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 wide selection of coffee houses, restaurants, and boutique shops. 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 located at 1000 East Beltline Ave NE.
SiTE:LAB / The Rumsey Street Project*
SiTE:LAB / The Rumsey Street Project is a three-acre public art project in partnership with Habitat for Humanuty of Kent County. Over the course of the next 18 months, The Rumsey Street Project wil inhabit a mixture of unoccupies structures, including a former Catholic church and rectory, a body shop, and several residences, as well as a number of vacant lots. The Free Rumsey Shuttle has stops downtown at the ArtPrize HUB and Founders Brewing Co., and connects through to the Roosevelt Park Business District. SiTE:LAB / The Rumsey Street Project is located at 333 Rumsey St SW.
* Meijer Gardens and SiTE:LAB / The Rumsey Street Project are the only Venues located outside the ArtPrize District.
ArtPrize Venues & Hours
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.
- Monday through Thursday: 5 to 8 p.m.
- Friday & Saturday: Noon to 8 p.m.
- Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.
*Most venues are open early and close late. Be sure to check each venue profile for individual venue hours.
The ArtPrize HUB
Located at 41 Sheldon Blvd SE, the ArtPrize HUB is the official ArtPrize HQ and a home base and concierge service for visitors.
- Sign up for an ArtPrize account and register to vote
- Get a free Event Guide and map when you register to vote
- Or purchase a copy of the Event Guide (available for $2)
- Buy an ArtPrize Metro Pass for unlimited rides on the Silver Line and 10 rides on fixed Rapid routes
- 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
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.
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!
Starting in early September, stop inside a Meijer store (see below for participating stores) and pick up an ArtPrize Metro Pass ($5 each, bundled with an Event Guide and Map) to enjoy unlimited rides on the Silver Line and 10 free rides on all fixed Rapid routes for the duration of ArtPrize. (Metro Passes will also be available at the HUB and all Voting Sites.)
|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.
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 -- in partnership with Experience Grand Rapids -- offer ArtPrize package deals that inculde special discounts and offers. New in 2016, several Grand Rapids hotels are offering guests a free shuttle service to and from ArtPrize. Get details from Experience Grand Rapids.
Start at the HUB or any Voting Site and register to vote to get your free copy of the ArtPrize Event Guide and 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 Metro Pass (The Rapid, Silver Line)
Gain unlimited rides on the Silver Line bus and 10 free rides on all of The Rapid's fixed routes for the duration of the ArtPrize event with an ArtPrize Metro Pass. Get a Metro Pass for $5 at the ArtPrize HUB, any Voting Site, or one of several area Meijer stores. Starting in early September, seven participating Meijer stores will begin carrying this $5 bundle with an Event Guide, Map, and Metro Pass!
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 Silver Line, connecting Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming along the Division Avenue corridor.
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.
Rapid Rides to ArtPrize: Granting Program
We were thrilled to bring back for a second year the Rapid Rides to ArtPrize program. This program offers free Event Guides and Metro Passes—good for free transportation on The Rapid and Silver Line busses during the 19 days of ArtPrize—to members of our community based on financial need. 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 all ArtPrize 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.
A fifth pathway, the Access Art Pathway, will begin and end at the Access Art Lounge presented by Disability Advocates of Kent County, located at 50 Monroe Ave NW. While all ArtPrize Pathways provide the least amount of barriers for visitors, the Access Art Pathway offers a route that has been specially curated for visitors who experience differences in mobility.
Check out all five of the ArtPrize Seven Pathways.
Maps of each route and more information about the ArtPrize Pathways are available in the Event Guide—pick up your free copy when you register to vote at the HUB or any Voting Site.
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 free bike valet services at the ArtPrize HUB during official ArtPrize hours. ArtPrize volunteers will be present to help keep visitors' bikes safe while they explore the event. Additional corrals will be available throughout downtown Grand Rapids—located at the Hospitality Center at 40 Pearl, the Clubhouse at 50 Louis, and the Volunteer Lounge and Access Art Lounge at 50 Monroe. These additional corrals will be unattended, so visitors are encouraged to bring a bike lock along.
