Guide to ArtPrize 2014

Now in its 6th year, the wildly popular ArtPrize competition returns to downtown Grand Rapids September 24 - October 12, 2014. The art contest is open to anyone in the world, with two grand prizes worth $400,000 and eight category awards worth $160,000 given to the winners. Half of the awards are determined by public vote, half by a jury of art experts. This year, 1,537 artists will display their work at 174 venues, all located within a three square mile radius of downtown GR (exception: Frederik Meijer Gardens).

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How Voting Works: Voting is open to the public and completely free. There are two rounds of voting; during round 1 (September 24-October 4), the public can vote for any entries they think should win, but may only vote once for each entry. The Pubilc Vote Final 20 will be announced October 5 at 1 p.m. In round 2 (October 5-9), you vote again to choose the ultimate winners out the Final 20. The overall winners will be announced at the ArtPrize Awards event October 10 at 8 p.m.

Once registered, voters can cast their ballots online at, or with the ArtPrize app, available for both iPhone and Droid.

How to Register: Voting is open to anyone 16 and older, but you must register in person at one of the registration locations around the city beginning September 24 with a valid government-issued ID. You can also visit the ArtPrize HUB (41 Sheldon Blvd SE) on September 20 for an early registration event.

Hours: Exhibition Centers: noon to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. All other venues: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon to 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Photos from ArtPrize 2014:

Coming soon Guide to Downtown Grand Rapids

Gallery Receptions, Parties & Special Events:

September 16

ArtPrize Sneak Peak with Artist Dan Heffron - The Hudsonville Library will close early for this special reception where visitors can get a first look at 'Poseidon's Paradise', an ArtPrize entry with 16 intricately carved sea creatures, before it heads to The B.O.B.

September 17

ArtPrize on Tap - ArtClub members can get the inside scoop on ArtPrize 2014 from AP experts, curators, venues and staff at Founders Brewing Company's Centennial Room. Enjoy craft beer and amazing food while learning inside tips and tricks and get a preview of this year's Critical Discourse series.

Artist Reception - Kimberly Ladewig - At One Trick Pony, see Grand Rapids Carousel, a 40" x 40" oil on stretched canvas work by Kimberly Ladewig.

Arena District ArtPrize Preview Kickoff - From 6-9 p.m., The Ballroom at CityFlats Hotel will host a live gallery viewing, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, with proceeds going to Fashion Has Heart. Then get a sneak peek at artist installations at participating Arena District venues like HopCat and McFadden's.

September 18

[DIS]COMFORT ZONES - In the Grand Rapids Art Museum's ArtPrize exhibit, explore the way artists take risks and push boundaries by pulling the viewer out of his or her comfort zone and into a new heightened awareness. Admission is free.

September 19

Opening Sponsor Event - ArtPrize sponsors can celebrate at the onset of the 2014 event at this special invitation-only party held at The Ledyard Building.

Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors - Meijer Gardens' ArtPrize exhibition opens September 19 with sixteen carefully-selected works by artists from Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. "Emerging Sculptors" continues after ArtPrize, until January 4, 2015.

September 20

ArtPrize HUB Grand Opening/Registration Day - From 9 a.m. until noon, head to the ArtPrize HUB (41 Sheldon Blvd SE) and become one of the first registered voters for 2014. All of the new gear and t-shirts will be in stock and you can also see 2012 and 2013 Public Vote winners Elephants and Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore on display.

September 21

Opening Reception at Fountain Street Church - At 2 p.m. welcome over 30 artists presenting their work under the theme of "Art to Change the World: Inspiring Social Justice" inside Fountain Street Church.

Meet the (a)Artist - The sermon series over the next four Sundays at Monroe Community Church will explore four ArtPrize entries and include interviews with the artists.

stART: a benefit for Avenue for the Arts - Get a sneak peek at ArtPrize installations at San Chez Bistro, while raising money for Avenue for the Arts. The one-night-only event ill feature artwork, food & drink demonstrations, live performances, and a chance to meet national & local artists.

September 22

JW Marriott Art Reception - Visit the Grand Staircase inside the JW lobby from 5-9 p.m. for a first look at the artwork that will be showcased on the main floor of the hotel. Mingle with artists while enjoy hors d'ouevres, drinks, and music.

September 23

Live Electricity Painting! - Have you ever seen someone paint with electricity? Now you can when ArtPrize entrant Larissa Uredi transforms a sheet of titanium outside of Boardwalk Condos from 6-8 p.m.

SiTE:LAB Opening Event - The launch party at The Morton House will celebrate not only SiTE:LAB's ArtPrize installation, but also The Rapidian's five year anniversary. Proceeds from the ticketed event will benefit the hyperlocal news outlet.

Monroe North Sneak Peek - Enjoy appetizers, entertainment by street performers, live music, a silent auction and more at the venues along North Monroe Ave (from SpeakEZ Lounge to Boardwalk Condos) starting at 6 p.m.

