The ArtPrize district spans three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, MI, and any space within its boundary can be an ArtPrize Venue. Within the ArtPrize district, you’ll find communities as diverse as the art itself.
The tidy cobblestone stretch of the Monroe Center Walking Mall welcomes visitors with artistry, innovative ideas, and character. Explore a Wolverine Worldwide retail site outfitted with items salvaged from the shoe leather tannery in Rockford, Michigan, where Hush Puppies and Wolverine boots were originally made. Or visit Central District Cyclery, an urban bike shop that caters to experienced riders, novice cyclists, and bike enthusiasts. Be sure to stop by the statue of Rosa Parks and take a moment to appreciate Rosa Parks Circle. Designed by Maya Lin, the renowned architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., it fulfills her vision to create a “green respite in the heart of the city.” See Venues in Center City.
The story of Heartside is one of hope, cultural diversity, and revitalized businesses. Today, it provides an atmosphere where artists can flourish and people who need compassion can seek assistance from a variety of upstanding community services. In 2005, a group of residential, commercial, and nonprofit groups banded together to create “Avenue for the Arts,” a vibrant section of the South Division commercial corridor. A community of inventive thinkers, Avenue for the Arts helps sustain artists by developing public projects including murals made by local residents, creative works by local art students, and installations in vacant storefronts. Heartside is also home to The HUB @ 41 Sheldon, a.k.a. ArtPrize headquarters. See Venues in the Heartside neighborhood.
Hillside encompasses the Heritage Hill Association, one of the country’s largest urban historic districts. Founded in 1968 to preserve the oldest residential neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Heritage Hill features hundreds of historic homes significant to the architectural community. Aficionados can take self-guided or public tours showcasing more than 60 architectural traditions including Dutch Colonial, Italianate, Greek, Gothic, and Prairie. The most famous example of Prairie style within the neighborhood is the Meyer May House, built in 1908 by Frank Lloyd Wright and restored by Steelcase during the 1980s. Touring Heritage Hill provides an opportunity to view art surrounded by the architecture that shaped the 20th century. See Venues in the Hillside neighborhood.
Atop the bluffs of Belknap Hill sits a neighborhood with a view of the past and a vision of the city’s future. Victorian homes built by furniture craftsmen nestle alongside the sparkling health facilities of the Medical Mile, where Spectrum Health System, Van Andel Research Institute, and the 14-floor Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital are quickly transforming the city into a pioneer in world-class health care and cancer research. The North Monroe business district once produced some of the finest cabinetry and handcrafted furnishings in the country. Now refurbished to resemble their original design, these former manufacturing sites house state-of-the- art office spaces, chic taprooms, art galleries, and upscale salons. See Venues in the Monroe North/Belknap neighborhood.
Thousands of artifacts from ancient and recent times are housed in the two museums along the Grand River. The Grand Rapids Public Museum features a planetarium, a working 1928 carousel overlooking the river, a recreated street from historic Grand Rapids, and diverse exhibits on the area’s Native people, habitats, and furniture industry. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum celebrates our 38th president, a Grand Rapids native. Highlights include a replica of the Oval Office, interactive Cabinet room, relics from the 1970s and Vietnam War, and other artifacts from Ford’s presidency. The Westside is also the center of Grand Rapids’ Latino community, with many Spanish- speaking businesses and organizations serving the area’s growing population. See Venues in the Westside neighborhood.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park grew out of the West Michigan Horticultural Society’s wish to promote understanding and appreciation for gardens, art, and most importantly, the natural environment. Covering 132 acres of natural wetlands, woodlands, and meadows, The Gardens blends art with nature, integrating sculptures throughout the site. Besides the critically acclaimed sculpture garden, the site features miles of nature trails and boardwalks and an amphitheater which hosts major recording artists. The popular Children’s Garden welcomes young visitors with interactive stations and a playhouse, a perfect place for imaginations to run wild. Tours are offered daily, and a café and gift shop are also located on the site.
*Meijer Gardens is the only Venue outside the boundaries of ArtPrize. It is located at 1000 East Beltline NE. Only the ArtPrize Exhibition Center is free to the public.
During ArtPrize, the whole city of Grand Rapids is an art gallery. Large or small, indoors or out, any space within the ArtPrize district can register as a venue to host artist exhibitions and visitors from around the world.
