ArtPrize 2020 will remove jury prizes, add direct donations to artists


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – When ArtPrize returns next September after a year-long hiatus, there will be big changes in how the money ends up in the hands of artists.

The $ 250,000 awarded by public vote will return in ArtPrize 2020, but there will be no cash prizes for the jury prizes, according to an Oct. 25 press release.

Instead, the organization will fund artists’ work with more grants, and visitors will be able to send donations to artists using their phones.

ArtPrize, the “radically open” art competition that began in Grand Rapids in 2009, draws artists from around the world and features dozens of entries scattered throughout downtown Grand Rapids.

This weekend, ArtPrize completes Project 1, the first year of a new model of public art exhibitions held between the biennial ArtPrize competitions. The exhibit focused on five artists, allowing them to create multi-site, interactive, community-driven public art works at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, the Tanglefoot Building, and various downtown locations. .

Moving the competition every two years allowed the ArtPrize team to gather feedback and develop “new programs and features that we dreamed of, but didn’t have the time or space for. to implement so far, ”said Kevin Buist, artistic director of ArtPrize. .

The abandonment of monetary awards for jury winners is the result of a months-long discovery process led by Atomic Object, a Grand Rapids software development and design company, which has garnered feedback from artists, places and visitors.

According to the release, a consistent return from the artists was the desire for greater financial support from the perspective of ArtPrize.

“Grants in 2020 will range from $ 2,000 to $ 25,000 and allow artists to be more ambitious with their applications,” said Buist.

Since 2013, ArtPrize has awarded more than $ 1 million to artists, places and educators to support their participation in the event, according to the release. The competition will continue its featured public projects, performance nights and artist seed grants, as well as new opportunities for artists to gain financial support.

One of the new artist scholarship opportunities is underway in South Korea. ArtPrize has partnered with the Amway Korea Foundation to present a three-part international event celebrating Korean artists in Seoul and showcasing their work at ArtPrize 2020.

The public voting process is being redesigned to allow visitors to directly support artists and Artprize programming.

“We know that one of the experiences our visitors enjoy the most each year is talking to artists, so we’re excited to reinvent what’s possible with this interaction,” said Becca Guyette, Director of Learning and of ArtPrize’s commitment. “Public voting and our mobile app have always been at the heart of the ArtPrize competition. Next fall, visitors will be able to share their comments and now financial support with their votes. “

Experts from the art world will remain involved in ArtPrize, but will be incorporated into the event by means other than jury prizes, such as grant advisory committees and roundtables, the statement said.

Next year’s ArtPrize competition runs from September 16 to October 4.

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