An accurate summation of the annual ArtPrize event, Alexandra Peers' article Is the Populist ArtPrize Becoming...Snobby? on Artnet News questioned whether the public vote remains central to the ArtPrize event following the recent awards restructuring. We believe the answer is a resounding "yes"!

At its core, ArtPrize is an international art competition that turns downtown Grand Rapids into an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about "what is art" and why it matters. To synthesize exhibition director Kevin Buist's recent post, since the first event in 2009, inviting the public to decide the winners circle has been what makes ArtPrize unorthodox and sometimes infuriating, but undeniably intriguing in the contemporary art world. We believe that the addition of the juried awards draws attention to, and elevates, the public vote, exploring the unresolvable tension and stark contrast between the public and expert approaches to assessing works of art. This intellectual and aesthetic conflict is ArtPrize’s strength, energizing the production and discussion of art in a way that would not be possible without the public vote.

For more information on attending ArtPrize, please visit We look forward to seeing you!

By Christian Gaines on