ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition and social experiment in Grand Rapids, Mich., is pleased to announce a new award: the ArtPrize Juried Grand Prize.

The $100,000 award will be added to a revised list of public and juried prizes that will be distributed at the end of the 19-day event.

ArtPrize 2012 will take place Sept. 19 – Oct. 7, 2012.

With its public vote and juried awards, ArtPrize explores the tension between professional and populist in an epic conversation. In 2011, nearly 400,000 people visited Grand Rapids to engage with the work and ideas of nearly 1,600 artists. The new award changes the dynamic of the competition, and increases the total awards the event distributes to $550,000, making it the largest total prize purse for art in the world.

In addition to the Juried Grand Prize, ArtPrize will also increase its other juried awards to $20,000 each. The organization selected five categories to recognize:

  • Two-Dimensional
  • Three-Dimensional
  • Time and Performance
  • Urban Space
  • Venue

The increased commitment to juried awards will change the dynamic of the event and sets up a purposeful dialog between the opinions of arts professionals and the public, focusing on the artists’ work. Jurors for all of the professional awards will be announced in the spring, prior to artist registration.

“For the past three years, ArtPrize has set itself apart by empowering the public and giving them a critical voice, but the success of the event is based on the exchange of artists’ ideas,” said DeVos. “We want ArtPrize to be accessible for everyone, so we hope the new awards will help artists understand our goals and encourage them bring new ideas to the event.”

The changes in Juried Prizes will result in a revision of the ArtPrize Public Vote Awards:
Public Vote Award Revisions

  • Top Prize 2011: $250,000 2012: $200,000
  • 2nd 2011: $100,000 2012: $75,000
  • 3rd 2011: $50,000 2012: $50,000
  • 4th-10th 2011: $7,000 2012: $5,000

The prize total for the public awards in 2012 will be $350,000, vastly outweighing the juried awards at $200,000, and keeping the organization’s focus on the community.

“The engagement of the community continues to be at the forefront of ArtPrize’s success,” added Catherine Creamer, executive director of ArtPrize. “Nearly 400,000 people participated in ArtPrize in 2011, not because we told them art mattered, but because we create a system where THEY matter to art.”

ArtPrize 2011 had more than 38,000 registered voters who submitted 383,000 total votes. With the increase of smartphones, mobile voting via the ArtPrize iPhone and new Android apps increased 62 percent.

ArtPrize 2011 began Sept. 21 with 1,582 artists from 39 countries and 43 U.S. states installing their work at 164 venues in a three-square-mile district in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Artist and venue registration for ArtPrize 2012 will be announced after the beginning of the year. For more information, visit

By Brian Burch on