The culmination of the sixth annual event, the 2014 ArtPrize Awards will unfold in a two-part event as the ceremony at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is broadcast live at a city-wide street party in Rosa Parks Circle.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. September 10, 2014 – ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition today announced plans for the 2014 ArtPrize Awards, rewarding everyone’s curiosity after 19 days of conversations, debates, exploration and voting. The culmination of the sixth annual ArtPrize will unfold in a two-part event on October 10—an intimate ceremony at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre which will be broadcast live by WOOD TV8 at the Community Celebration at Rosa Parks Circle. And everyone is invited.

An historic institution in West Michigan and one of the top five community theatres in the nation, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre serves over 120,000 audience members and 1,600 students annually with the dedicated assistance of over 800 volunteers. The nonprofit organization celebrates the burgeoning live theatre community, bringing world-class shows to the stage every season and engaging viewers of all ages and backgrounds. Their commitment to making the arts accessible to anyone made it a natural fit to host the 2014 ArtPrize Awards—the finale event for a contemporary art competition designed for everyone to experience, regardless of background, and produced through the collaborative effort of the ArtPrize staff, Artists, Venues, Sponsors, and Volunteers. The Meijer Majestic Theatre at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre will offer an intimate, beautifully furnished and equipped space for nominated Artists, Sponsors, ArtFans, credentialed media, and special guests to gather together to celebrate and honor the 2014 ArtPrize Artists.

“At the forefront of everything throughout the 19 days of ArtPrize is our desire to celebrate and honor Artists, challenge spectators as they explore beyond what is familiar, and cultivate critical discussions and debates around art and why it matters. The 2014 ArtPrize Awards will serve as a time of celebration and reflection as the winners of the sixth annual event take the stage and share their moment with the entire city.” —Christian Gaines, ArtPrize executive director

Central to the ArtPrize event since its inception in 2009, the public fuels the conversations and debates that make ArtPrize unique and undeniably intriguing in the contemporary art world. In recognition of this invaluable contribution to the success of the event, ArtPrize has partnered with WOOD TV8 to present a Community Celebration at Rosa Parks Circle and invites everyone to join in the festivities. This city-wide street party will kick off at 5:00 p.m. EDT with a live concert featuring local bands Troll for Trout and Domestic Problems. Several local food trucks will be on hand serving up tasty treats, and for those attendees 21 years of age and older, Founders Brewing Co. will be pouring several of their brews, including their 2014 ArtPrize Beer, Mosaic Promise—valid state ID is required to receive a wristband and purchase drink tickets.

A jumbotron at the Rosa Parks Circle stage will begin live event coverage from the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre at 7:00 p.m. EDT, and the 2014 ArtPrize Awards will commence at 7:45 p.m. EDT. Emceed by Todd Herring, ArtPrize director of marketing and communications and 10-year River City Improv veteran, the evening promises to be entertaining, funny, and at times irreverent. Reflecting on the full 19 days of ArtPrize 2014, the ceremony will recognize the ArtPrize education programming, presented by PNC Bank and delivered in partnership with numerous partner organizations, announce the winners of the inaugural ART21 Young Filmmakers Award, and of course reveal the winners of $560,000 in prizes decided by public vote and expert jury.

A comprehensive restructuring of the awards format for ArtPrize 2014 brought about parallel tracks of Public Vote, sponsored by Meijer, and Juried Awards. For the sixth annual event, Artists submitted their work into one of four categories: 2D, 3D, Time-based, and Installation. The Public Vote will for the first time mirror the Juried Awards, as this year both the public and Category Jurors will award $20,000 within each category. The expert jury will award a fifth Category Award not to an Artist, but to the curator selected for the Outstanding Venue Juried Award. The new award structure will also include two $200,000 Grand Prizes, one chosen by public vote and one awarded by a panel of three art experts.

"Inviting the public to determine the winners circle has been what makes ArtPrize unorthodox and unique in the contemporary art world, energizing the production and discussion of art in a way that no other art competition has been able to do," said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize director of exhibitions. “At this year’s ArtPrize Awards we will be able to see for the first time a direct comparison between what the public has voted for and what the jury of experts has selected as the winners.”

Following the announcement of the ArtPrize 2014 winners, the two awards celebrations will join together as Grand Rapids Civic Theatre attendees are led from the theatre and down Monroe Center Street by a special musical performance to join the Community Celebration at Rosa Parks Circle. The ArtPrize 2014 winners will take the stage to meet the public, and the celebration will continue until 11:00 p.m. EDT.

“We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s ArtPrize Awards. The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is an amazing location to broadcast the ceremony from, and the city-wide street party down at Rosa Parks Circle will be the perfect way to conclude ArtPrize 2014,” said Noddea Skidmore, ArtPrize director of special events. “We hope that everyone will come downtown to join the festivities, enjoy each other’s company, and continue the many conversations and debates from the previous 19 days during this Community Celebration.”

The Public Vote, central to the ArtPrize event, is generously sponsored by Meijer, and the 2D and 3D Public Vote $20,000 category awards are presented by Foremost Insurance and Deloitte, respectively. The juried category awards are also presented by ITC, Your Energy Superhighway (2D), Haworth (3D), Grand Valley State University (Outstanding Venue), and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University presents the $200,000 2014 Juried Grand Prize.

ArtPrize 2014 will take place from September 24 to October 12 in Grand Rapids, Michigan—when 1,536 entries at 174 venues will vie for a combination of public vote and juried awards totaling $560,000. For more information, visit


ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize, at $560,000. Registered artists and venues connect online at and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19-day event. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $260,000, while an additional $300,000 in juried awards are decided by a group of international art experts. ArtPrize 2014 will include 1,536 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states and territories. ArtPrize 2013 attracted more than 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.

ArtPrize is made possible in part through the generous support of many organizations. Corporate Premier Leadership sponsors include Amway, Founders Brewing Company, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Meijer, PNC Bank and The Rapid. Leadership sponsors include Consumers Energy, CWD Real Estate Investment, Deloitte, Haworth, The Iserv Company, Steelcase Inc., and Wolverine Worldwide.

Leading Foundation Supporters include The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, The Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, The Frey Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and The VanderWeide Family Foundation.

MLive Media Group is the Official Provider of the 2014 ArtPrize Event Guide. WOOD TV8 is the Official Broadcast Media Partner of ArtPrize.

The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation is the Founding Sponsor of ArtPrize.

By Jaenell Woods on