In 2021, ArtPrize will launch a new way to experience the event, explore Grand Rapids, and support the artists — by giving visitors the opportunity to award the prizes directly to them. 

That’s right. More artists will have the opportunity to take home a portion of the $250,000 in prizes than ever before. We’ll move beyond simply “liking” an artwork, by creating opportunities for deeper connection between artists and visitors, visitors and our city.

In 2021, we’re launching an all-new platform for ArtPrize that will create an urban art adventure unlike any other:

  • A new format that shifts away from the traditional public vote and will allow every visitor to award prizes to and interact directly with artists through the ArtPrize app
  • A new auction platform to help ArtPrize 2021 artists find buyers for their work, backed by a marketing push and education campaign to encourage visitors to buy art
  • $200,000 in grants to fund a stunning outdoor exhibition featuring work by artists from underrepresented communities
  • Enhanced digital map to ease wayfinding throughout downtown Grand Rapids

Additionally, juried awards will return to ArtPrize, providing another lens into the event and generating further conversation about what is art and why it matters.

This new platform will allow us, together, to refine, grow, and deepen the ArtPrize experience for all stakeholders in the years to come. 

Fueled by our collective passion for contemporary art and our desire to support the artists that make it all possible, the 2021 ArtPrize app will leverage technology to enhance the IRL ArtPrize exhibition. One that seeks to foster Support, Connection, and Fun.

Support for artists and creatives to realize their ambitious, intentional, challenging works; for artists to sell their work and build relationships with current and future buyers; and for businesses and organizations in downtown Grand Rapids that have had a difficult year.

Connection between artists and visitors, as artists pour their souls into their work reach an audience; between visitors and our community, as we rediscover our city and celebrate all that our community is capable of surviving and thriving together; with family and friends, with strangers, with each other.

And Fun. Because you deserve it.

We’re excited to share more details about this new format in the coming weeks. We can’t wait for you to experience and be a part ArtPrize this fall. We can’t wait to see how it all plays out and hear your feedback in October.

Look for the new ArtPrize app, created by the brilliant team at Atomic Object, this fall. Artist registration is open through June 10, and ArtPrize will return to Grand Rapids from September 16-October 3, 2021.

Want to know more? Check out "Thoughts on This Next Iteration of ArtPrize"

By Jaenell Woods on