ArtPrize 2021 will have almost 500 cash prizes for artists

Businesses thrive during ArtPrize rush
Posted at 10:56 AM, Jun 30, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — ArtPrize announced on Wednesday that visitors to this year’s event will find prizes throughout the event district and will be able to award them directly to the artists of their choice.

These include almost 500 cash prizes totaling $150,000 and several “emotional response prizes” - all of which when awarded to an artist, influence their chances of taking home the $50,000 grand prize, according to a news release.

ArtPrize is scheduled to take place Sept. 16 to Oct. 3 in Grand Rapids.

“Throughout the event’s history, ArtPrize has used technology to create opportunities for the public to engage with contemporary art on a massive scale,” ArtPrize Executive Director Craig Searer said. “We’ve gone wide, and now we’re looking to make that interaction deeper, more meaningful. This fall, ArtPrize will shift away from the traditional public vote into a new format that encourages visitors to go beyond simply ‘liking’ an artwork – giving them the opportunity to support artists financially when the award the prizes themselves, and opening up the possibility that more artists than ever before will take home a portion of the cash prizes.”

Visitors will find QR codes on each entry label. By scanning these codes with their smartphones, they will find prizes to award to ArtPrize artists.

Each time a visitor scans a prize code, they will have the chance of finding one of nearly 500 cash prizes ranging from $250 to $1,500 each to award to any participating artist they choose.

When scans do not turn up a cash prize, visitors will get to choose from emotional responses to send to artists to let them know how their artwork made them feel.

“This fall, artists will at long last get feedback from visitors on a large scale,” said Katie Moore, ArtPrize senior exhibitions manager. “They’ll understand how their entries impact those exploring the event – are they wowed, emotional, encouraged to think in new ways? This new prize system will make it possible for that feedback to reach artists wherever they are, whether they’re able to attend the event in-person or not.”

Each interaction between visitor and artist through this new digital platform will have a direct influence on who receives the grand prize, which will be awarded to one artist or artist collaborative at the end of the event.