GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 15, 2013 – ArtPrize today opened 4,400 volunteer shifts for ArtPrize 2013, filling more than 1,000 shifts in the first four hours. In its fifth year, ArtPrize is seeking more than 1,000 ArtPrize volunteers to join the ArtPrize team.

“Last night more than 500 people joined us at our volunteer kickoff rally, and this morning we filled more than 1,000 shifts within the first four hours of opening. It’s so exciting to see the energy our community has for working as a part of ArtPrize. The enthusiasm that our volunteers have for helping the nearly half-million visitors who visit ArtPrize each year is so heartwarming and humbling,“ said Amelea Pegman, community engagement director. “It is the spirit of our volunteers who breathe life into this event every fall and make ArtPrize such a genuinely welcoming and engaging place to be. In the end, it truly is our volunteers who make ArtPrize a game-changer, and an experience that is not to be missed.”

New to the fifth edition of ArtPrize are two volunteer positions. Docents will answer questions about a yet to be revealed piece of artwork by a beloved artist from 2012 and ensure that all visitors are respectful of the artwork. Additionally, volunteer shifts in the Kids Room will allow all kids at heart to lead and supervise arts and crafts activities. Other ArtPrize 2013 volunteer positions include:

  • Artist Hosting
  • HUB Hospitality
  • Voter Registration
  • Wayfinders
  • ArtPrize Events
  • Leadership Positions

“I started volunteering the year after my husband passed away, and ArtPrize volunteering truly saved my life. The first year I simply was looking for a way to stay busy, but I loved it so much that I’ve come back to volunteer with ArtPrize every year since,” said Laurie Klooster, ArtPrize volunteer who has logged over 400 lifetime ArtPrize volunteer hours. “I enjoyed meeting the other amazing volunteers and sharing my passion for art and the city of Grand Rapids with visitors from all over the country and world. I want to help people experience the most of ArtPrize, no matter what they’re looking for, and leave Grand Rapids just as excited about the event as I am.”

Volunteers sign up and self-schedule shifts using the volunteer portal online. Following signup, all volunteers must attend a mandatory one-hour training session, occurring throughout the week of September 9-14. As volunteer shifts fill quickly on a first-come, first-served basis, interested parties are encouraged to sign up early.

Sign up and learn more about ArtPrize volunteer opportunities online at

ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize, at $560,000.  Registered Artists and venues connect online at and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19 day event.   The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $360,000, while an additional $200,000 in juried awards are decided by a group of international art experts. ArtPrize 2012 included 1,517 entries from 46 countries and 41 U.S. states and territories, as well as 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.

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By Meredith Fennema on