ArtStart: Online Competition for Youth

ArtPrize® attracts artists from all over the world, but only adults can compete. What about the kids?

ArtStart: Online Competition for Youth is an open invitation for anyone under the age of 18 to participate in ArtPrize and showcase their artistic talents. And, in the spirit of ArtPrize, we kept the rules pretty simple:


ArtStart is open to anyone under the age of 18. Artwork may be any medium: creative writing, graphic novel, photography, video, illustrations, etc. 

Artwork must:

  • be created as a response to an individual’s ArtPrize 2014 experience
  • include an “ArtPrize element”, such as references to specific Entries or themes
  • be wholly original—no copyright violations!

Learn more about the competition in this "how-to" video, created by the ArtPrize Education Youth Advisory Committee:


Entries into the 2014 ArtStart competition will be accepted September 24 – October 7.

The competition is entirely online, so artwork must be submitted digitally. Most entrants fill out an application and submit a photograph of their submission. Please e-mail all submissions to If your submission is a video, please upload your video to YouTube and e-mail the link.


New for 2014, there will be one Grand Prize winner and four category winners:

  • 2-D
  • 3-D
  • Time-based
  • Writing

​The Grand Prize Winner will be announced at the ArtPrize Awards on Friday, October 10.

A panel of judges from the community and the ArtPrize Education Youth Advisory Committee will select the winners. All winners will be awarded a gift that encourages him or her to continue making art. Good luck, and have fun!

Previous Winners


ART21 ArtPrize Programs

ART21 Educator Workshops

ART21 has partnered with ArtPrize, Grand Rapids Art Museum, and Kendall College of Art and Design to offer two workshops for educators on Saturday, October 4. 

Each will focus on the themes and methods of the Artists participating in ArtPrize 2014 and those featured in ART21: Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7, which premieres this fall on most PBS affiliate stations, including WGVU.

Educators may register for either one of the two workshops, and space is limited to 50 educators per workshop. All participants will receive an Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7 DVD and Educators’ Guide.

ART21 Young Filmmakers Competition

ART21 invites aspiring student filmmakers ages 14 – 18 to submit an original short film, less than 3 minutes long, based on this year's ArtPrize exhibition. Prizes, awarded by ART21, will be to first, second, and third place winners, and winning films will be featured on—and at the ArtPrize Awards Ceremony on October 10. 

ART21 encourages non-traditional formats and unique perspectives. Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking:

  • Convey the experience of encountering a specific work of art that inspires or moves you
  • Present a selection of works from those on view during the ArtPrize festival
  • Explain what contemporary art means to you in the context of ArtPrize, or present the meaning of the ArtPrize exhibition within the Grand Rapids community
  • Interview friends, family, or visitors about works of art at ArtPrize that they select to discuss 
  • Present a brief profile of an Artist whose work is on view during ArtPrize
  • Tell a fictional narrative inspired by and/or featuring an artwork on view at ArtPrize

Or, come up with your own ideas! Any student age 14 – 18 who attends the 2014 ArtPrize event and uses original footage captured on site is eligible to enter. Students may submit their film to only one ArtPrize Youth competition (e.g., the same film cannot be submitted to both ART21 and the ArtStart Online Competition).

ART21 will judge the films based on:

  • originality of ideas
  • creative execution
  • technical proficiency
  • adherence to all technical criteria, including length and content

Submit your film by October 2, 2014. ART21 will notify the winner by October 8.

Click here to learn more and to participate.

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Days

Early Childhood programming is central to ArtPrize Education Days. Arts education is especially important for preschool children to help them learn problem-solving skills and self-expression.

That's why we're partnering with organizations like the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University, and St. Cecilia Music Center to offer a variety of programs for early childhood students. 


To participate in an Early Childhood program during ArtPrize Education Days:

  1. Download the Early Childhood Teacher Packet
  2. Visit Eventbrite and reserve your spot!

If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail our team at or call 616.214.7924.

Education Days Programs

Every year, ArtPrize partners with local arts and cultural institutions to provide a wealth of diverse educational opportunities for classrooms of all grade levels. Check out our Teacher Packets for program details, then register your school group and start planning your school trip!

Our 2014 partner institutions include:

  • Cathedral Square (Diocese of Grand Rapids)
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum (the GRAM)
  • Grand Rapids Children's Museum
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
  • St. Cecilia Music Center
  • Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (the UICA)

Chair Camp

For Grades 1 – 12

Chair Camp is series of hands-on design workshops for students grades 1 – 12 created and led by Carla Hartman, Education Director of the Eames Office and granddaughter of legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames. Using recycled materials provided by Learning from Scratch, students construct miniature model chairs that will remain on display during ArtPrize. At the end of the event, the chairs are sorted by school and teachers and principals are invited to pick them up and return them to their students. For more information, download our Teacher Packets. Register your class for Chair Camp.

