Following the first round of voting, ArtPrize visitors have selected the twenty finalists—five entries from each category—that continue on with the chance of taking home their respective $12,500 category awards and ultimately the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (OCTOBER 2, 2016) -- ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided equally by public vote and expert jury, today announced the 20 artist entries selected from among 1,453 eligible works during the first round of public voting—presented by Meijer—that will move on to Round 2 Voting with the hopes of winning the world’s largest art prize. Hundreds of visitors filled Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids this afternoon for the Public Vote Final 20 Announcement—presented by Consumers Energy—as Todd Herring, ArtPrize Director of Creative and Communications, and Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Exhibitions Director, revealed the public’s top picks.

“The public vote is central to ArtPrize. Inviting hundreds of thousands of visitors to discover and examine hundreds of artist entries, and voice their opinions; that is what makes ArtPrize unique,” noted Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “The twenty finalists that visitors have selected this year—alongside the twenty juried awards finalists—will spark new conversations around what contemporary art can be and why it’s important.”

Despite this being the rainiest ArtPrize exhibition in the event’s history, visitors are still turning out by the hundreds of thousands, and hotels and convention centers find themselves at record capacity. In one day, the first Saturday of the event, more than 42 thousand votes were cast by smartphone—the highest single day count in the history of ArtPrize.

Round 1 Voting closed last night at 11:59 p.m., with 31,744 visitors casting 336,334 votes for their favorite art, elevating five artist entries from each category—2-D, 3-D, Installation, and Time-Based. These 20 ArtPrize Eight entries will move on to the second round of voting, with the chance of winning over $200,000 in cash prizes. Round 1 Voting results were verified by KPMG, the Official Auditor of the Public Vote.

“Year over year, ArtPrize goers respond to the event with a level of enthusiasm and involvement that’s truly amazing to witness,” commented Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Exhibitions Director. “The discussion that follows the announcement of the Public and Juried Shortlists is one of the most rewarding and valuable outcomes of the event.”

In no particular order, the ArtPrize Eight Public Vote Final 20 are as follows:

Two-Dimensional
The Two-Dimensional Public Vote Award is presented by Foremost Insurance.

  • Ashes to Ashes, at The B.O.B., by Jacqueline Gilmore from Rockford, MI
  • Portraits of Light and Shadow, at DeVos Place Convention Center, by Joao Paulo Goncalves from Pompano Beach, FL
  • Continental U.S, at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Valerie Hollstein from Salt Lake City, UT
  • Sand Sturgeon, at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Gary Moran from New York, NY
  • Protect and Serve, at The B.O.B. by Andrew J. Woodstock, from Plainwell, MI

Three-Dimensional

  • VICTORY, at Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown & Jam'n Bean Coffee Company at the Waters Center, by THE CHAIRMen from Centennial, CO
  • Wounded Warrior Dogs, at Amway Grand Plaza, by James Mellick from Milford Center, OH
  • Imagine If, at Amway Grand Plaza, by Robin Protz from New Hartford, CT
  • Invasive Species ,at Barnes & Thornburg LLP by Shiny Seed, from Ann Arbor, MI
  • One Thousand Shacks, at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), by Tracey Snelling from Oakland, CA

Installation
The Installation Public Award is presented by Amway.

Time-Based
The Time-Based Public Vote Award is presented by DTE Energy Foundation.

  • Sweeper's Clock, at Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Maarten Baas from Den Bosch, North Brabant, Netherlands
  • Hoot, at Courtyard Marriott Downtown, by Laurel Bahe from Colorado Springs, CO
  • Higher Ground, at Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Hillerbrand+Magsamen from Houston, TX
  • Emoh: sculpture / time capsule & temporary home, at Kilwins Chocolates & Ice-Cream @ McKay Tower- Rosa Parks, by Loren Naji from Cleveland, OH
  • Trout Bike, at Peppinos Pizzeria & Sports Grille, by Andrew Rockwood from Traverse City, MI

The 20 finalists represent 15 different venues across the ArtPrize district, with no more than two entries at any one venue, reflecting a modification to the rules added earlier this year.

“ArtPrize seeks to challenge visitors to step outside of their comfort zones, to change their typical patterns and experience something new,” noted Todd Herring, ArtPrize Director of Creative and Communications. “Elevating only the two most popular works from any given venue to the Final 20 ensures that finalists represent a diversity of venues -- encouraging visitors to explore more of the ArtPrize district through the second round of voting.”

Also new for 2016, ArtPrize has released the top five vote-getting entries in each of the event’s seven neighborhoods, including Heartside, Hillside, Center City, Westside, Monroe North, Meijer Gardens, and Rumsey Street. These lists can be found online at artprize.org/entries as well as on the free ArtPrize mobile app.

Earlier this week, the ArtPrize Eight Category Award Jurors revealed their own shortlists—including 20 total artist entries, five in each entry category described above, and five venues eligible for the Outstanding Venue juried award. The Juried Awards Finalists offer a counterpoint to the public vote, highlighting the various ways that individuals approach, assess, and engage with contemporary art.

ArtPrize visitors will once again have the opportunity to voice their opinions and decide the winners of over $200,000 in prizes. Round 2 Voting will begin at 2:00 p.m. EST today, October 2 and will run through October 6 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Visitors can cast up to twenty votes, one per finalist, and ArtPrize encourages visitors to consider voting for at least one entry in each category. The winners of both the public and juried awards totaling $500,000 will be announced at the Eighth Annual ArtPrize Awards Ceremony, presented by the DTE Energy Foundation, on October 7.

By Alee'a Ulsh-Cherry on