Mako Fujimura Lecture - At the Acton Institute, artist Mako Fujimura will speak about the creative process he utilized to create his 2014 ArtPrize painting "Azure." Lecture begins at 7 p.m.; ticketed event.

September 24

Official ArtPrize Kick Off - Join ArtPrize organizers at Rosa Parks Circle at 1 p.m. as the GVSU Marching Band kicks off ArtPrize '14.

Round 1 Voting Begins - ArtPrize officially opens at noon, with Round 1 voting continuing until 11:59 p.m. on October 4.

Grand Rapids Public Museum Exhibit - The Public Museum will showcase 15 outdoor-only exhibits for its 2014 ArtPrize exhibition.

Women's City Club Opening Reception - The venue on East Fulton & Lafayette welcomes 50+ artists with a reception open to the public beginning at 5 p.m.

Artist Reception at Echo Salon - Located on Sheldon Blvd, meet the artists installed at the salon, preview the artwork and enjoy a cocktail from 6-10 p.m.

SiTE:LAB: The Morton - The two-time winner of ArtPrize's Outstanding Venue juried award, will occupy the former Morton House/Hotel location at Monroe Center & Ionia for 2014. See more than a dozen large-scale, mostly contemporary pieces in areas of the building not seen by the public since the 1960s.

The ArtClub Opening Party - Join fellow ArtClubers at the Ledyard Building and raise a glass to the next 19 days of art adventure and exploration.

Leaders on Canvas - At the opening reception at DeVos Place, see artwork local city leaders created side-by-side with ArtPrize artist Cynthia Hagedorn. The original masterpieces will be sold off auction-style, with proceeds benefiting a nonprofit organization of the leader’s choice.

September 25

ArtPrize the Musical - Members of Super Happy Funtime Burlesque perform the humorous and somewhat irreverent look at Grand Rapids and ArtPrize. Runs Thursday through Saturday.

Family Art Night - During the reduced admission evening at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum ($1.50 per person), work together as a family on a collaborative art piece to take home.

September 26

Opening Reception at (106) Gallery - Calvin College's downtown art gallery space on South Division will celebrate the ArtPrize exhibition "Reflextion" at the opening reception where visitors can meet the artists while enjoying refreshments.

Art Demo with Debra Dieppa - At the Amway Grand Hotel's valet lobby area, observe how ArtPrize entrant Debra Dieppa uses her original paintings and mixed media to create a variety of inspiring, intuitive-style works of art.

Artists Reception at First (Park) Congregational Church - The historic church adjacent to Veterans Park will have free food and live music for visitors to enjoy as they view this year's exhibition.

Listen to Art Family Days - The special event at St. Cecilia Music Center is part performance, part presentation, and part hands-on activity, to help families learn and appreciate the relationship between art and music. Ticketed event.

September 27

Michigan Adventure Race: ArtPrize Edition - Part bike race and part Amazing Race, teams of two will head out from Ah-Nab-Awen Park by bike or foot checkpoints pre-marked on a map, collecting as many points as they can within four hours. Challenges along the way will involve art, venues and more.

When Days Become a Moment - This Hope College showcase at Cathedral Square will weave dance, poetry and live music performed by twenty-five student and faculty artists from Hope. Performances at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

GRAMStudio ArtPrize Family Days - Drop into the Grand Rapids Art Museum studio with friends or family between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and make your own artwork in the hands-on and interactive learning spaces.

Chalk Up Monroe - Add your artistic flair to N. Monroe Ave sidewalks from noon to 4 p.m. Sidewalk chalk will be provided all the way up Monroe from the former Grand Rapids Press building all the way to Boardwalk Condos.

Family Days Artist Day and Pop-Up Art - At Rosa Parks Circle, there will be chalk drawing, face painting and water painting, plus ArtPrize artists will be on hand to discuss their entries.

Love Struck Concert - Singer/songwriter Mary McGuire will perform a one hour concert at St. Cecilia Music Center, featuring songs off of her Love Struck album. Starts at 3 p.m.

Art Demo with Robert Routley - At the Amway Grand Plaza, meet Artist Robert Routley and learn about the tools and processes he utilizes to create masterpieces through highly detailed and intricate wood-burning.

Guided Tour of Kendall College - Follow an hour-long tour led by Kendall faculty through the ArtPrize exhibition in the Federal Building. Begins at 11 a.m.

WMU Opening Reception - See the fifth floor of Western Michigan University's downtown campus building on Ionia SW transformed by 35 ArtPrize installations representing 46 artists. Complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres provided; RSVP requested by Sep. 19.

Digging In Deep - At The B.O.B., entrant Paul Murry will share with visitors the techniques he uses to create pieces like his finished oil work from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The League of Extraordinary Ladies Grand Opening - The brand-new Glitter Milk Gallery on Alpine will showcase the ArtPrize exhibition consisting of eight hand-painted and embellished fictional ‘gang’ vests. Meet the artists and enjoy complimentary desserts and drinks from 12-8 p.m.