You’ll find ArtPrize Entries everywhere—from world-renowned museums and private galleries to public parks, restaurants, and local coffee shops. And all of them are free and open to the public for the duration of ArtPrize.
You can browse all Venues online, or pick up a copy of the Event Guide and Map at the ArtPrize HUB or any of the Exhibition Centers for a complete listing of participating locations.
Monday – Thursday: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: Noon – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 6:00 p.m.
*Many Venues have hours that extend beyond the required minimums listed here. Specific venue hours are available on each Venue Profile.
The ArtPrize HUB
Located at 41 Sheldon Blvd SE, the ArtPrize HUB is the perfect place to begin exploring all that ArtPrize has to offer.
- Sign up for an ArtPrize account and register to vote
- Pick up a free event guide (when you register to vote)
- Or purchase a copy of the Event Guide (available for $2)
- Buy an ArtPrize Wristband for unlimited shuttle and bus rides during the event
- Shop the ArtPrize Store
- Get help—from how to vote to recommendations for lunch
- Take a break in the public lounge areas
- Enjoy free WiFi
As the official ArtPrize HQ, the HUB is a home base for visitors, provides concierge service, and technical assistance for registration and voting needs.
Monday thru Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
*The ArtPrize HUB is only open to the public during the ArtPrize event.
The official ArtPrize mobile app for iPhone and Android is the best way to find and vote for art, navigate downtown Grand Rapids, and stay connected to events and ArtPrize news.
Use the app to:
- register to vote
- vote for Entries and see your vote history
- find Venues and events near you
- discover art through Lists
- search for Artists, Entries, Venues, and events
- browse Entries, Venues, and Artists
- get the latest news from the ArtPrize blog
- get other information about ArtPrize on the go
App Feature Overview
Register to Vote
Use the app to skip the lines and register to vote on the go:
- Sign in to your artprize.org account, or sign up using your e-mail address or Facebook account
- Open the app when you're downtown during ArtPrize
- Your phone's GPS will verify your location within the ArtPrize district and the app will automatically ask if you would like to register. Follow the prompts to complete voter registration!
Vote for Art
There are two easy ways to use the app to vote while you explore ArtPrize:
- On an individual Entry's page, tap the "Vote for this Entry" button. Confirm your vote and you're done!
- Or, from anywhere in the app, tap the Vote icon at the bottom of the screen (looks like a thumbs-up) and type in an Entry's five-digit Vote Code. Confirm your vote and you're done!
You can see your vote history by tapping your Account icon in the upper right and choosing "Your Vote History."
Find Venues and Events
The app makes it easy to find interesting things right where you are. Simply tap the Visit icon at the bottom on the screen (looks like a map pin) to find venues or events near you.
Venues will display around your location on the map, and the distance to each one will be displayed beside each venue in the list below. You can even filter venues to find ones that are handicap accessible or that offer free public restrooms or parking.
Tap a venue to see all the entries on display at that location.
See Entry Details
Tap an entry to learn more about the entry and the artist. You can also share entries on social media or save them to your List of favorites.
Several Lists are featured on the app's main Discover page (tap the ArtPrize icon at the bottom of the screen). Others, including ones you've created or followed, are available by tapping the Lists icon (looks like a bulletted list) at the bottom of the screen.
Lists are an excellent way to see what else people have found and liked as they've explored, and can help you discover must-see entries.
Lists, introduced in 2014, provide a whole new way to find and discover art that other people like. Use the Find Art page to browse Lists created by Jurors, Official Lists, and other Lists of note, plus hundreds of Lists created by people just like you.
Create and Share Your Own List
Lists give you the ability to create, curate, and share your favorite ArtPrize Entries. By default, any Entries you save are added to your Favorites List, but you can create as many Lists as you want and choose which Lists to add an Entry to.
- Sign in to your ArtPrize account; you'll be taken to your Lists
- You have one List called Favorites by default; click "Create A List" to create others
- Visit the Find Art page and start browsing Entries to add to your Lists
- When you see an Entry you like, click the gray "Save" button to add that Entry to one of your Lists; if you change your mind about an Entry, click the pink "Saved" button to remove it
Manage Your Lists
Go to your ArtPrize account and click Lists from the dropdown. Here, you can see all of your Lists (or create a new one) and click into a List to see what's in it and share the List to Facebook or Twitter.