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 to the public for free.
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.
ArtPrize Labs provide families and people of all ages unique, experiential learning opportunities through free activities, events, and expert-produced activity resources. While visiting ArtPrize, be sure to drop into an ArtPrize Lab with your family.
- ArtPrize Labs Drop-In Studio: Visit the drop-in studio for a self-directed creative experience.
- ArtPrize Labs Studio Events: Attend a studio event featuring hands-on art activities and creative experiments.
- ArtPrize Labs Mobile Workshop: Stop by the new mobile workshop for pop-up art-making activities with repurposed materials.
Download an ArtPrize Labs Family Activity Kit.
- Family Day @ UICA: Families and people of all ages are invited to attend morning activities located in UICA's premier theater.
- GRAMStudio: Drop into GRAMStudio during ArtPrize to create a work of art inspired by ArtPrize artist Saya Woolfalk’s entry.
- Alphabet Soup: Families are invited to join Artists Creating Together (ACT) to participate in art activities at the Downtown Market.
- Sensory Finger Painting: The Comprehensive Therapy Center would like to welcome families of children with disabilities to ArtPrize by offering a sensory-friendly activity in an accessible space.
- Grand Rapids Kids Stroller Tours: This event is for families with young children that want to explore ArtPrize as a group.
- GRCM Kids ArtFest: Spend an afternoon exploring the wonderful world of art!
- GRCM Family Art Night: Drop in with a reduced GRCM Admission of $1.75/person for Family Night.
ArtPrize Labs is sponsored by
ArtPrize is committed to connecting visitors with all abilities to the world of art. All of the city's leading cultural institutions meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines, and most participating venues are self-identified as handicap accessible. See all accessible Venues.
The Access Art Lounge
The Access Art Lounge, presented by Disability Advocates of Kent County, is located at 50 Monroe Avenue 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 Access Art 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.
Access Art Lounge Hours*
- Monday to Saturday: Noon to 8 p.m.
- Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.
*Please note that the Access Art Lounge is only open during the ArtPrize event.
Lounge Amenities Include:
- ArtPrize venue accessibility resources, including tips to help you plan your visit related to mobility, access, and specifics about individual venue facilities
- Concierge services and general event information
- Wheelchair rentals
- A quiet room to provide relief from the crowds and energy of the event
- A wheelchair-friendly space that's easy to navigate and relax in
- Light refreshments including water, coffee, and small snacks
- Program space for conversation and dialogue on Disability Culture and the Arts
Please email email@example.com for all accessibility needs, including parking advice and transportation* options.
The Access Art Pathway
While all ArtPrize Pathways are provide the least amount of barriers to our visitors, those with accessibility needs can pick up a self-guided tour from the Access Art Lounge and embark on a route that has been specially curated with their mobility in mind.
The Access Art 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 Access Art Lounge.
Courtesy of Mary Free Bed and Airway Oxygen Inc., ArtPrize will have wheelchair rentals available in the Access Art Lounge and 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. We ask that wheelchairs are returned a half-hour before the Access Art Lounge and HUB close.
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 Access Art Lounge for dropping off visitors.
Description of our Event Site
The ArtPrize District covers a three square mile radius. Our hope is that, by using the accessible transportation options provided by The DASH and Rapid buses, services provided by the Access Art 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, concerns or feedback.
DisArt Video Series
DisArt Festival has created a series of videos to help inform disabled visitors to ArtPrize Seven and Grand Rapids of what to expect when they get downtown, how to get downtown, and how to get the best experience possible from their visit this year.
SiTE:LAB Rumsey Street Project | Part 1
SiTE:LAB Rumsey Street Project | Part 2
Access Art Oasis at 50 Monroe
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.