The Award Structure

ArtPrize is a radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury. Every year, ArtPrize distributes a half a million dollars in cash prizes, making the event the world’s largest art competition.

Every artist enters their artwork in one of four categories:

  1. 2-D – Entries that exists primarily on a flat plane. Painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and most textiles are examples of 2-D work.
  2. 3-D – Entries that occupy space and are intended to be viewed from multiple angles. Sculptures that are not site-specific belong in the 3-D category.
  3. Installation – Entries that are dependent on the site in which they are installed. Installations are usually 3-D works, but are different from 3-D in that the location is part of the work, and moving the piece to another setting would dramatically change the work.
  4. Time-based – Entries that are durational and change over time. The viewer has to spend some time with the work to fully view it. This includes performance, video and film, dance, music, and interactive work.

Grand Prize winners can come from any category.

Chart displaying the 2015 ArtPrize award structure

Public Vote Awards

At ArtPrize, there are no spectators. Visitors like you who register to vote take an active role as judge and critic. Using mobile devices and the Internet, the general public chooses five Public Vote winners in two rounds of voting.

Juried Awards

In addition to the Public Vote, ArtPrize presents parallel Juried Awards—four $12,500 category awards and one $200,000 Juried Award Grand Prize. The jury also presents an award for Outstanding Venue, given to the curator of a Venue, not a participating Artist.

The Juried Awards are decided separate from the Public Vote, and it's possible for an Entry to win both a Public Vote and Juried Award, including both Grand Prizes.

The Public Vote

At ArtPrize, spectators and visitors like you take an active role as judge and critic, and an unprecedented top prize is determined solely by public vote. Here’s how it works:

Round 1 Voting

Vote for your favorite entries! During Round 1 of voting, every entry at every Venue in the ArtPrize District is in the running for the big prizes. See as much art as humanly possible and vote for the artwork you think deserves a spot in The Final 20.

You could cast one vote for every entry, but try to vote only for artwork that you personally find compelling. There are no rules about which artwork deserves your votes—it’s entirely up to you.

When Round 1 closes, the top five entries from each of the four categories move on to Round 2. The twenty finalists compete for the Public Vote Grand Prize and four category awards. Watch the ArtPrize Eight Final 20 Announcement.

Round 2 Voting

Take another look at the 20 Finalists and vote for the ones you think deserve to win the $12,500 category awards and, ultimately, the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize.

Just like in Round 1, you could cast one vote for each of the 20 Finalists, but try to vote for the ones you think most deserve to win in each category. Again, there are no rules for which artwork deserves your vote.

At the end of Round 2 voting, the Artist Entry with the most Round 2 votes in each category will win their $12,500 category award. The Final 20 Artist with the most Round 2 votes overall will be awarded the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize.

The ArtPrize Awards

ArtPrize announcea the winners of $500,000 in public vote and juried awards at the annual ArtPrize Awards ceremony. Watch the 2016 ArtPrize Awards as broadcast live on WOOD TV8.

Eligibility & Official Rules

  • You must be at least 13 years old to sign up for an artprize.org account and register to vote at ArtPrize.
  • You must have an individual email address to sign up for an ArtPrize account. If you don’t have an email address, you can create a Gmail account for free; if you need help, go to the HUB/HQ at 41 Sheldon and the ArtPrize Concierge will help you create an email account.
  • You must physically attend the event and register in-person in order to vote. You can register at an ArtPrize Neighborhood HUB, or using the ArtPrize mobile app to verify your location via GPS.
  • Read the Official Rules for Voters for more detailed information.

Create An Account

To vote at ArtPrize, the first step is to sign up for an artprize.org account. You have two options:

  1. Sign up with e-mail—all you need is a valid personal e-mail address and a password; or 
  2. Sign up with Facebook—just one click and you’re done.

Register To Vote

After you've created an artprize.org account, you need to visit ArtPrize during the event and register to vote in-person. Registration is a big part of reducing the threat of fraud in the Public Vote. There are two easy ways to register.

Option 1: Register using the ArtPrize mobile app

Skip the lines at the Voting Sites and use the free ArtPrize app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices to register on the go! It takes less than two minutes.

Here's how to do it

  1. Download the app: the free ArtPrize mobile app is available for Apple or Android devices.
  2. Go downtown: visit downtown Grand Rapids during ArtPrize (be sure to bring your phone!)
  3. Open the app: your phone's GPS will verify your location within the ArtPrize district and the app will automatically ask if you would like to register. Click "Register" and follow the prompts. 

Now you can use the mobile app to explore the ArtPrize district, discover art, and cast your votes for who you think should take home the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize.

Option 2: Register in person at an ArtPrize Neighborhood HUB

Visit any ArtPrize Neighborhood HUB and register with an email address. We'll ask a few questions to verify your identity, and that's it! We'll also help you sign up for an artprize.org account if you don't already have one.

While you’re there, we’ll answer any questions you have about how to cast your votes and make sure you have everything you need to get the most out of ArtPrize.

ArtPrize Neighborhood HUBs

Check in at any ArtPrize Neighborhood HUB where a friendly volunteer will get you registered to vote, give you your free ArtPrize Event Guide* and help you make the most of your ArtPrize experience. 

*Thanks to MLive Media Group, the 2016 ArtPrize Event Guide is FREE for all registered voters. One event guide per registered voter. Event Guides may also be purchased by making a $2 donation to any ArtPrize Neighborhood HUB.

Cast Your Votes

Once you've registered, go out and explore ArtPrize Venues and Exhibition Centers to see as much art as you can! You can use your printed Event Guide, the "Find Art" page on artprize.org, or the official ArtPrize mobile apps to discover art all around the city.

Each Artist Entry is displayed with an Artist Label that includes the title of the Entry, the artist's name, and a unique five-digit Artist Vote Code.

There are three ways to cast your votes

  • Online at artprize.org: Sign in to your artprize.org account and go to the Find Art page to find the art you’ve seen and liked, then simply click the "Vote" button on an Entry to cast your vote. You can search for Entries by title, Artist name, or by Artist Vote Code, browse and filter art by Venue or Category, or even discover new art through Lists.
  • Using the mobile apps: If you have a mobile device, download the free ArtPrize app for Apple or Android to make voting easy as you explore the event. You can use the app to search for specific Entries or even discover art near you. Simply tap the "Vote" button on an Entry to cast your vote.
  • Via text message (SMS): If you don't have a mobile device, you can still vote on the go by texting Artist Vote Codes to 808080. To vote by text, add your mobile phone number to your artprize.org account and follow the simple set up instructions in the confirmation text message.

Remember, there are two rounds of voting. In Round 1, you vote to choose the 20 Public Vote Finalists. In Round 2, you vote again to choose the ultimate winners from among the Final 20. The Entry with the most votes wins the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize!

See and change your votes

You can view your voting history online—and easily change your votes—by signing in to your ArtPrize account on artprize.org and selecting "Votes." Online and mobile app votes you've cast will appear in your history instantly. If you vote by text message, you’ll receive a confirmation of each vote by text as required by your texting service; text message votes will appear in your online voting history on artprize.org shortly after.

You can change your votes at any time during Round 1 by deselecting an Entry; your votes are locked once voting closes. Similarly, during Round 2, you can change your votes on the Final 20 up until voting closes.

Go out and vote for art—and have fun!