June 22, 2015 (Grand Rapids, MI) – ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury, is pleased to announce the participating artists and venues paired at the close of the Connections period, when artists and venues independently organize the city-wide exhibition. Concurrent with this announcement, ArtPrize is also pleased to announce the 25 recipients of the Artist Seed Grants presented by the Frey Foundation, as well as the Curatorial Fellows for the inaugural Fellowship for Emerging Curators program. The $500,000 competition is slated to take place from September 23–October 11, 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A total of 1,649 artists from 48 countries and 42 U.S. states submitted 1,554 entries, a slight but notable increase over 2014, for the 7th edition of the world’s largest art competition. Additionally, the growing scope of ArtPrize is reflected in a 21% increase of international artist entries over 2014, totaling 137, with Japan taking the lead in international representation at ArtPrize Seven. In the U.S., Midwest states with the most participating artists include Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota while leading states outside the Midwest include California, New York, Florida, Colorado, and Georgia.

Participating artists’ works, entered under one of four categories (2-D, 3-D, Time-based, and Installation), will be displayed in 162 venues located within the three-square-mile jurisdiction of downtown Grand Rapids. Artists and venues are matched in a collaborative curatorial process during an open "Connections" period hosted online at artprize.org.

A complete list of participating artists and venues can be found at: artprize.org/entries.

Artist Seed Grants were presented for the second year in a row by the Frey Foundation, drawing 149 applications from registered ArtPrize artists hoping for one of 25 grants valued at $2,000 each. A panel of art critics and experts—including Nicole Caruth, writer, curator and editor of Art:21 Magazine; Lisa Freiman, Director of Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; Reed Kroloff, architect and Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum; Scott Stulen, Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance at Indianapolis Museum of Art; Joe Becherer, curator at Frederick Meijer Gardens; Paul Amenta, curator of SiTE:LAB; Dana Friis-Hansen, director of Grand Rapids Art Museum; Miranda Lash, curator of contemporary art at The Speed Art Museum; and Cezanne Charles, Director of Creative Industries at Creative Many—reviewed the applications, seeking ambitious entries from artists who demonstrated both financial need and artistic merit.

The panel awarded Artist Seed Grants to the following 25 artists:

ArtPrize also announced the ArtPrize Fellowship for Emerging Curators program, debuting this year. The program gives up-and-coming curators the opportunity to work alongside an established curator at an ArtPrize institutional venue during the seventh annual event. The participating venues for this inaugural year include Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), SiTE:LAB, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA), and Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD).

Four Fellows were selected by ArtPrize and its partner institutions’ curatorial teams. Each Fellow will not only assist in curating and creating the venues’ ArtPrize Seven exhibition, but will also curate his or her own ArtPrize exhibition this fall, with the mentorship of the institutional curator.

The $40,000 in grant funding will be divided evenly among the participating venues and their respective Fellows, to aid in the planning and execution of their ArtPrize Seven exhibitions.

The inaugural four recipients of the Curatorial Fellowship are:

  • Hunter Bridwell, who holds a B.F.A. from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD), will work under the mentorship of curator Ron Platt at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
  • Amy Wilson, artistic director and founder of Dance in the Annex (winner of the ArtPrize 2014 Time-based juried award) will work with curator Paul Amenta at SiTE:LAB.
  • Ethan Ross, with an M.F.A. from KCAD, will work alongside Heather Duffy, curator at UICA.
  • Elizabeth Hertl, who curated the ArtPrize 2014 exhibition at Cathedral Square, will work with Michele Bosak, curator at KCAD.
By Jaenell Woods on