For College Students

This two-hour workshop led by Carla Hartman is specifically geared toward college and university students majoring in a creative field. Learn more and register for Chair Design Camp for College Students.

Planning Your School Trip

School trips can be incredibly valuable and memorable for students, but we know that planning them is a lot of work. Here are a few guidelines and tips to help make things easier.

Download the Teacher Packet

You can find the latest version of this packet in the Downloads & Resources section.

Reserve your spot

Here’s how to register your students for a program during ArtPrize:

  1. Browse the full list of available education programs on the ArtPrize Eventbrite page and select one that’s a good fit for your class
  2. Indicate your class size (please be aware programs have varying capacities) and reserve your tickets; be sure to mark your calendar!
  3. Check your e-mail and print one copy of your e-ticket; depending on the program, you may also receive additional information by e-mail from the ArtPrize Education Manager

You’re all set! On the day of your trip, just show up, bring your students, and have fun!

Transportation Grants

Grants of up to $100 per school are available on a first come, first served basis. You can find it in the Downloads & Resources section.

A special thanks to DTE Energy for supporting our transportation grant program this year!


This year we are piloting a program where a docent will meet your class at the bus and take them on a guided tour of ArtPrize. If your class is scheduled to attend a program, the docent will lead you there as well. Docents will ensure students see a variety of artwork, find a spot to eat lunch, and return to their bus at the designated pick-up time. Docents are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You may register for a guided tour through Eventbrite.


We require one chaperone for every 10 participating students, and chaperones must supervise and accompany their students at all times. Classroom teachers and chaperones are responsible for ensuring the students behave appropriately during their field trip.

Venue Etiquette

  • Food and drink CANNOT be brought into the Venues
  • School backpacks are NOT allowed; please leave them at school or on the bus (small bags and purses are permitted)
  • Please silence all cell phones inside Venues
  • Flash photography is NOT permitted inside Venues
  • DO NOT TOUCH the Artwork (both inside AND outside)


Participating Venues do not have the space to accommodate your school during lunchtime. Please feel free to bring a sack lunch and eat outside—Rosa Parks Circle is usually a great spot. Don’t forget to pick up your trash!


Students may be unloaded at the venue hosting their program. After which, all buses must park at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum Parking Area.

If you don’t want to schedule a school bus and your school is located along the Rapid route, you can ride the Rapid downtown! Visit or call 616.456.7415 for routes and pricing information. Don't forget about the brand new Silver Line route connecting Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and Wyoming along the Division Avenue corridor. 

Car/Van Parking

If you’re traveling by car or van, there are a lots of parking options in downtown Grand Rapids. The parking garage on Louis St. and Ionia St. offers one hour of free parking before 6 p.m., but other lots—or even metered street parking—may be more convenient or cost-effective for you. Explore your options at

Transportation Reimbursement Grants

Transportation reimbursement grants of up to $100 per school are available for travel to ArtPrize for class trips. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until funds run out. Applications, when available, can be found in the Downloads & Resources section.


All of our Exhibition Centers meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, and most other participating venues are self-identified as handicap accessible. See all accessible Venues.

Videotaping and Photography

There will be professional photographers at each program Venue, and video recording at some. If you or your students do not wish to be photographed or recorded, please avoid these areas. They will be clearly marked. 


All educational programs are rain or shine! You will spend some of the day outside, so be prepared for inclement weather. Don’t forget your umbrellas if it looks like rain!

2014 Lesson Plans

The ArtPrize Education Curriculum Develoment Committee is comprised of educators from the Grand Rapids region and beyond. This committee meets monthly to create lesson plans based on ArtPrize 2014 registered artworks. All lesson plans integrate art with other disciplines. They are all about rigor and relevance.

Lesson 1: Book Art By Lisa Geren 

This lesson is based on the ArtPrize 2014 work: Memories Unfolded by Sun Young Kang. By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to create a work of art with multiple connected visuals that tell a personal story, explore an artistic style, or express a special interest of importance to the artist.​

Lesson 2: Welded Thoughts by Dan Slagter 

This lesson is based on the ArtPrize 2014 work: You Have Options by Christopher Yockey. By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to compare and contrast three different sculptures by three different artists.  

