ArtPrize 8!

Let’s get ready to…ArtPrize!

Wow, here it is ArtPrize 8 already. It seems like it just began.

I remember that first year, when a lot of people didn’t really take it seriously. There were several downtown restaurants that either didn’t open on that first Sunday, or ran out of food really early.

Oh the people that ArtPrize brings to our city. I’m always very excited about all the activity you see going on downtown those couple of weeks in the end of September and first part of October. Sure, it makes it tough for anyone who works downtown (like me, as I fill in for Matt Milhouse middays on 100.5 The River), but it is so worth it. People talk about Grand Rapids because of this event. I’ve had several friends and relatives make special trips to the area during this time just to check it out.

And think about the money that’s generated! The parking, the food, the hotels. It’s a huge revenue generator for everything in downtown for a few weeks every fall.

I was talking with a friend today and trying to remember the winners of the past ArtPrize events. I did pretty good on at least the first 4 or 5 years. Can you remember the past 7 winners? (OK, actually 9 Grand Prize winners because they’ve added a Juror’s vote winner in 2014. Now there is a Grand Prize for the Public vote AND one for the Juror’s vote).

Here is the list of past winners (click here for the complete list):
2015: Public Vote – “Northwood Awakening”, Loveless PhotoFiber
2015: Juror’s Vote – “Higher Ground”, Kate Gilmore
2014: Public Vote & Juror’s Vote – “Intersections”, Anila Quayyum Agha
2014: Juror’s Vote – “The Hair Craft Project”, Sonya Clark
2013: Public Vote – “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore”, Ann Loveless
2012: Public Vote – “Elephants”, Adonna Khare
2011: Public Vote – “Crucifixion”, Mia Tavonatti
2010: Public Vote – “Cavalry, American Officers, 1921”, Chris LaPorte
2009: Public Vote – “Open Water no.24”, Ran Ortner

So get out there and check out the latest entries in this year’s ArtPrize and cast your vote! There are 1,453 entries this year.

And when you are down looking at the art, take the time to ask the artists about their work. They LOVE to walk about it. (Read my blog on talking to the artists)

For more information, check out the official website at

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