GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 — ArtPrize, the independently organized international art competition recognized as the world’s largest art contest, today announced key sponsor collaborations that will amplify festival programs for over 500,000 visitors at the ninth annual event. ArtPrize takes place over 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan and awards more than $500,000 in prizes annually — including two $200,000 prizes, one awarded by smartphone-enabled public vote, the other by expert jury. ArtPrize Nine is slated to take place from September 20-October 8, 2017.

The Honda West Michigan Dealers will host the third edition of the Honda Design & Drive Contest at ArtPrize Nine. Six artists will compete for a 24-month lease on a new 2017 Honda Civic, each developing an original design that will be applied to a vinyl-wrapped Honda vehicle for outdoor display in the heart of the ArtPrize district.

ArtPrize visitors will explore the Honda vehicles, interact with the six artists while they apply their art to the vehicles, and ultimately vote for their favorite via the West Michigan Honda Dealers Facebook page. The activation and contest not only displays Honda vehicles in a whimsical, artful way, but also integrates the key ingredient of what makes ArtPrize unique — the public gets to decide who wins.

“The Design & Drive Contest is a program designed to tap into the unique format and programming of ArtPrize,” said Brad Siegers, President of the West Michigan Honda Dealers. “It was important that this activation amplify and build on the democratic platform that makes the art event so unique, and in turn, create meaningful and lasting brand engagement and awareness with visitors and artists. We hope to bring an authentic live element that truly illustrates the Honda philosophy to bring imaginative ideas to life.”

Last year’s Design & Drive Contest winner, Heather Richardson from Safety Harbor, Florida, traveled with her winning Honda vehicle to Art Basel Miami in December following ArtPrize in 2016. Honda is also the Official Vehicle of ArtPrize and provides branded fleet vehicles that transport guest jurors, speakers, sponsors and special guests in comfort and style around the city.

LIFEWTR™ ArtPrize After Dark Experience

LIFEWTR, a new premium bottled water from PepsiCo featuring captivating label designs by emerging artists, is partnering with ArtPrize to create an ‘Art After Dark’ entertainment experience fusing music, technology and art on Friday, October 6, immediately following the televised ArtPrize Awards show at 20 Monroe Live. The experience will host headliner Masego and TrapHouseJazz featuring a special performance by ONEFREQ. The new ‘Art After Dark’ experience is anticipated to be one of the most coveted experiences during ArtPrize Nine.

Pantone Pathways presented by X-Rite Pantone

As experts in the art and science of color and in collaboration with ArtPrize, X-Rite Pantone will bring the popular Pantone Pathways back for the ninth annual event. The Pantone Pathways provide a foot-traffic map for ArtPrize attendees, marked on the sidewalks of downtown Grand Rapids with brightly colored chalk stencils. The five Pathways, each less than 2.5 miles long, will guide visitors through the highlights of each ArtPrize neighborhood and past nearly 90% of ArtPrize venues. Pantone Pathway goefilters in Snapchat will bring a digital experience to the more than 500,000 anticipated visitors' city exploration experience.

KPMG, the Official Auditor of the ArtPrize Public Vote

KPMG helps their clients push boundaries and seize opportunities in the face of technology disruption. In the second year as the Official Auditor of the Public Vote at ArtPrize, KPMG will ensure that the smartphone-enabled public vote is audited and announced accurately at the ArtPrize Awards on Friday, October 6. Over 380,000 votes were cast by the public during ArtPrize in 2016.

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Artisan Series Cocktail Mixer

For a third year, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is partnering with ArtPrize to highlight the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series as well as sponsor an artist social event for the participating 1,500+ artists this year. Custom crafted cocktails mixed by Bombay Sapphire mixologists in a chic downtown venue will inspire participating artists during Artist Week at ArtPrize.

ArtPrize will return to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 20 to October 8, 2017. Learn more about the event via the ArtPrize mobile app, free for iOS and Android devices, and online at artprize.org.

By Jaenell Woods on