April 23, 2015 (Grand Rapids, MI) – ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition that takes place annually in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is pleased to announce the 2015 panel of jurors for the Grand Prize and Category Awards. ArtPrize will return for its 7th year Sept. 23 – Oct. 11, 2015.

The 2015 Juried Grand Prize ($200,000) winner will be chosen by a panel of three jurors that includes Franklin Sirmans, department head and curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz; and Brooklyn-based artist Wangechi Mutu.

The five Category Awards ($12,500 each) recognize one outstanding work in each of the four artist entry categories (2-D, 3-D, Time-based, and Installation) plus one venue for outstanding curatorial presentation. These awards will be selected by: Indianapolis-based curator, creator and host of The Art Assignment (PBS Digital), Sarah Urist Green (3-D); Los Angeles-based Senior Programmer of Sundance Film Festival and curator of New Frontier at Sundance, Shari Frilot (Time-based); New York-based editor and art critic, Robin Cembalest (Installation); and Cincinnati-based curator at the Contemporary Arts Center, Steven Matijcio (Venue). The 2-D juror will be announced at a later date.

Exhibitions Director of ArtPrize, Kevin Buist, said, “We chose to work with jurors who are not only experts in their field, but also bring a distinct point of view. The public vote functions as an aggregate of thousands of opinions, and we’ve designed the juried awards to operate as a foil to that populist approach. The jurors’ job is not to ferret out the objectively ‘best’ artwork, instead they’re charged with finding works that are surprising, masterful, and relevant from their expert perspective.”

Since expanding in 2010 to include both public and juried awards, ArtPrize has sought to use its unique parallel awards structure—splitting the $500,000 purse evenly between public vote and juried awards—to spark lasting dialogue about public and art world perceptions of art. The participation of the jurors also presents the opportunity for leading curators, critics, and institutional representatives to engage the public in their distinct and diverse viewpoints, pointing out new frameworks for interpreting and viewing art and encouraging a conversation around what makes art impactful and significant. Previous years’ jurors have included Theaster Gates, Jerry Saltz, Susan Sollins, Mel Chin, and Anne Pasternak, among others.

The first weekend of the competition, September 26 – 27, jurors will assess the entries within their respective categories, each selecting a shortlist of five entries. The 20 total finalists will then move on to the Grand Prize jurors’ selection.

On Monday, September 28, the Category Jurors will reveal each of their 20 category finalists during the "Jurors’ Short List" event, broadcast live on NBC’s Grand Rapids affiliate, WOOD TV8. Category and Grand Prize winners will be officially announced at the ArtPrize Awards on October 9, 2015 at 9 p.m. EST.


Artist Seed Grants, supported by the Frey Foundation, are available for a second year at ArtPrize to offset the cost of especially ambitious and challenging entries for ArtPrize Seven. Awarded on the basis of financial need and artistic merit, and determined by the ArtPrize Arts Advisory Council, 25 grants of $2,000 each will be announced shortly after the May 20 deadline. Apply for your grant after registering online.

Artist registration for ArtPrize Seven is currently open. Visit artprize.org to complete your Artist Registration before midnight, June 4.

Artist Registration: April 20 – June 4
Connections Period: April 28 – June 18
ArtPrize Seven: September 23 – October 11
Grand Prize Ceremony and Winners Announcement: October 9, 9 p.m. EST

ArtPrize occupies three square-miles of public and private venues across downtown Grand Rapids, MI. For further venue information, visit www.artprize.org/venues.

Photo: ArtPrize 2014 Installation Juried Category Award winner, 'Symptomatic Constant' by Julie Schenkelberg at SiTE:LAB @ The Morton.

By Jaenell Woods on