You can also click "Edit Your List" in the upper right to change the name of your List, write a description for your List, remove Entries, make the List public or private, or permanently delete it.
If you’re traveling to ArtPrize from out of town, fear not—it’s pretty easy to get here. Grand Rapids is less than three hours by car from Detroit or Chicago, and less than six hours from Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Toronto. Also, the Gerald R. Ford International airport is only 20 minutes from downtown, and Greyhound, MegaBus and Amtrak stop in the heart of the city.
Travel to Grand Rapids
- Plane: Gerald R. Ford International Airport
- Train: Amtrak Grand Rapids
- Bus: Greyhound, MegaBus, and The Rapid
- Car: Google Maps
You'll find car rentals from Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National/Alamo on the first level of the parking garage at the Gerald R. Ford Airport, just steps from the baggage claim. Or, ride The Rapid from the airport to downtown. Taxis and Uber are also available within the city.
More information about transportation options can be found at experienceGR.com.
Meijer Park and Ride
If you’re traveling from the outskirts of Grand Rapids and want to avoid parking downtown, you can leave your car at one of several area Meijer stores and ride The Rapid (Grand Rapids’ excellent bus system) to ArtPrize!
Shortly before ArtPrize 2015 (date coming soon!), stop inside a Meijer store (see below for participating stores) and pick up an ArtPrize Wristband (2 for $5, bundled with an Event Guide and Map) to enjoy unlimited rides on all Rapid, DASH, and Silver Line buses for the duration of ArtPrize. (Wristbands are also available at the HUB and all Exhibition Centers.) That's 19 days of unlimited rides!
|Riding From:||Take This Bus:|
2425 Alpine NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544
|Gaines Township Meijer
1801 Marketplace SW, Gaines Twp, MI 49316
(Note: This route does not run on Saturday or Sunday)
3434 Century Center SW, Grandville, MI 49418
Grandville & Rivertown
|Knapp’s Corner Meijer
1997 E Beltline NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
315 Wilson NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534
|Route 7 & Route 12
West Leonard (7) West Fulton (12)
(Note: These routes do not run on Sundays)
|28th Street/Kalamazoo Ave Meijer
1540 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
|54th Street/Clyde Park Meijer
5500 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
Visit ridetherapid.org or call 616-776-1100 for scheduled times and a bus stop locator.
The new Silver Line bus
On August 25th, 2014 The Rapid launched its brand new Silver Line bus rapid transit (BRT) system connecting Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and Wyoming along the Division Avenue corridor. Learn more about this exciting new way to get around Greater Grand Rapids, and download a Silver Line Route Map.
Once you’re here, there are plenty of places to stay, including several hotels right downtown in the middle of all the action.
Official Hotel Partners, all centrally located:
Other downtown hotels:
Additionally, several area hotels are offering ArtPrize Seven package deals in partnership with Experience Grand Rapids. Get details here.
For a full list of area hotels, view "Accommodations" on our interactive map.
Start at the HUB or any Voting Site and register to vote to get your free copy of the ArtPrize map. Whether you prefer to walk, bike, or ride, it’s easy to get around Grand Rapids and get close to the ArtPrize action.
ArtPrize Wristband (The Rapid, DASH)
Gain unlimited rides on The Rapid and DASH transit systems for the duration of the ArtPrize event with an ArtPrize Wristband. Get two Wristbands for $5 at the ArtPrize HUB, any Exhibition Center, or one of several area Meijer stores. Shortly before ArtPrize 2015 (date coming soon!), seven participating Meijer stores will begin carrying this $5 bundle with an Event Guide, Map, and two Wristbands!
The Downtown Area Shuttle provides the best transportation in the downtown area. DASH West and DASH to the Hill offer a great east-west connection, and the DASH has partnered with ArtPrize to link the DASH North and DASH South routes to create a single north-south transit line during ArtPrize. Grab a copy of the ArtPrize Event Guide or check the blog for schedules, maps, and more details closer to the event.
