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Dynamic Variation:

ArtPrize is Back

September 16 - October 3, 2021

The streets, sidewalks, parks, bridges, and buildings of downtown Grand Rapids will once again be overflowing with art this fall, as the world’s most-attended public art event returns after a two-year absence.

If you’re already an ArtPrize fan, you know that this 18-day celebration of creativity, connection, and community is a one-of-a-kind experience. If you’re new to ArtPrize … well, there really are no words that can prepare you for the joy, inspiration, and excitement that ArtPrize brings. You must see it, feel it, and share it to believe it!

New For 2021

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ArtPrize 2021 retains the basic structure of its past: more than one thousand artists from around the world will display their newly created works all over downtown Grand Rapids for visitors to see, absolutely free, in the hopes of earning cash prizes. But there are some new wrinkles that will make this year’s event unlike any other ArtPrize:

  • Visitors will now be able to award prizes and interact directly with artists through the ArtPrize app, opening up the possibility that more artists than ever will take home a portion of the $250,000 in cash prizes.
  • A new platform will enable artists to sell or auction off their works directly to the public.
  • Artists from underrepresented communities will be spotlighted in a stunning outdoor exhibition funded by $200,000 in grants.
  • An enhanced digital map will make it even easier to find art and maneuver around downtown Grand Rapids.
  • An even greater emphasis on outdoor art installations will help mitigate coronavirus concerns.

This year will also see the return of juried awards and the opportunity to explore the difference (if any) between “expert” opinion and public opinion.

ArtPrize Newsletter

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Stay Up to Date

Details will continue to be expanded and refined as ArtPrize draws closer. Follow ArtPrize on social (FacebookInstagramTwitter) and sign up for the ArtPrize Newsletter for the latest updates.

ArtPrize History

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ArtPrize: The First Decade

ArtPrize began in 2009 as an experiment – a totally new event, unlike anything the world had ever seen. Radically open by design, it transforms Grand Rapids into an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Powered by technology, the exhibition organizes independently with artists from around the world submitting their entries for display at hundreds of venues throughout the heart of the city. And it’s all free and open to the public who ultimately decides the winners.

In 2014 and 2015, London-based The Art Newspaper declared ArtPrize the world’s most attended public art event, topping exhibitions at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia (#2 in 2014) and The Tate Modern Gallery in London (#2 in 2015).

After celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, ArtPrize was scheduled for an every-other-year format, alternating with another community-wide art festival (Project 1). However, ArtPrize 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With vaccines reducing case counts and outdoor events deemed much safer, ArtPrize is back for 2021.

Experience 10 years of ArtPrize history with this entertaining recap.

Find a Hotel

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As you can imagine, there is tremendous pent-up demand for a full-fledged community festival after the COVID-19 restrictions of the past year or so. Book your hotel as soon as possible to guarantee a room. (Scroll through the list of hotel options.)

More to Explore

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Save on Attractions with Our Culture Pass

Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $20.00 Culture Pass.

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