Voting is among the most essential parts of the ArtPrize process. It is the building block of our epic, community-wide conversation about public art. This event is a result of whatever people put into it, by voting, everyone has a chance to add their unique opinion into the equation.

This year we are encouraging everyone to set aside indifference and actively participate in the public vote, which begins by registering for a voting account at artprize.org.

Registration can be done in the comfort of your own home (in your pajamas, if you prefer) and requires only a unique e-mail address to begin the process at artprize.org. If you voted in 2010 or 2009, your email will still be on file. Just log back in to re-register.

Once registered, accounts must be activated in-person. This is step two of the voting process.

We require participants to present a valid government-issued identification in order to ensure the validity of the vote, and so outsiders can’t “game” the system. Your valid ID MUST be presented at any ArtPrize registration centers (probably shouldn’t wear your pajamas for this part) and be in the form of a driver’s license, state ID or passport. Anyone ages 16 and up can register to vote.

Beginning Sept. 17 at The Hub at 41 Sheldon, or at any of the eight ArtPrize Exhibition Centers starting Sept. 21 and through the duration of the event, including Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Cathedral Square, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University Pew Campus, Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Women’s City Club.

Voting during week one of ArtPrize 2011 begins Sept. 21 at 6:00 p.m. and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 28. Voters can vote up or down for any of the 1,582 artists. One vote per person is allowed for each work of art. Voting results will continually be posted online at artprize.org. The Top 10 finalists will be announced Sept. 29; 6:00 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle, in downtown Grand Rapids.

Voting during week two begins after the Top 10 announcement. Voters can cast only one vote for one of the 10 finalists. Votes can be changed until the close of voting on October 5 at 11:59 p.m. In week two, voting results will not be posted online. The winners will be announced on October 6.

During ArtPrize 2010 more than 400,000 people visited ArtPrize and more than 46,000 people registered to vote, casting 465,538 votes during the 15 days.

ArtPrize 2011 begins Sept. 21 and runs through Oct. 9. Information about ArtPrize and scheduled events can be found at artprize.org.

By Brian Burch on