ArtPrize takes us far beyond the boundaries of Grand Rapids, Michigan by creating a network that expands across borders, oceans, and cultures. Soon, artists from 42 states and 48 countries will pack up their artwork and begin their journey to West Michigan.

Accommodating out-of-town artists gives hosts the opportunity to show off Grand Rapids’ vibrant downtown area and robust arts community. Even more importantly, artists who travel to ArtPrize bring with them a plethora of cultural perspectives and diverse experiences, contributing to what makes ArtPrize a truly unique event.

Kim and Terry Gates have been huge supporters of out-of-town artists over the years and look forward to opening up their home to an ArtPrize artist each year. From artists who have never been to Grand Rapids to those who have never set foot in the United States, the Gates love the opportunity to show off all that their city has to offer.

“Each year it’s a completely new and unique experience.”
—Terry Gates, Volunteer Host

Last year the Gates volunteered to host Anila Quayyum Agha whose piece "Intersections" was displayed at The Grand Rapids Art Museum. Agha had never visited Grand Rapids before and the Gates were happy to show her around the city, introduce her to friends, and enjoy dinner together when she had a free evening.

“It gives you the opportunity to see ArtPrize through the eyes of the artist and share their journey with them,” explains Terry. During the final event where the winner is announced, Agha invited the Gates to sit in the third row reserved for close friends and family and they cheered Agha on as she made history to become the sixth winner of both the ArtPrize Public Vote and Juried Grand Prize.


Anila Quayyum Agha on stage following her 2014 win

With an art competition of this scale, artists and volunteers are compelled to share resources, collaborate, and form connections. The community of ArtPrize artists grows and strengthens each year as we continue to discover that we can accomplish more together than we can alone. It’s especially crucial to offer support for artists who are unfamiliar with Grand Rapids.

This is why each year, ArtPrize helps match out-of-­town artists with volunteers that are generously offering free temporary housing. This Artist Hosting program gives artists—our honored guests—the chance to reduce the cost associated with participating in the ArtPrize event and allows them to extend their stay in Grand Rapids.

Through this program, ArtPrize has provided thousands of room nights for visiting artists over the past five years, and many previous award winners—including Beili Liu, Mia Tavonatti, Adonna Khare, Young Kim, and Anila Quayyum—were all hosted by people just like you. The added benefits of shared hospitality and lifelong friendships are the icing on the cake.

Click here to find out how you can share your home!

Artist Housing is managed by the Exhibitions team this year. Reach out with any questions to Leah at exhibitions@artprize.org.

By Leah Burke on