ArtPrize teams up with Western Michigan University to expand the Youth Collaboration Award, offering two $2,500 cash prizes decided by public vote and expert jury, and to bring the inaugural $2,500 Educator Award to ArtPrize in 2018.

GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) APRIL 6, 2018 — ArtPrize, the independently organized art competition recognized as the world’s largest public art event, in collaboration with Western Michigan University (WMU) today announced the expansion of the Youth Collaboration Award to include two $2,500 cash prizes, decided by public vote and expert jury. Concurrently, the organizations revealed plans for the inaugural Educator Award to make its debut at ArtPrize 10, slated to take place from September 19-October 7, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

YOUTH COLLABORATION AWARD - Registration Information
Returning for a second year, the Youth Collaboration Award offers a unique way for students under the age of 18 to participate in the annual ArtPrize event. Any school or eligible nonprofit educational organization serving students from kindergarten through twelfth grade may enter a collaborative piece into ArtPrize 10 and compete for $5,000 in prizes. New in 2018, the purse will be split — including a $2,500 prize awarded by public vote, and a matching $2,500 prize awarded by expert jury. Hudsonville Public Schools took home the inaugural Youth Collaboration Award for their entry You Be You in 2017.

After the success of last year’s Youth Collaboration Award, we’re eager to see what students create for ArtPrize 10,” said Dawn Fortin Mattoon, associate provost of WMU Extended University Programs.  “Helping to make an internationally recognized event accessible for students of all ages and giving them the opportunity to be creative and innovate together is something we value deeply.”

Over 40 teams created work for the Youth Collaboration Award in 2017. It was thrilling to watch their projects unfold, to see the students working together and expressing their creativity for tens of thousands of ArtPrize visitors,” said Becca Guyette, ArtPrize Director of Learning & Engagement. “I’m excited to see how the award will unfold in 2018 with the addition of the juried prize.”

Applications will be accepted during the 2018 artist registration period, from April 16-June 7. Interested groups, which must include at least two artists under the age of 18, may contact the ArtPrize team at during that period. Youth Collaboration Award entries will be exempt from paying the $100 collaborative ArtPrize entry fee, and will not be eligible to win the two $200,000 grand prizes or the $100,000 in category awards, decided equally by public vote and expert jury. More information is available at

New in 2018, WMU will present the  Educator Award. All registered ArtPrize 10 artists who self-identify as arts educators will be invited to compete for this $2,500 prize. The winner will be selected by a jury organized by WMU. Participants will remain eligible for the $500,000 in prizes decided by public vote and expert jury at ArtPrize 10.

"Western Michigan University first began as a teachers college for southwest Michigan in 1903.” said Daniel Guyette, dean of the WMU College of Fine Arts. “From those earliest days education has been a cornerstone of our Learner Centered focus at Western. It is only appropriate that we would initiate and offer the first Educators Award to celebrate teachers who demonstrate exceptional educational ability and artist talent."

These awards join a growing portfolio of independently organized prizes at ArtPrize, created by event participants and stakeholders to honor specific achievements within the larger event. Independent awards at ArtPrize include the Contemporary Black Art Award, the Artista Latino Award, the Asian Art Award, and the SmartArt Competition presented by Consumers Energy, among others. ArtPrize and WMU will announce the winners of both at the Tenth Annual ArtPrize Awards, broadcast live on WOOD TV8.

In addition to presenting the Youth Collaboration and Educator Award at ArtPrize 10, WMU will also participate as an ArtPrize Venue for the sixth consecutive year. In 2017, their space was recognized by juror Larry Ossei-Mensah as a finalist for the Outstanding Venue Juried Award, and hosted Red Dirt Rug Monument by Rena Detrixhe — the winner of Pitch Night Bentonville who ultimately took home the Public Vote and Juried Time-Based Category Awards. WMU will also present the Juried Two-Dimensional Award this fall.

ArtPrize will return to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 19-October 7, 2018. Venue registration for the tenth annual is underway through April 5, and artist registration will run from April 16-June 7.

By Jaenell Woods on