Lesson 3: Non-Objective Emotion Paintings by Colleen O'Donnell

Students will create a non-objective painting based on an emotion of their choice. Feeling emotion is an integral and essential part of the human experience, but everyone expresses their emotions in different ways. Creating a piece of abstract art that portrays a particular emotion will be extremely valuable to 5th grade students who are just on the brink of entering their teen years in which they will be physiologically able to consider abstract thinking. Teenagers experience countless of new emotions during their adolescent years and to learn a new non-verbal way of expressing those emotions can be extremely helpful to them. Talking with their peers about shared emotions and experiences will help students develop their social skills and help them relate and connect to each other. 

Lesson 4: Fibonacci Asthetics by Tanya Lockwood

This lesson explores how mathematics, especially geometry, is used in the creation of art. The students will learn how artists use Fibonacci Sequence to create the most pleasing compositions in order to hold a viewer's interest and to create strong focal points in art. Once students understand and know how to create the Fibonacci Sequence they will then apply their knowledge during an ArtPrize field trip in discovering which artists utilized Fibonacci Sequencing in their art. How we determine what is beautiful is based on aesthetics. Students will learn about formal, personal, and contextual aesthetics. Knowing “why” we like something is relevant for students because it will allow them a greater understanding of what is good art as they view art entries at ArtPrize.

Family Programs

Artist Day & Pop-Up Art

On Artist Day, artists are encouraged to stand by their work and engage in conversations with members of the community. At the same time, there will be a variety of art activities at Rosa Parks Circle including face painting, sidewalk chalking, and more! Check the events calendar for more details about this family event.

#ArtPrizeSelfie Contest

Open to anyone 13 – 18 years old!  Take a selfie standing near ArtPrize registered work that visually illustrates the vocabulary word of the day (e.g. “line,” “perspective,” etc.), and share through either your Twitter or Instagram account, tagging #ArtPrizeSelfie plus a hashtag for the word of the day. We will announce a the word of the day at 11:30 a.m. each day through ArtPrize social media channels (Facebook and Twitter).

After ArtPrize ends on October 12, we wil announce one winner from each of the three weeks of ArtPrize and the winning images will be highlighted on ArtPrize social media. The winners will also receive ArtPrize 2014 swag!

In order to enter the contest, you must fill out the registration form. The form must be signed by you and your parent/guardian. Email registration forms to

Story Time

Story Times will be offered weekends from Noon – 2:00 p.m. in the Pop-up Park outside of the ArtPrize HUB at 41 Sheldon Blvd. SE. These programs are presented through a partnership with the Grand Rapids Public Library. Stories will be geared towards children ages 0 – 7.

Kids Art Fest

Kids Art Fest is produced by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Check the events calendar for more details about specific activities, performances, and more.

Chair Camp at the Grand Rapids Public Museum

A program focusing on design led by Carla Hartman, Education Director of the Eames Office and graddaughter of legendary furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames. Ms. Hartman will give a family-friendly presentation on design, and then everyone will create miniature chairs. Check the events calendar for more details about Chair Camp.

Partner Programs

Several of our Education Days partner institutions facilitate programs meant to be enjoyed by the whole family. 

Self-guided Tours

When you bring your family to ArtPrize, you’re surrounded by so many rich educational opportunities it can be hard to know where to start. To help you help your kids soak in the ArtPrize experience, we put together a self-guided tour packet just for families with tips, activities, and questions to spark conversation about contemporary art. Get the self-guided tour packet for families.

Register for Family Programs

Education for Adults

For students and adults looking to explore and discuss contemporary art and why it matters, ArtPrize provides numerous opportunities to hear from internationally-recognized artists, curators, educators, and critics. Learn more about the ArtPrize Critical Discourse series.

Also, if you're a college or university student majoring in a creative field, register to hear Carla Hartman, Education Director of the Eames Office and granddaughter of Charles and Ray Eames on October 1, 2014. Learn more about Chair Design Camp for College Students.

Self-guided Tours

Every year, ArtPrize publishes educational resources designed to help you lead your family or classroom on a self-guided tour of ArtPrize. You can find the latest versions of the Self-guided Tour for Teachers and the Self-guided Tour for Families in the Downloads & Resources section.

Printed versions of the Self-Guided Tour for Families and Small Groups are available at the HUB and program partner venues. All printing was generously donated by Screaming Gnat Studios.

For a less structured tour, pick up a copy of the ArtPrize Event Guide at the ArtPrize HUB or any Exhibition Center for routes and maps for self-guided ArtPrize Walking Tours through each ArtPrize neighborhood.

