Art, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized

Art Is Much Much More


This weekend marks the end of the first round of voting for ArtPrize. As the hours dwindle down people with be utilizing the technology designed to help this years voting run smoothly and efficiently. As I discussed last week, voting for ArtPrize can be done not only through the physical voting site located in Grand Rapids, but also through your smartphone, using the newly designed ArtPrize app. I’m personally a huge advocate for this app. ArtPrize is a huge venue, as Mark Stryker (2013) noted,  “There are a number of high-density venues where you can see a lot of art in a relatively short amount of time”. This fast-paced environment is complimented nicely with such an easy to use app. Upon downloading it gave me an entire list of all the entries, complete with title and artist search. I can register to vote straight from the app, as long as you are at ArtPrize when you first attempt to register. After that you can vote from your phone wherever and whenever. It’s an easy way to keep track of your votes, your favorite pieces, and your location all at once.  Not to mention once you download the app you are added to the mailing list, where you can get news about ArtPrize via your email as well as voting deadlines, a great way to keep people in the know.  But how much farther could we go using technology to make the ArtPrize experience even better?

In regards to the ArtPrize app, I would like to see a couple tweaks and additions next year to make it even more user friendly and helpful. An option to look at art and artists through different categories would be helpful. As of now you can only look up art by the title of the piece. It is alphabetical and you scroll down a list. It would be nice if they added an option where you could choose a category of art. Whether it was interactive, writing based, sculpture, paintings, etc.  It would make it a little easier to look up a piece that you could not remember the name too, as well as allow you to skip to things you were most concerned with viewing. I know for me I looooove the interactive pieces. I actually wanted to visit each one they had, but unless I scour the entire area, and make it to every exhibit there is no way I can catch all of them.

Technology is not only used by the viewing public help navigate ArtPrize, we have also seen an increasing amount of technology within ArtPrize, in the art pieces themselves. As technology advances it will be interesting to see just how elaborate and of use it will be to creative artists. This year there were a few exhibits I visited that wre using technology to benefit our world and make us aware. One of the two was a piece titled “Destrucion Of Technology” which was a gigantic iphone constructed of recycled old Iphones. The artist, Garry VonMyhr (2013), reported that “The work is a 3-D portrayal of society’s mindset that technology is obsolete as soon as it becomes less than perfect. We beg to differ. Our Mission: We are technology connoisseurs, repairmen, teachers, salvagers, technicians, IT specialists, and so much more. Our art is displayed through the reuse and recycling of mobile technology. Repair is recycling! The best way to keep hardware out of landfills is to keep it working longer. Toxic electronic waste is a global problem that we all need to pitch in to solve. Our art is our footprint.” This is a fantastic and unique piece of art that actually makes us aware of something even bigger, it uses technology to paint a bigger picture. Another great piece was (Facing Al Aqaba” by Al Aqaba Palestine artist Maurice Jacobsen) in which you were made to feel like you were walking through a village in another country – it prompted you from the beginning to find out why this village faces extinction, through the use of digital media and sound machines they told you a story.  It got me thinking of the lengths some artists could go to make a simulation type display – especially in the future as technology rapidly increases yearly. Technology can help to make people aware of world issues and things that go on we don’t see.  Experience Grand Rapids website (2013) states “ArtPrize = Catalyst; This grand civic project began with the value that art is important. It is uniquely capable of carrying the ideas of its creator and transforming the perceptions of an audience.” What better way to get people to pay attention than putting it right in their face in a unique and intriguing form – art. It could be a very powerful tool for artists to make a difference. Art + Politics combined to form an evocative message is a powerful tool – made even more powerful through the utilization of technology.



Unknown. (2013) ArtPrize. ExperienceGR. Retrieved from

Stryker, Mark. (2013) Quick Guide To Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2013. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved from

VonMyhr, Garry. (2013) Genius Phone Repair – Destruction Of Technology. ArtPrize. Retrieved from

Art, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized

‘Tis The Season of Art


This month marks the beginning of the five-year birthday of Grand Rapid’s ArtPrize. ArtPrize is a unique art competition that takes place in the streets and art museums of downtown Grand Rapids. What makes ArtPrize so unlike any other art competition can be found in the details. Firstly, anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to participate and submit their work; any space within the ArtPrize district can be used as a venue for an artist to display their creation. Secondly, ArtPrize is independently organized by venues and artists. And one of the most unique characteristics of this event can be found in the fact that it is completely in the hands of the public to decide who goes home with a prize. Attendees can use various systems to send in their votes for their favorite piece. Not to mention the first place prize is a whopping $200,000 – no pressure though. As explained by last years first place $200,000 winner Adonna Khare (2013) “If your work isn’t as straightforward, I think it is very important to be able to speak about your work, especially if there’s more than meets the eye – I think that’s a very important aspect of ArtPrize.” This year we have more technology to thank for aiding these artists in getting the meaning of their pieces across to every curious viewer.

The advance of technology over the past years has really been a game changer when it comes to ArtPrize. Whether it’s looking up the authors intended meaning behind the art, sharing your favorite installment, voting for a piece, searching for an artist, or attaining a map of the area you can access all through your smart phone, tablet, personal computer, and the like. The newly designed app, coined “ArtPrize” , found in your devices app store, has everything you could possibly need for your ArtPrize experience. With over 1500 artists this year participating at 169 venues this app makes tracking your location easier and puts voting right at your fingertips. This app will even allow you to view pictures of each installment – very helpful when you’re torn between who to give your vote to. Another newly found app designed with Art Prize in mind is the app titled “Epic Events”,  funded by ArtPrize and seen in a recent MLive Article, this app will allow you to create a video style scrapbook of your time at ArtPrize. Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk (2013) reports on the app adding, “Organizers’ goal is for thousands of users to contribute tens of thousands of video clips daily to an ArtPrize curation team, which is creating a user-generated video each day called the Daily Epic during ArtPrize.” Through use of this app and its services you can help to create an art piece that aims to showcase all the art found at ArtPrize 0 technology can be artsy.   In a recent 2013 interview by the Detroit Free Press, with Christian Gaines, director of ArtPrize expresses his feelings towards the interactive atmosphere of ArtPrize and the use of technology in the art world, Gaines (2013) states:

“There’s nothing really like it, so that captures the imagination. It has some loose models, but it’s something you’ve never seen before. I think the idea of public engagement cannot be underestimated in the success of the event, specifically in using technology in a very natural and elegant kind of way — not just to attract artists and venues but to register the public to get them to vote. So often technology is a kind of clumsy afterthought — like, “Oh my God, we need an app!”

But ArtPrize has used technology not just to attract artists and venues but to register the public and then to get them to vote. … That’s a unique concept. Normally when you talk about social networking, you throw as wide a net as possible, trying to get as many followers or likes as possible. But this is really about the audience taking part in the event and really participating.”

It’s no doubt that ArtPrize is an all around unique one of a kind experience. There has yet to be anything like it in the art world and it continues to grow every year, attracting more and more artists and spectators. Be sure to stop by downtown Grand Rapids between now and October 6th to check out the art and thank all the proud sponsors of ArtPrize for making this unmissable event possible for the fifth year.



Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey. (2013, Sept 23) ArtPrize 2012 winner Adonna Khare on what it takes to win at ArtPrize. MLive. Retrieved from

Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey. (2013, Sept 22). Check out epic videos of ArtPrize, thanks to new Epic Events app. MLive. Retrieved from 

Stryker, Mark. (2013, Sept 20) 5 questions with Christian Gaines, directore of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved from


Official ArtPrize website:

ArtPrize App website: