Half a million expected to visit Grand Rapids Art Prize
Public gets deciding vote on best art on show
By Pac Pobric. Web only
Published online: 18 September 2013
Art Prize, the annual Michigan art event where the public gets the deciding vote, opens its fifth edition on 18 September. Visitors to the show, which takes place in Grand Rapids, are due to award a total of $360,000 by choosing their favourite works of art through a smartphone app, including a $200,000 grand prize for best in show. A jury of art professionals, including Ann Pasternak, the artistic director of Creative Time, and the art critic John Yau, will award a further $200,000 to artists in a number of categories, such as “best use of urban space”.
Visitor figures have been growing steadily since the event opened in 2009. Around 200,000 people saw the first edition of the show, and by 2012, that number had grown to 400,000. Christian Gaines, the executive director of Art Prize, says they expect around half a million attendees this year. “There is a real curiosity to see what’s new”, he says. “It’s become something that’s hardwired into people’s calendars.” He adds that art lovers are excited about taking part in the process of criticism. “Being able to vote is a central part of the attraction.”
The even is sponsored by more than 145 companies including Amway, Delta Air Lines, Heineken, PNC Bank, Steelcase and Subaru. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation funds the money awarded by the public vote. More than 1,500 entries will be on view throughout 169 venues this year, with artists from 47 countries and 45 US states. The exhibition closes on 6 October.
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