ArtPrize 2014: How to Make the Most of Your Visit

Julie Bitely

| 4 min read

An entry from last year's ArtPrize.
An entry from last year’s ArtPrize.
It’s baaaack! The world’s largest art competition descends upon downtown Grand Rapids and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Wednesday, September 24 and runs through October 12.
Individual artists and collaborative teams have submitted 1,537 art entries, which will transform 174 venues around town. A total of $560,000 in prize money will be awarded: two grand prizes worth $400,000 and eight category awards (two-dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based, and installation) worth $160,000. Half will be decided by public vote and half by a jury of art experts.
Here’s everything you need to know, in order to make the most of this year’s ArtPrize.
Find a new path. ArtPrize organizers have curated four pathways to help you navigate different sections of the city while keeping you close to the Rapid’s new Silver Line. Each pathway is 2.4 miles long or less and fully accessible. Ninety percent of all ArtPrize venues are within one block of a pathway. Check out all four:
  • Heartside: Connect to the ArtPrize HUB, the UICA, and Avenue for the Arts on this 2.1-mile path.
Be sure to also include a trip out to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park for their always well-curated entries.
There’s an app for that. The ArtPrize 2014 app has some great additions to help you find art, share art, and vote for your favorite art entries. Search for any entry, artist, venue, or event, and stay up-to-date with the latest from the ArtPrize blog. You can even import events to your personal calendar. A new list feature lets you create and browse lists of your favorite entries. You can share your lists with turn-by-turn walking directions. As usual, registering and voting with the app is easy. Download it to your iOS and Android devices.
Parking? So 2013. Get on the bus. Don’t feel like dealing with parking downtown? You don’t have to! For $5, you can purchase two ArtPrize wristbands, which will give you unlimited rides on The Rapid for the 19 days of the event. (Fares are normally $1.50 per ride.) Pick up your wristbands at participating Meijer stores, or find your wristbands at any ArtPrize voting site. Then, just find any stop with through service to Central Station to get downtown, or park for free at any of those same Meijer stores and ride from there. Find out how BCBSM has partnered with ArtPrize and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to provide free rides for underserved communities.
Mark your calendar with these key dates.
  • September 24: Round 1 voting begins at noon.
  • September 29: Juried Awards shortlist nominees announced
  • October 4: Round 1 voting closes at 11:59 p.m.
  • October 5: Public vote finalists announced at 1 p.m./Round 2 voting begins at 2 p.m.
  • October 9: Round 2 voting closes at 11:59 p.m.
  • October 10: Winners announced at the 2014 ArtPrize Awards at 8 p.m.
  • October 12: Closing Day – venues close at 6 p.m.
Check out our BCBSM artists. Two artists will be displaying their work in the window of our downtown Grand Rapids headquarters at 86 Monroe Center NW. Mark Dunning’s “Abstract Formation” and Kristen Thornton’s “LakeView I and II” will be brightening up the entryway. While you’re enjoying the art, take note of the fact that this location is also where you can visit our walk-in customer service center in Grand Rapids. Have questions about your coverage or options? Check that off your list while you’re ArtPrizing!
There’s a lot of art and entertainment to behold. Get yourself to Grand Rapids and take part in this radical art experiment that’s put the city on the art world’s map. Last year, the event drew over 400,000 visitors, with attendees from 47 countries and all 50 states represented.
Photo credit: Robert Bradley

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