The Rapid, Grand Rapids’ excellent bus system, offers routes throughout the greater Grand Rapids area. Visit ridetherapid.org on your computer or mobile device for schedules, maps, and quick search tools including Nearest Stop, Next Bus, and a handy Trip Planner that make it easy to visit ArtPrize and explore the city. More information can be found in your Event Guide.
Be sure to check out The Rapid's new Silver Line, connecting Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and Wyoming along the Division Avenue corridor.
Rapid Rides to ArtPrize: Granting Program
We were thrilled to launch a new program called Rapid Rides to ArtPrize in 2014. This program offers free Event Guides and Wristbands —good for free transportation on The Rapid and DASH transit systems during the 19 days of ArtPrize—for our community members who would specifically benefit from this free resource due to income insecurity or language barriers. If you are interested in working with us on this important project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DASH and all Rapid buses are wheelchair-accessible. ADA service animals are permitted on all transit. Learn more about the Rapid's available mobility services.
With its bridges, riverside walkway, parks, and sidewalks, Grand Rapids is a pedestrian-friendly community, and the entire downtown is open to ArtPrize.
To help visitors explore, we’ve created a series of Pathways that will take you within one block of 90% of ArtPrize Exhibition Centers and Venues, along with many of the city’s finest natural features, landmarks, restaurants, and shops.
Each of four unique Pathways will start and stop at Silver Line stations around the ArtPrize district. Just follow the Pathway markers on the sidewalks—each 2.4 miles or less. And if a particular piece of art, Venue, or restaurant entices you to stray off the path, so be it. You never know what you’ll find along the way.
- Hillside Pathway (1.8 miles)
- Heartside Pathway (2.1 miles)
- Center City Pathway (2.2 miles)
- West Side and North Monroe Pathway (2.4 miles)
A fifth Pathway, the AccessArt pathway, will begin and end at the AccessArt Lounge presented by AscentCare, located at 139 S Division Ave. While all ArtPrize Pathways are fully accessible, the AccessArt pathway offers a route that has been specially curated for visitors who experience differences in mobility.
For maps of each route and more information about the ArtPrize Pathways, pick up a copy of the Event Guide at the HUB or any Exhibition Center.
Take your bike* out to explore ArtPrize and avoid the hassle of parking! With nearly 1,000 bicycle parking spaces available throughout downtown Grand Rapids, you can almost always find a safe and convenient spot to lock up on the street, in a ramp, or in a lot. Spots are particularly prevalent around college campuses—GRCC, Ferris/KCAD, WMU, Cooley Law School, Douglas J Aveda Institute, GVSU—and all Grand Rapids museums.
Bike Valet Services
ArtPrize also has available two free bike valet services in downtown Grand Rapids -- one at the ArtPrize HUB at 41 Sheldon Blvd., and the other at the Ledyard Building at 125 Ottawa Ave. The bike valet is staffed evening and weekend hours, so you may leave your bike behind to leisurely explore the ArtPrize event.
Furthermore, all DASH and Rapid buses are equipped with bike racks to make it easy to transfer your bike to and from ArtPrize. Read more about bringing your bicycle on the Rapid.
Things To Do
Grand Rapids is a vibrant and energetic city on your average day, and ArtPrize® cranks that to 11. Art is everywhere you look, local businesses and restaurants are transformed into ArtPrize Venues, and some of the region’s most prestigious educational and cultural institutions open their doors as Exhibition Centers and Showcase Venues.
The central event is the Public Vote, and the number one thing to do during ArtPrize is see incredible art by Artists from all over the world—and vote for who you think should win the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize!
But ArtPrize is more than the competition itself. From rich educational programming to intimate Q&A sessions to full-blown parties, there’s something for everyone to learn, experience, and celebrate.
Explore the full ArtPrize events calendar.
In Grand Rapids
Although ArtPrize may seem to take over the entire city for a few weeks, there are still lots of other things going on in downtown Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas during ArtPrize—from great local food and exceptional craft beer to downtown shopping, music, and entertainment. Plus, with biking, hiking, fishing, and an abundance of other activities for outdoor enthusiasts within the area and the beautiful West Michigan coast just 30 minutes away, there’s something for everyone.
During the 19 days of ArtPrize and beyond, ArtPrize Labs partners with community organizations and local institutions to provide events and experiential learning opportunities for individuals and families of all ages. Click here to see what's coming up.
