The 12th edition of the ArtPrize—an independent, contemporary art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan—concluded on October 2 following a successful 19-day run across 200 local venues, including auto body shops, banks and even bridges.
Since its inception in 2009, each edition of the open, international event has distributed around $450,000 in grants to participating artists. After a contentious cancellation in 2020 because of the pandemic, the competition returned this year with a full roster of extracurricular programming.
“ArtPrize is all about bringing fine art into the public eye, free of charge,” ArtPrize’s Mady Ellinger told Artnet News. “It’s unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing.”
“There is still a common misconception that ArtPrize is privately funded,” Ellinger continued, when it actually is a non-profit that relies on sponsors, donors, and grants.
ArtPrize takes shape organically through its online portal, where venues from a three-square-mile radius in Downtown Grand Rapids connect with artist applicants to determine which projects will go where. Meanwhile, ArtPrize leadership selects the jury of comprised of curators, critics, artists and museum directors.
“What makes ArtPrize unique is that awards and prizes are selected by both public visitors casting votes and also by jurors,” Ellinger said, revealing “the intersections and incongruities between professional and populist opinions.” Some projects have even won world records.
Artists competing for the Popular Award can submit their work into one of five categories—two-dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based, installation, and digital art—with the public and juries both awarding prizes for their favorites in each category. Artists behind each of the ten selected projects receive $10,000 each. Jurors also choose their second-favorite works of art in each category for the Honorable Mention award, which comes with a $2,500 purse.
ArtPrize distributes $125,000 during the event, through daily and weekly prizes, with the remaining prize money going to specialized awards. Artists can also sell their works through the online art platform AllArtWorks.
This year, the organizers of the Grand Rapids African American Arts & Music Festival singled out William Davis’s interactive poetry piece to receive the Contemporary Black Art Award, while the West Michigan Asian American Association chose a mixed-media, 2D-piece by Stacie Tamaki for the Asian Art Award.
Florida-based artist Florencia Clement De Grandprey took home two accolades for In My Eyes, snagging both the 2D Public Award and the Artista Latino Award, chosen by the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
New to the 2022 edition was the Artist-to-Artist award, where participating artists could weigh in on their favorites. North Carolina brothers Brad and Bryan Caviness took home the inaugural $12,500 prize for .
Ellinger cited the last-minute addition of the John Ball Zoo to its list of venues as this year’s greatest thrill. There, Michigan-based artist Stacy Rhines installed an interactive disc golf course made of recycled scrap metal sculptures. When avid disc golfers caught wind of his work over social media, they flocked to the city—even from out of state.
ArtPrize also expanded its geographic footprint beyond its traditional three-square-mile radius in Downtown Grand Rapids. This year, its Featured Public Project, Made Again, was placed at Martin Luther King Jr Park in nearby Ottawa Hills. “Swilk’s compelling and gentle works brought high art to a key neighborhood,” Ellinger said.
Here are the incredible winning sights that graced Grand Rapids this year.
ArtPrize 2022 Winners:
2D Public Winner and Artista Latino Award Winner: by Florencia Clement De Grandprey
3D Public Winner: by Kasey Wells
Time-Based Public Winner: by Kristen Zamora
Installation Public Winner: by Jennifer Dunahee
Digital Public Winner: by Rob Finch
2D Juror Winner: by Harold Allen
3D Juror Winner: by Mo Jauw
Time-Based Juror Winner: by LiChtpiraten
Installation Juror Winner: by Maddison Chaffer
Digital Juror Winner: by Gary Mesa-Gaido
2D Juror Honorable Mention: by Erica Kuhl
3D Juror Honorable Mention: by Mark Mennin
Time-Based Juror Honorable Mention: by Ciara Glass
Installation Juror Honorable Mention: By Brian Whitfield
Digital Juror Honorable Mention: by Charles Cusack
Artist-To-Artist Award: by Brad and Bryan Caviness
Contemporary Black Art Award: by William Davis
Asian Art Award: by Stacie Tamaki
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