What's On Deck Today:

The hustle and bustle of ArtPrize 2013 is soon to be in full swing as Round One voting opens at NOON today! To begin voting, register your account in person at any Voting Site, or via geolocation on an iPhone or Android phone. More registration and voting information can be found in Annie's tips for "Voting During ArtPrize".

Once you register to vote, choose which of this year's 168 uniques venues you want to start exploring! Today all Exhibition Centers and Showcase Venues will be open at 12 noon - 8pm. All other venues will be open 5pm - 8pm. Most venues open earlier and close later than these hours though, so go to artprize.org/venues to find all specific venue hours!

Don't forget to check out Grand Valley State University's special marching band appearance at Rosa Parks Circle tonight at 6:30pm! 

Epic Recap:

Every day we'll post a recap of the previous day using Epic Events, a microvido app funded by StartGarden that invites all ArtPrize visitors to contribute 1-10 second video clips that capture the ArtPrize experience. Every day we'll pull together the best of these clips into a 2-3 minute video to capture the best of ArtPrize sights and sounds, as experienced by ArtPrize visitors from around the country and around the world. Get your clips in by 10PM for your chance to be featured here in the Daily Epic Recap and three times throughout the day on WOODTV's broadcasts. The free Epic Events app is available to download for iOS. 

First off, here's a recap of all the last minute ArtPrize preparations happening around downtown Grand Rapids yesterday:




Today will be mild. Expect to see a high of 76 degrees and a low of 50 degrees. Grand Rapids will be a bit cloudier, with a chance for a few sprinkles or light showers. 

Top Tweets:

@briancalley: "@ArtPrize starts today!: "The country's largest... most democratic art competition..." #grmi  http://m.freep.com/entertainment/article?a=2013309180013&f=1234 … #ArtPrize"

@NicholeRSmith: "Giddy for @ArtPrize !!! Tomorrow." 

And while this wasn't a Tweet, Matthew Brink's Facebook response to our "Twas the night before ArtPrize..." Facebook post was too great:

Twas the night before ArtPrize
And all through downtown,
A sense of excitement had palpably grown;
While leaders and helpers
Made sparks at the Hub
With visions of Clubhouse time
Dance in the pub;
And from the creatives
There rose up a shout
Be it awesome or kitschy
Art's what it's about.

ArtPrize in Photos:

Photos tell stories, capture emotions, and connect us in the ArtPrize experience. Every morning during the 19 days of ArtPrize we'll be announcing a daily photo challenge that invites you to tell your ArtPrize story through pictures and videos. The best part is that we'll be giving away prizes every day for the photo that we find funniest, most beautiful, or most creative.

Today on Opening Day, we're asking all ArtPrize visitors to capture why YOU come to ArtPrize. Submit your photos and videos via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #APLove to be entered to win today's prize, a ROCKIN' ArtPrize Mug!

For example, one reason I come to ArtPrize is because of the INCREDIBLE ArtPrize staff who make the longest of nights the happiest of nights. Last night we worked late at The HUB finalizing details, placing signs, lining up volunteers, and vacuuming to make sure everything is spick and span. To enter the daily photo contest, I tweeted about it, instagrammed about it, and wrote a Facebook post about it. 

Let the photo-taking begin! Check back tomorrow morning at 7AM to find out if YOU are the daily photo contest winner! 

Behind the Scenes:

Just over two weeks from now, winners will be announced, medallions will be awarded, and lives will be changed. 

Yes, my friends, that right there is an exclusive first-hand look at this year's medallions. Carefully crafted by Grand Rapids' own Terryberry, the ArtPrize medallions have remained largely unchanged since 2009. Made of several elements, the Grand Prize medallion is plated in gold and the Juried Grand Prize medallion is plated in platinum. This summer executive director Christian Gaines took a behind the scenes tour to watch as this year's medallions were made - a big thanks to all the wonderful folks at Terrybery for the precise care you to take in helping us deliver only the best to our ArtPrize artists!


"It’s one thing for an artist to come into a neighborhood and create interventions, but it’s another thing for them to be able to do it in an inclusive, ethical, caring, open, sharing, learning, participatory way. Those are skills that one really has to learn, because you’re not just dealing with paint on canvas, you’re dealing with real human life, and it’s far easier to inadvertently offend and upset people than it is to make them feel cared for, included, and respected."

[Anne Pasternak, ArtPrize 2013 Grand Prize Juror, excerpted from interview with Kevin Buist]

By Meredith Fennema on