1,582 artists from 36 countries and 43 states will show their work in 164 venues within three-square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Each artist will compete for the world’s largest prize for art, which will take place Sept. 21-Oct. 9, 2011. Participating artists and venues can all be viewed on the Artist List.

Event organizers today closed Connections—the period when artists can officially secure a venue and participate in ArtPrize 2011. Applications for entries were open to any artist who could secure a location to display their art.

“ArtPrize facilitates relationships between artists of the world, venues in Grand Rapids and people from all over,” said Catherine Creamer, executive director of ArtPrize. “We broaden the conversation about art by making it accessible to everyone who comes to the event, inviting each person to create and discuss their own story.”

While Michigan is home to a large number of participating artists, as an international competition, artists from as far as Singapore and South Africa will descend on Grand Rapids. Canada, with 23 artists, has the greatest number of artists participating in ArtPrize 2011 who are coming from outside of the United States.

The number of national artists has also increased in 2011. Illinois alone has more than 96 artists traveling to Grand Rapids. New York artists total 29 participating artists, while California and Ohio will send 30 artists each to ArtPrize 2011. Hundreds more are coming from Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

A complete list of artists and their corresponding venues are available at www.artprize.org/artists/list.

Inspired by such competitions as the X-Prize and large-scale events like the Sundance Film Festival, ArtPrize is among the most unique competitions in the art world. It has no formal jury, curator or judge, asking the public to vote and decide winners using mobile devices and the web.

During its 2009 inaugural season, more than 200,000 people attended ArtPrize and more than 334,000 votes were cast. Numbers swelled in 2010 to more than 400,000 people and 465,000 votes cast. ArtPrize organizers expect more than 500,000 people to attend the 19-day event.

By Kevin Buist on