These eight artists, critics and curators will award half of the $500,000 in prizes at ArtPrize Nine, including the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize.

GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) JULY 25, 2017 -- ArtPrize, the independently organized art competition recognized as the world’s largest annual public art event, today announced the 2017 panel of jurors who will award the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize, presented by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD), and $62,500 in Category Awards at the ninth iteration of the event, slated to take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 20-October 8, 2017.

The $200,000 Juried Grand Prize will be awarded by a panel of three jurors, including: Gaëtane Verna, Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto; Christopher Scoates, Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum in Detroit; and Gia Hamilton, Director at Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans.

Five $12,500 Category Awards -- four awarded to artists for outstanding work within their respective categories (2-D, 3-D, Time-Based and Installation) as well as one awarded to a venue for outstanding curatorial presentation -- will be selected by: Miranda Lash, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville (2-D); Rachel Adams, Senior Curator of Exhibitions for the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, (3-D); Scott Stulen, Director and President of Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa (Time-Based); Anila Quayyum Agha, Artist, Associate Professor of Drawing at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, and $300,000 Public Vote and Juried Award winner at ArtPrize 2014 for her work Intersections (Installation); and Larry Ossei-Mensah, New York-based independent curator and cultural critic, Co-Founder of ARTNOIR (Outstanding Venue).

“Each year, the panel of jurors challenges ArtPrize audiences to consider and explore some of the most remarkable works on display -- helping to steer the multitude of conversations about art that happen throughout the city,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Director of Exhibitions. “And with a new update to the awards structure, ArtPrize visitors will have the opportunity to vote on the jurors’ picks and the jurors can select from the public finalists -- potentially giving a public vote category award or their grand prize to a piece originally selected by the jury.”

Following the addition of juried awards in 2010, ArtPrize introduced its parallel awards structure in 2014 -- splitting the $500,000 in cash prizes equally among the public vote and jury of art experts.

The prizes are awarded through two rounds. The first round narrows the field of 1,349 artist entries from 177 venues throughout Grand Rapids to two sets of finalists -- twenty decided by public vote and twenty by expert jury. During the first weekend of the 2017 competition, September 23-24, the Category Jurors will assess the entries within their respective categories, each selecting a shortlist of five entries. On Monday, September 25, the Category Jurors will reveal their finalists during the “Jurors’ Shortlist” event, broadcast live on NBC affiliate, WOOD TV8. The Public Vote Final 20, selected by ArtPrize visitors through smartphone-enabled voting, will be revealed in a live, televised event on Sunday, October 1.

New in 2017, the second round will remove the distinction between the two sets of finalists, bringing them together to form a pool of up to forty finalists. The voting public and jury of art experts will have the opportunity to consider all forty finalists, regardless of how they were selected, when choosing the winners of their respective awards -- including the two $200,000 Grand Prizes and $100,000 in Category Awards.

“ArtPrize is known for comparing and contrasting popular and professional opinions between critic and consumer -- placing them on a spectrum and shining a spotlight on the tension that connects them,” said Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “We want  this update to the awards structure to draw attention to this connection and tension by asking both to consider the other’s picks."

Category and Grand Prize winners will be announced at the ArtPrize Awards on October 6 at 9 p.m. EST.

Photo: "This Space is Not Abandoned" by 912 CollABORATIVE won the ArtPrize Eight (2016) Installation Juried Award, and split the Outstanding Venue Juried Award with SiTE:LAB.

By Jaenell Woods on