ArtPrize 2015: New Nightlife Events and Investments in Curation and Venues Planned

ArtPrize leaders recently announced new and exciting updates for this year’s “radically open international art competition,” which will take place from September 23 to October 11 in Grand Rapids.

Good News for Night Owls

The biggest news is the addition of ArtPrize Tonight, which will expand evening programming at the seventh annual competition. Events in three categories – Critical Discourse, ArtPrize On Screen, and ArtPrize On Stage – will highlight creative expression through music, performance, video and film.

“Evenings at ArtPrize have been a staple of the ArtPrize experience,” said Todd Herring, ArtPrize Creative Director. “The city fills with parties and nightlife while art lovers enjoy outdoor art and venues open late. The ArtPrize Tonight series capitalizes on this energy, highlighting the music, performance, video and film that bring vibrancy to the ArtPrize experience.”

ArtPrize On Screen is a collaborative partnership with the Waterfront Film Festival and will present a series of film, video, and interactive works screenings at different venues across downtown Grand Rapids. ArtPrize On Stage will be curated by the St. Cecelia Music Center, with performances taking place at various locations.  The Critical Discourse series is a seven-day series of panel discussions and art critiques from prominent voices in contemporary art and design.

More Support for Artists and Venues

In addition to the already established $500,000 in awards, ArtPrize will also be awarding $220,000 through a number of support grants. Artist seed grants of $2,000 will continue to be awarded to 25 artists as part of a program that began last year. Four ArtPrize Pitch Nights will be held in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Durhan, and New York City. This will be the third year for the Pitch Night concept, with the winner of each night taking home a $5,000 grant.

New this year, ArtPrize introduced the Fellowship for Emerging Curators, a unique opportunity for emerging curators to gain experience by working with established curators from the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Kendall College of Art and Design, SiTE:LAB and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. Venue grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 each will also help support locations hosting artwork. Applications for both are due April 6 and more information can be found at

“Curators play an essential role in ArtPrize, placing each artwork in a context that has the power to amplify, extend and deepen the artist’s original intent,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Exhibitions Director. “The ArtPrize Fellowship for Emerging Curators and the Venue Grants are both intended to highlight and support this essential work.”

Venue registration for this year’s ArtPrize is open now through April 10. Artist registration begins on April 20. Visit ArtPrize’s website for more details.

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