ArtPrize is committed to connecting visitors with all abilities to the world of art. All of our Exhibition Centers meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines, and most participating Venues are self-identified as handicap accessible. See all accessible Venues.
The AccessArt Lounge
Presented by AscentCare, the AccessArt Lounge is located at 139 S Division Ave. and is specifically designed for guests who experience differences in mobility. Rooted in the spirit of social inclusion and the belief that Grand Rapids can be a leader in Universal Access, the AccessArt Lounge is located in the heart of the ArtPrize district and promises the perfect place to begin and end a visit to ArtPrize for those using manual or motorized wheelchairs.
Upon arrival in downtown Grand Rapids, wheelchair vans will be able to park in front of the AccessArt Lounge. Inside the Lounge, visitors will have the opportunity to register as voters and cast their votes for their favorite Entries. Additionally, visitors will find Certified Nursing Assistants available for assistance, charging stations for motorized wheelchairs and scooters, and fully accessible restrooms. You can reach Ascentcare at 616.773.1773 to inquire about parking or other services.
The AccessArt Pathway
While all ArtPrize 2014 Pathways are fully accessible, visitors with accessibility needs can pick up a self-guided tour from the AccessArt Lounge and embark on a route that has been specially curated with their mobility in mind.
The AccessArt Pathway begins and ends at the Lounge. The 1.2-mile route will loop through Center City, crossing the Blue Bridge to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum before heading back across the Grand River and up Monroe Center, back to the AccessArt Lounge.
For those that would like to complete a portion of the tour, wheelchair van pick up can be pre-arranged to meet visitors at the Ford Museum and bring them back to the AccessArt Lounge. Ascentcare’s patient advocate Johnnie Tuitel, himself a lifetime wheelchair user, accompanied ArtPrize staff on a tour of the AccessArt Pathway, providing invaluable feedback and advice.
Courtesy of Mary Free Bed and Airway Oxygen Inc., ArtPrize will have wheelchair rentals available in the HUB. The wheelchairs will be available to rent for a few hours or the entire day. There is no fee to rent a wheelchair. Visitors will need to provide an ID and credit card information when checking out the wheelchair, all of which will be returned upon checking back in. The ArtPrize HUB is open Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. We ask that wheelchairs are returned a half-hour before the HUB closes.
All of the Critical Discourse programming will include an ASL interpreter. These programs are accessible to members of our deaf and hard-of-hearing community through ASL-English (American Sign Language) interpretation.
Limited handicap parking is available at our downtown parking garages and near some venues. More parking information is available through the City of Grand Rapids. As mentioned above, wheelchair vans will also be able to park in front of AccessArt Lounge for dropping off visitors.
Description of our Event Site
The ArtPrize District covers a 3 square mile radius. Our hope is that, by using the accessible transportation options provided by The DASH and Rapid buses, services provided by the AccessArt Lounge, and wheelchair rentals available at the HUB, you are able to see as much of ArtPrize as possible!
We welcome suggestions and feedback about how to be more accessible. It is very important to us that ArtPrize is experienced by everyone. If there is something we are missing, we look to you to point it out as we move forward and plan future events. Please contact email@example.com with questions, concerns or feedback.
Whether you are a company, team, tour group, or community of any type, we think you’ll agree that ArtPrize is best experienced together. Three square miles of exhibition space and countless forms of creative expression may seem like a lot of excitement to manage, but we are here to help. You can access easy bus drop-off and parking, register to vote, and be on your way in no time. Additional resources for educators are available through our Education Days Program.
Short-term bus loading and unloading is available on Louis Street between Monroe Avenue and Ottawa Avenue near the Grand Rapids Art Musuem.
After your group is on their way, bus drivers will find convenient parking on Scribner Avenue NW between Pearl St. and Bridge St. or on Mt. Vernon Avenue NW between Douglas and Lake Michigan Drive, just a 5 – 10 minute drive from the Louis Street drop-off. For more information, please visit the City of Grand Rapids Parking Services.
Casting ballots is one of the best ways to spark conversations and engage with all that you see. Complete official ArtPrize voter registration at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), or any one of our other Voting Sites. From here, we suggest your group choose a Pathway, follow or create a List, and embark on your unique ArtPrize adventure.