September 28

Voices of the City - Led by Grand Rapids Diocesan director of liturgical music and 2014 ArtPrize artist Dennis Rybicki, the one-time live choir performance at St. Andrew's Cathedral will feature the voices of more than 300 choir members from Grand Rapids area churches and colleges. Starts at 3 p.m.

Build Your Own Paper Pram Workshop - ArtPrize artist Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite hosts the free and family-friendly workshop at Calvin's (106) Gallery from 1-3 p.m.

September 29

Shortlist Event - At the ArtPrize HUB, the jurors of the category awards will each present and discuss a list of five nominees for their awards. This event will also be televised on WOOD TV8 at 7 p.m.

ArtFan Party - A very special reception at Blue35 created just for ArtFan members will include a viewing of the Juried Awards Shortlist and a special visit from jurors later in the evening.

September 30

Critical Discourse: Creative Approaches to Detroit - The on-stage conversation with Design 99, the architecture duo who won the 2012 Juried Grand Prize, will focus on ways artists are creating unique strategies to revitalize communities dealing with urban blight.

Chair Camp - A granddaughter of the Eames Family will host this event at the Grand Rapids Public Museum where students ranging from elementary school through college will construct model chairs.

Bootcamp in the Park - Personal trainer Wendy will get you started down the path of getting and staying in shape at this 45-minute session at Sixth Street Bridge Park at 6 p.m.

October 1

ArtFan Gold and Platinum Dinner - The intimate dinner party for ArtFan Gold and Platinum members will feature entertainment, along with special guests: The ArtPrize Grand Jury.

October 2

Taste of Monroe North - Enjoy a free taste of food at the restaurants and venues along North Monroe Ave, while mingling with ArtPrize artists and listening to live music. Starts at 6 p.m.

Paint Nite - From 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the JW Marriott, a professional artist will guide you through the process of creating a landscape painting while you enjoy hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and a drink. Ticketed event.

Critical Discourse: ART21 Season 7 World Preview Screening - Join the ArtPrize Grand Jury for an exclusive first look at ART21 Season 7, the Peabody Award-winning series that airs on PBS. Members from season 7 will be on hand to talk about the show and their experiences.

October 3

Critical Discourse: NEW INC: Incubating Art and Tech - At the ArtPrize HUB, discuss exciting new trends at the intersection of art and technology.

'Conservate NOT Captivate' - At Gardella's, artists, Natural Resource Management professionals and a zoologist talk about conservation and things the community can do to save endangered animals.

October 4

Fish Petroglyphs of the Grand River - ArtPrize artist Kevin Sudeith will give a short presentation about the history of petroglyphs and how he uses the ancient art forms to address current issues. Afterwards, attendees will be given supplies to create their own petroglyphs on paper. Runs 12 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Founders Beer Garden: An ArtPrize Fundraiser - From noon until 8 p.m., take a break at Rosa Parks Circle and sample Founders newest Artist Series beer, Mosaic Promise. All proceeds will support ArtPrize programming.

Kids pARTy at ArtPrize - At the ArtPrize HUB, local artists Cynthia Hagedorn will help kids ages 6-12 create large, communal landscape drawing with pastels.

Critical Discourse: Art, Disability, Images, Bodies - ArtPrize will host the panel discussion at the HUB with DisArt, the upcoming Grand Rapids-based disability arts festival.

Round 1 Voting Ends - Cast your votes for the Final 20 before 11:59 p.m.

October 5

Final 20 Announcement - ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos will announce the Final 20 entries at 2 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle.

Round 2 Voting Begins - Starting at 3 p.m. cast your vote in each of the categories that make up the Final 20.

Kids' Art Day - At Monroe Community Church (800 Monroe NW), kids can create art alongside ArtPrize artists from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Kevin Kammeraad and the Cooperfly Puppet Troupe - Join artist Kevin Kammeraad for a pop-up puppet performance in front of the HUB from 3 until 4 p.m.

October 6

Critical Discourse: 'Why These Finalists' Part 1 - At the HUB, a panel of three artists will discuss half of the final public and juried finalists in a lively, humorous and irreverent debate. This will also be televised on WOOD TV8 live at 7 p.m.

October 7

Critical Discourse: 'Why These Finalists' Part 2 - At the HUB, a panel of three artists will discuss the other half of the final public and juried finalists in a lively, humorous and irreverent debate. This part will also be televised on WOOD TV8 live at 7 p.m.

October 8

Country Night - WOOD TV8's concert series at Rosa Parks Circle will feature live music with The Bronk Brothers and the Kari Lynch Band from 5 p.m. until 8:30. Free.

October 9

Round 2 Voting Ends - It's the last chance to cast your vote in each of the categories that make up the Final 20.

October 10

ArtPrize Awards - Held for the first time at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, see who will walk away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes. A city-wide street party with food trucks, Founders beer and live music will complement the announcement.

Submit your ArtPrize event here

Last Updated 09/16/2014
Published 09/16/2014