Audio Guides

The ArtPrize audio guide iconCurious about the thinking behind an ArtPrize Entry? The artist may have recorded a short statement! Look for the audio guide symbol next to the artist’s name to see if an audio guide is available. Educators and students can use their cell phones to dial into the audio guide and hear what the artist has to say about his or her artwork. Just follow the instructions on the label and listen.

Downloads & Resources

Education Days Teacher Packet

This comprehensive resource for teachers includes details and classroom activities for all educational programs and the Learning Standards for each program.

Download 2014 Packets with Learning Standards!

Teachers must register in advance to participate in these programs. Each teacher may enroll up to 50 students. REGISTRATION RUNS SEPTEMBER 2 – 12.

Transportation Grant Applications

Teachers can apply for up to $100 per school on a first-come, first-served basis.

Self-guided Tour for Teachers

Designed specifically for teachers who are unable to register their classroom for a formal program or educators leading a school group on their own, this information packet provides discussion questions and activities related to specific Entries to help guide your experience and understanding of contemporary art at ArtPrize. 

Download 2014 Tours 

Self-guided Tour for Families and Small Groups

Designed for parents, families, and curious individuals, this information packet provides discussion questions and activities related to specific Entries to help guide your experience and understanding of contemporary art at ArtPrize. 

Download 2014 Tours 

Special thanks to Screaming Gnat Studios for providing printed copies of the Self-Guided Tour for Families and Small Groups.

ArtPrize Family Programs

We've partnered with our ArtPrize Education Days venues to bring more programs for families! These programs will take place in the evenings and on weekends. Note that some programs require registration on Eventbrite.

ArtPrize Education Youth Advisory Committee

If you're a creative and highly motivated student entering your sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school at the start of the upcoming school year, you're invited to apply for the ArtPrize Education Youth Advisory Committee!

The application requires a one-paragraph recommendation from an adult who is not related to you, and can speak to your leadership potential.  Both you and your parent/guardian MUST sign an assurances page at the end of the application. 

  • Applications will be posted in February of 2015 for ArtPrize 2015

ArtPrize Education Youth Advisory Committee

Help make ArtPrize your own by joining the ArtPrize Education Youth Advisory Committee! Each year, ArtPrize selects between eight and ten creative and highly motivated high school students to help shape art and education programming for kids and students under the age of 18. Download your application.

What You'll Do

As a committee member, you’ll meet at the ArtPrize offices in downtown Grand Rapids, MI on the 3rd Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to Noon beginning in April. In the months leading up to the event, you will:

  • advise and assist ArtPrize with the statewide ArtStart: Online Competition for Youth and serve as a juror;
  • provide feedback to ArtPrize on existing programming;
  • brainstorm other ways to engage young people during ArtPrize;
  • help develop and launch NEW youth programming at ArtPrize;
  • design and create multi-media promotional materials for ArtPrize youth programming;
  • shape the future of ArtPrize.

In addition, as a member of the Youth Advisory Committee, you’ll serve as an ArtPrize ambassador in your school and community to help promote these programs.

How to Apply

To apply, you must be at least 14 years old and entering your sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school at the start of the upcoming school year.

As part of your application, you must include a one-paragraph recommendation from an adult who is not related to you who can speak to your leadership potential. Please note that you’ll also need your parent or guardian to sign off on the application.

The application period ends in mid March and reopens at the beginning of each year. Download your application.



ArtPrize Education Advisory Committee

  • Erica Curry Van Ee (The Grantmaking School at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy)
  • Becca Guyette (WMCAT)
  • Joanne Ketly (Great Starts Readiness Program, GRPS)
  • Maggie Malone (GRPS Department of Art, Music & Physical Education)
  • Becky Sawielski (Palmer Elementary Preschool)
  • Donna St. John (Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University)
  • Michele Suchovsky (Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation)
  • Janet L. Verity (Dickinson Elementary School)
  • Ann Zoellner (Ken-O-Sha Early Childhood Special Education Program)

ArtPrize Education Youth Advisory Committee

  • Olivia Boulton (Flushing High School)
  • Carly Fopma (Calvin Christian High School)
  • Kaya Henderson (Grand Rapids Montessori High School)
  • Lydia Hodgson (Forest Hills Eastern High School)
  • Sophie Nyson (East Grand Rapids High School)
  • Boluwatife (Anthonia) Oyedeji (West Michigan Aviation Academy)
  • Sara Ross (Forest Hills Eastern High School)
  • Mikaela Sterenberg (Hamilton High School)
  • Austin Van Slyke (Kent Innovation High School)
  • Sara Vanderbaan (East Grand Rapids High School)
  • Richard Williamson (Jenison High School)
  • Aiden Wysocki (East Grand Rapids High School)