GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 22, 2013—ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition, today
announced it has hired Christian Gaines, a business development specialist with more than two decades in staff
management, fundraising, technology services and programming for major film festivals. ArtPrize made the
announcement on the first day of Artist Registration for the 2013 competition.
As executive director, Gaines, who began with ArtPrize on April 22, will oversee all aspects of the annual
competition, including finance, operations, marketing and administration. He will be tasked with continuing the
organization’s path to self-sustainability, a goal it intends to reach by the end of 2013.
Gaines replaces Daryn Kuipers, who joined the ArtPrize team as interim executive director, and oversaw a record
ArtPrize event with more than 400,000 people and 412,560 votes. Kuipers will remain with the organization in a
consulting role, transferring day-to-day management responsibilities to Gaines.
“ArtPrize’s position as a leading international art festival is growing more significantly every year, and it requires a
director with experience that aligns with the needs of the organization,” said Rick DeVos, founder of ArtPrize and
chairman of the board. “Christian’s expertise leading major, international festivals as well as working with artists
and industry-leading technology services will help ArtPrize develop as a platform for creativity.”
Prior to joining ArtPrize, Gaines was the director of festival strategy and business development at IMDb.com, a
division of Amazon. While there he oversaw the global expansion of Withoutabox.com, a submissions platform
that connects filmmakers to more than 1,000 film festivals worldwide.
“I am looking forward to bringing my experience in arts and technology to ArtPrize and building upon its
astonishing accomplishments to date.” said Gaines. “ArtPrize has momentum, and as the world’s most eagerly
anticipated showcase for emerging artists, I want this competition to continue to lower barriers for future
generations of art lovers while inspiring artists to do their very best work.”
Before joining IMDb.com, Gaines was director of festivals at the American Film Institute (AFI), where he was
responsible for numerous programming projects including year-round film series, festivals, retrospectives and
advanced screenings. He oversaw the Los Angeles-based AFI FEST presented by Audi, helped to start
SilverDocs: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival (now AFI Docs) and represented AFI in the launch of
the AFI Dallas International Film Festival (now the Dallas International Film Festival).
His previous experience includes four years as director of the Hawaii International Film Festival; two years as both
senior programmer at the Sundance Film Festival and director of new media at the Sundance Institute, and nearly
six years as administrative director of the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival.
Gaines was born in Belgium to American parents, raised in the United Kingdom and earned a bachelors degree in
English from Vassar College. He, his wife, and their two teenage children will move from Los Angeles and make
Grand Rapids their home this summer.
ArtPrize 2013 is open Sept. 18 through Oct. 6, 2013. Open call for artists to register for ArtPrize is active now
through June 6, 2013. The competition is open to any person above the age of 18. For more information, visit
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 dialog around
contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize, at $560,000. Registered artists and venues match
themselves at artprize.org, and the public votes for the winners using mobile devices and the Web. ArtPrize 2012
included 1,517 entries from 46 countries and 41 U.S. states and territories, as well as 400,000 active participants.
Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.