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ArtPrize Labs will once again provide families and people of all ages unique experiential learning opportunities through daily, drop-in activities at eighth annual event—including a new Mobile Workshop that will travel throughout the ArtPrize District, encouraging thousands of visitors to create their own works of art.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (SEPTEMBER 13, 2016) -- ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided equally by public vote and expert jury, today announced expanded ArtPrize Labs programming for kids and families, sponsored by Amway, Grand Valley State University, and Herman Miller Cares—including the addition of a Mobile Workshop that will bring art-making activities to families across the ArtPrize district.

“Held across three square miles and 19 days, ArtPrize provides thousands of opportunities for people of all ages to discover, learn and create,” said Becca Guyette, ArtPrize Education Manager. “Through ArtPrize Labs programming, we seek to offer on-demand, hands-on contemporary art experiences—reaching visitors where they are in their ArtPrize adventure -- and to cultivate the next generation of art lovers.”

Returning for a second year is the ArtPrize Labs Drop-In Studio. Located inside the HUB/HQ, the Drop-In Studio offers a quiet space and materials for visitors of all ages to rest, unwind, and explore their creative inspiration in a self-directed way. The Drop-In Studio will be open September 14–October 9 from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. daily. Additionally, ArtPrize Labs will once again feature Saturday studio events in the beautiful Pop-Up Park outside the HUB/HQ, featuring hands-on creative activities inspired by the ArtPrize artist entry categories.

New for 2016 is the ArtPrize Labs Mobile Workshop, presented by Herman Miller Cares and developed in collaboration with local artist Eliza Fernand. Through her work as an artist and teacher, Eliza seeks to empower communities through teaching self-sustaining skills, creating socially engaged projects that demystify the practice of artists, and encouraging cross-media collaboration. The ArtPrize Labs Mobile Workshop, which will unfold from a bicycle, will tour around the ArtPrize district throughout the 19-day event—bringing pop-up art-making activities to thousands of visitors, all done with repurposed materials.

“I’m excited to activate the Mobile Workshop with activities designed entirely with repurposed materials, and to expand the educational programming of ArtPrize,” noted Fernand. “Offering the experience of art-making in a public place, for free, is an important way to bring the viewers of ArtPrize deeper into the process of creative response. Anyone and everyone can be involved.”

Cameron Van Dyke designed and constructed the ArtPrize Labs  Mobile Workshop. He operates a design and fabrication studio focused on commissioned and self-generated projects in furniture, residential interiors, public objects, and experimental vehicles. His focus is to create exquisite, inspiring, high-quality objects that serve our public and private experience. Cameron holds an MFA from the University of Michigan in 3-D Design and a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Furniture Design and Fabrication.

Additionally, ArtPrize has partnered with community organizations and local institutions to offer programming that will encourage visitors to engage in a meaningful way during ArtPrize Eight. These ArtPrize Partner Organizations will offer family-oriented programming throughout the eighth annual event. Families are encouraged to check out the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s GRAMStudio on Saturdays and Sundays during the 19-day event, to create their own works of art. The Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts will host Family Day@UICA on Saturday mornings to create mixed media collages inspired by work from their ArtPrize Eight exhibition. Kids ArtFest will return to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, where families can spend an afternoon painting, sculpting, drawing, creating mosaics, and enjoying live performances at Veteran’s Park. From creating works of art to group stroller tours throughout downtown, ArtPrize partner organizations will have programming that everyone will enjoy.

For a full and continuously updated schedule of ArtPrize Labs programming, see the ArtPrize events calendar both online and on the mobile app, free for iOS and Android devices. Stay tuned to ArtPrize social media channels—Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—where the daily location of the ArtPrize Labs Mobile Workshop will be revealed.

ArtPrize Eight will once again transform three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids into an open playing field where 1,453 entries at 170 venues will vie for a combination of public vote and juried awards totalling $500,000 in prizes, September 21 to October 9.

By Jaenell Woods on