of downtown Grand Rapids.

A grand advocate of community engagement, the ArtPrize Organization is not involved in the choice of artists or venues.  Placement of the entries is based entirely on the organic connection between the registered artists and the registered venues.  In other words, the artists must contact interested venues for placement of their pieces.  ArtPrize voting takes place on artprize.org, through text message, or mobile application.  Anyone over the age of 16 can register to vote.

Sponsored by Wolverine Worldwide and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the annual Art Walk creates a great way to experience the entire event while getting some exercise along the way.  Art Walk 2012 is on September 22nd at Rosa Parks Circle.  Free health screenings will be provided from 8am to 10am. The warm up begins at 9am, with the walk kicking off at 9:30am.  Art Walk is a self-guided art tour throughout the city to witness all the ArtPrize entries.  Not interested in guiding yourself? There will also be volunteers leading guides and tours during the walk.  The first 500 participants will receive a free Event Guide (regularly $5.00) with routes.

As one of my all-time favorite events in Grand Rapids, ArtPrize has catapulted the community into coming alive and supporting the art industry.  Additionally, the support of local businesses, influx of visitors, and the sheer vibe during the three weeks of the event makes ArtPrize a must-see.

Find out more information and plan your visit to Grand Rapids today!

Have you been to a previous ArtPrize? What was your favorite aspect?

Photo credit: JohnE777

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