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.
- ArtPrize, World’s Largest Art Competition, Underway In Grand Rapids (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- ArtPrize 2012 prize winner Adonna Khare on what it takes to win at ArtPrize (mlive.com)
- ArtPrize entries for sale: Competition adds button for artists to sell work online (mlive.com)
- ArtPrize After Dark (fox17online.com)
Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey. (2013, Sept 23) ArtPrize 2012 winner Adonna Khare on what it takes to win at ArtPrize. MLive. Retrieved from http://www.mlive.com/artprize/index.ssf/2013/09/artprize_2012_prize_winner_adonna_khare_on_what_it_takes_to_win_at_artprize.html
Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey. (2013, Sept 22). Check out epic videos of ArtPrize, thanks to new Epic Events app. MLive. Retrieved from http://www.mlive.com/artprize/index.ssf/2013/09/check_out_epic_videos_of_artprize_thanks_to_new_epic_events_app.html
Stryker, Mark. (2013, Sept 20) 5 questions with Christian Gaines, directore of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved from http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013309180013
Official ArtPrize website: http://www.artprize.org/
ArtPrize App website: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artprize/id329502948?mt=8