A is for ArtPrize

IMG_8512From late September to early October, Grand Rapids hosts the world’s largest art competition known as ArtPrize. The free event features artists from all over the world, showcasing a wide variety of art, writing and music at dozens of indoor and outdoor venues throughout the city. Each year attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators, flooding the city to see inspiring, bizarre, quirky, interactive, and beautiful pieces. All sorts of mediums are used and range from tiny to as large as buildings.

Throughout the competition, visitors are encouraged to place their votes for their favorite pieces and the top 10 pieces are awarded a total of more than $500,000. It’s a big deal and its popularity continues without fail. Each year I do my best to take a day, walk around a section of the city (you can’t do it all in one day, it’s too expansive), and see as many pieces as I can.

ArtPrize3Due to some last minute scheduling changes, my significant other and I attended this weekend, braving the cold wind sweeping through the city streets and the gray sky which threatened rain.

The photos throughout this post are some of what we saw!

ArtPrize1The competition is still going on, and the piece above, made out of Michigan petoskey stones, is in the top 20. The artist is from Manistee, which is a small city on the northern Lake Michigan coast.

The next piece, called “Seasons,” was located at the Amway Grand Hotel and also is in the Top 20. I really liked this one! This is an example of some of the quirky pieces you can see when you attend ArtPrize.

ArtPrize6ArtPrize7Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a lot because of the miserable weather and other complications, but I’m glad I got to see a bit of it. And no matter what, I love going to Grand Rapids, my favorite city in Michigan.

IMG_8518I really loved the piece in the photo above. A peacock made of metal — and some of it recognizable! Look closer and you will see spoons, spatulas, and knives a midst the other shapes of steel. Metal pieces are very popular during ArtPrize.


IMG_8515I kind of like the 3D art! Lots of fun!

ArtPrize5ArtPrize4This artist’s marble work was incredible, don’t you think?

IMG_8514For those close enough to Michigan, or for those visiting the state during this time next year, be sure to check out ArtPrize! It’s not only a really great event, it might be the best way to see what Grand Rapids is all about, visit local shops and restaurants, and appreciate the city’s vibrant atmosphere.


About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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6 Responses to A is for ArtPrize

  1. I love going to ArtPrize (and have been to every year’s competition), but the absurdity of some of the pieces is getting out of control. Maybe I’m just not “deep enough” to “get it”, but some of the pieces these “artists” consider “art” is dumb. There is no reason that 10 squares with one layer of a solid color of paint and a couple splatters of other colors of paint is “art” as long as you attach some asinine reason to the splatters “signifying” something. I am thoroughly convinced that I could just take all the crap in my closet I don’t use, put in a pile on the floor, and then say it signifies my growing up as a human and the struggles I have had and it would be considered art and get a bunch of people to vote for it. It is ridiculous.

  2. Nicole says:

    I love that Michigan piece! And the “Seasons” one was awesome, too! I hope to be able to visit at that time one of these years so that I can check it out.

  3. mattingm says:

    Aw, ArtPrize! I missed going this year 🙁 thank you for posting some pics so I got to see a few pieces at least!

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