GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 5, 2018—ArtPrize, the independently organized art competitioncitywide exhibition recognized as one of the world’s largest annual public art events, announced the promotion of Kevin Buist to Artistic Director from his former role as Director of Exhibitions. Buist will help build upon the organization’s established cultural foundationlegacy of experimentation where while he will leads the artistic interpretation, development and implementation of exhibitions and special programs. He has been with the organization since the inception of ArtPrize in 2009.

“I’m thrilled for Kevin to take on this elevated role with ArtPrize as he’ll help shape how the public interacts with contemporary art,” said Jori Bennett, ArtPrize executive director. “His unique and intimate knowledge of the organization and how it collaborates within the art world both locally and internationally makes him well suited for this new position.”

Buist oversees 170+ venue locations hosting more than 1,400 artist projects that flood Grand Rapids each fall. Additionally, he plays a lead role in the design and evolution of over $780,000 in prizes and grants awarded each year to artists, curators and educators.

“I want to create deep and meaningful collaborations with artists and curators and see them become not only participants in the event, but long-term partners with the organization,” said Buist. “We’re using our financial resources and vision , our connections and our communications, to enable projects at ArtPrize that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else.”

To further elevate and draw attention to some of the most challenging, innovative work on display at the annual event, Buist played an integral role in introducing a $100,000 Jjuried Ggrand Pprize in 2012 to complement and counterpoint the public vote purse. He later led the design of ArtPrize’s current parallel award structure that annually awards $500,000 in cash prizes—half decided by public vote and half by expert jury, creating tension and powerful conversations between the two.

“Though I’ve been a part of the ArtPrize team since the beginning, I’m not a defender of tradition,” said Buist. “ArtPrize has beenis an ever-evolving experiment, and the organization is consistently willing to challenge itself, adapt to change and alter course when necessary.”

As ArtPrize continues to grow and evolve the way it collaborates with artists from around the world, visitors can expect exciting, new projects for ArtPrize 10 and beyond.

“As the event grows, ArtPrize is not bound by a ridged sense of how the exhibition should be structured,” said Buist. “We will continue to pursue new ideas and invest in artists who challenge us and expand our notion of what art can be.”

ArtPrize 10 will take place in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, from Sept. 19-Oct. 7, 2018. The competition is open to any person above the age of 18, and artist registration is currently underway through June 7. For more information, visit

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