ArtPrize isn’t your typical art competition. As enormous as it is radically open and wildly experimental, the annual fall event attracts more than 400,000 people to Grand Rapids, Michigan to vote on contemporary art. It’s messy, it’s dirty, it’s nearly half a million people talking about art.

To open things up even further, ArtPrize blends their epic public vote with juried prizes, exploring the tension that exists between popular and professional opinion.

Jerry Saltz, one of the 2012 Juried Grand Prize jurors, said of ArtPrize, “It is pretty damn impressive… An amazing inversion of the top-down pedigreed model we use. It takes all kinds.”

ArtPrize has announced its 2013 panel of jurors — eight people who represent the voice of the professional art world and whose say will be the counterbalance to the public vote. Together, this panel will distribute $200,000: five prizes of $20,000 each and one Juried Grand Prize totaling $100,000.

The Grand Jurors include:
Manon Slome, PhD — President and Chief Curator of No Longer Empty.
Mel Chin — Conceptual artist who engages cultural, political, and social space.
Anne Pasternak — President and Artistic Director of Creative Time.

Category jurors include:
2D Work: John Yau — Editor of Hyperallergic Weekend, poet, and critic.
3D Work: Hesse McGraw — Curator at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Neb.
Time-Based Work: Rashida Bumbray — Independent curator, most recently of The Kitchen.
Use of Urban Space: Eva Franch I Gilabert — Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Venue: Alice Gray Stites — Chief Curator and Director of art programming for 21c Museum Hotels.

As Tyler Green, ArtPrize’s 2012 2D juror, said, “If you love art and you don’t find [ArtPrize] a little bit awesome, you’re lacking a soul.”

ArtPrize’s open call for artists is happening right now. Register online at

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One reply on “The ArtPrize is Calling: Artist Applications Open Through June 6”

  1. Artists should take note.
    ArtPrize isn’t as “radically open” as they would like you to believe (you have to be selected by a venue or find a venue that accepts you). And it’s hardly as “wildly experimental” as they profess (a 13ft hyper- realistic mosaic of Jesus on the Cross won the grand prize in 2012). And their idea of “blending” the popular with the professional is still skewed toward American Idol populism (the professional grand prize is still worth only half of what the peoples choice is).
    ArtPrize is working hard to make their economic development plan for Grand Rapids business sound appealing to the art world. But the bottom line is that area restaurants, bars, hotels, and shops, made over $15 million dollars off the backs of artist who have to make the work, pay to ship it, install it, attended the event, and send everything back; on top of that, artists have to pay a $50 non-refundable application fee.

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