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After 11 days of voting, the public has selected 20 finalists from 1,536 entries in four categories. This Final 20 will continue on with the possibility of winning a $20,000 category award and, ultimately, the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. October 5, 2014 – ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition today revealed the public’s top picks, 20 works from among 1,536 entries that are now one step closer to winning the world’s largest art prize. Thousands of visitors filled Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids this afternoon to hear ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos and executive director Christian Gaines announce the Public Vote Final 20.

“Throngs of curious visitors encounter and consider work of contemporary art during ArtPrize,” commented Christian Gaines, ArtPrize executive director. “It’s a phenomenon that happens no where else on the planet. The public vote at ArtPrize is the ultimate catalyst for visitor involvement, inspiring countless conversations around what art is and why it matters.”

Over the course of 11 days, 37,283 individuals cast 352,732 votes, selecting five entries from within each of four entry categories to move onto the second round. These 20 works have captured the public’s eye and will move to the second round of voting, where they will vie for the chance to take home $260,000 in prizes.

“The new awards structure has allowed us to see for the first time direct points of comparison between what captivated the public and what the jurors found most interesting,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize director of exhibitions. “One entry made it onto both the public vote and juried award finalist lists, [Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha], so the tension between the results of these two ways of assessing art is exactly what makes it so fascinating and valuable.”

The ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Final 20 are as follows, in no particular order:

Two-Dimensional Finalists

  • Frits Hoendervanger | Autumn’s Passage | Amway Grand Plaza Hotel | Detroit, MI
  • Armin Mersmann | Gabriella | Amway Grand Plaza Hotel | Midland, MI
  • Sandra Bryant | Into the Autumn Woods | DeVos Place Convention Center | Lynden, WA
  • Gretchyn Lauer | Outcry | DeVos Place Convention Center | Grand Rapids, MI
  • Mark Middleton | Perspective | The B.O.B. | Petoskey, MI

Three-Dimensional Finalists

Time-Based Finalists

  • Nathan Lareau | Urban Tumbleweed | Cathedral Square | Grand Rapids, MI
  • Liz Roberts | Always Nowhere | Grand Rapids Art Museum | Delaware, OH
  • Robert Shangle | Your Move? | Harris Building | Sparta, MI
  • NewD Media | Peralux | Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts | Farmington, MI
  • Carol Roeda | Color Out the Darkness | Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum | Ada, MI

Installation Finalists

ArtPrize visitors have one more opportunity to voice their opinion and decide the winners of $260,000 in prizes. Round 2 Voting kicks off at 3:00 p.m. EDT today, October 5, and will continue through October 9 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Each registered voter may cast up to 20 votes, one for each of the Final 20 entries, during this second round. The winners of both the public vote and the juried awards will be announced at the ArtPrize Awards on October 10.

The conversation will continue next week at the two-part series “Why These Finalists?”. On both October 6 and 7, a panel of three art experts will discuss half of the public and juried finalists in a lively, humorous, and irreverent debate—further exploring the tension between public and expert approaches to assessing art. Free and open to the public, “Why These Finalists?” will take place in the ArtPrize HUB Soundstage in front of a live studio audience, and will be broadcast live on WOOD TV8.


ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize, at $560,000. Registered artists and venues connect online at artprize.org and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19-day event. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $260,000, while an additional $300,000 in juried awards are decided by a group of international art experts. ArtPrize 2014 will include 1,536 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states and territories. ArtPrize 2013 attracted more than 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.

ArtPrize is made possible in part through the generous support of many organizations. Corporate Premier Leadership sponsors include Amway, Founders Brewing Company, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Meijer, PNC Bank and The Rapid. Leadership sponsors include Consumers Energy, CWD Real Estate Investment, Deloitte, Haworth, The Iserv Company, Steelcase Inc., and Wolverine Worldwide.

Leading Foundation Supporters include The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, The Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, The Frey Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and The VanderWeide Family Foundation.

MLive Media Group is the Official Provider of the 2014 ArtPrize Event Guide. WOOD TV8 is the Official Broadcast Media Partner of ArtPrize.

The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation is the Founding Sponsor of ArtPrize.

By Jaenell Woods on