In just over three months, you, along with every ArtPrize visitor, will have the chance to award $150,000 in cash prizes directly to the artists of your choosing. 

*Pauses to let it sink in*

This is big. Huge. Monumental. (Okay, that may be going a little too far. But it’s a big deal.)

You’ve always had a say in the outcome of ArtPrize. Over the past 10 years, you’ve given thumbs-ups to the artwork that spoke to you, that made you feel something, that encouraged you to think in new ways, that wowed you. The artists with the most cumulative thumbs-ups won the cash prizes.

It was a simple model, but one with big implications. One that turned the top-down art-world paradigm on its head. For the first time, the public had the voice and power to decide what was good art.

This year, we’re taking things a (giant) step further.

We’ve heard from artists and visitors alike that you want to deepen this interaction. You want to connect with each other in more meaningful ways. We heard you. 

That’s why, for ArtPrize 2021, we’re putting $150,000 of the $250,000 prize pool into your hands - to award directly to artists throughout the 18-day event, through the new, soon to launch ArtPrize app presented by Delta Dental.

Our executive director, Craig Searer, said it best:

“With this new platform, ArtPrize visitors will have more opportunities than ever before to interact with art, artists, and our city in a deeper way, and more artists than ever before will have the chance to take home a portion of the $250,000 in prizes. We are passionate about contemporary art and seek to support the artists who make it all possible. One of the biggest ways we’re doing this in 2021 is leveraging our technology platform to meaningfully enhance the IRL ArtPrize exhibition.”

Additionally, a panel of jurors will determine $50,000 in prizes presented by Haworth, and a $50,000 grand prize, presented by Wolverine Worldwide, will be decided by the public and awarded to a single artist at the end of the event.

Details about how exactly visitors will award the $150,000 in prizes using a new ArtPrize app, as well as details about the juried awards, will be announced in the coming weeks. Artists interested in participating in ArtPrize 2021 can register online through June 10. ArtPrize 2021 is slated to take place in Grand Rapids, MI from September 16-October 3.

By Jaenell Woods on