ArtPrize board of directors recognizes Christian Gaines’ tenure as Executive Director and announces Jori Bennett as Acting Director while national search kicks off.

GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) January 17, 2018 — ArtPrize, the independently organized art competition recognized as the world’s largest annual public art event, today announced that the non-profit art organization’s Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Executive Director Christian Gaines. Jori Bennett, ArtPrize Director of Business Development, will serve as acting director while a national search is conducted.

“Since Christian joined the ArtPrize team in 2013, ArtPrize has thrived under his leadership,”  said Rick DeVos, ArtPrize Founder and Chairman. “In this time, we have introduced the $500,000 parallel award structure and expanded artist and education grants to nearly $300,000, all while expanding the community’s support and engagement. Each fall, thousands of artists and hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn to ArtPrize, and the impact of ArtPrize continues to grow and deepen.”

Jori Bennett, ArtPrize Director of Business Development, will step in to lead the organization into its 10th anniversary as the Board of Directors conducts a national search for a new Executive Director. Bennett joined ArtPrize in 2015 and has been instrumental in expanding the sponsor base, including significant multi-year agreements, raising overall support to the non-profit’s highest levels to date.

“I’m honored to lead the organization in this transition, building on the guiding principles developed during Christian’s tenure,” said Bennett. “With significant multi-year sponsorships, and a community that has always given its full support, ArtPrize is in a strong position to continue being the signature event of our region, well past our 10th year.”

“I’m honored to have served ArtPrize, the City of Grand Rapids and the countless artists, venues, visitors, volunteers, sponsors and students who make our work so fulfilling,” said Christian Gaines. “We are all excited for the future of ArtPrize and eager to celebrate its 10th anniversary this fall.”

ArtPrize 10 will kick-off in Grand Rapids on September 19, running through October 7. For more information, visit

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