ArtPrize by Alexandra Dailey

You can find contemporary art almost anywhere, even in places you wouldn’t expect. And I mean that. You just have to look for it. Up until recently I had lived in Michigan my entire life (those long twenty-two years), and it was only until two years ago while attending college in the Grand Rapids area that I realized how involved the city was in the contemporary art scene. It was all right under my nose. I never knew such popularity existed for contemporary art in my home town.
ArtPrize, an annual art competition, is a perfect example of how the city promotes contemporary art. The competition itself is also the world’s largest art competition with hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded to artists, age eighteen and up, after their work is voted on by the public and selected jurors. The competition typically lasts for just over two weeks and spreads across the entire downtown area of the city. All types of artists are welcome.
I attended ArtPrize last fall, and it was an experience. The whole community gets together, with shops, stores, restaurants, etc., opening their doors to artists and art appreciators. Venues for artists to display their work range from sidewalks, alleys, parking lots, store and restaurant windows; really any open space that is cool with hosting an original piece of art. The atmosphere, albeit hectic, is lively, full of positive and creative energy. The whole downtown area is aflame with brotherly artistic love and respect. The event takes place from the middle of September to the beginning of October. So if you happen to be in the area grab a light jacket, throw on a colorful scarf and peruse the streets of downtown Grand Rapids, taking in the realistic, the abstract, the wacky, the classic and whatever else the artists decide to put on display! This year ArtPrize begins September 19th and closes October 7th. Please support contemporary art in the Great Lakes State! For more information about this event please visit
Contributed by: Alexandra Dailey

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