About ArtPrize

ArtPrize® is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days every other fall in Grand Rapids, MI.  $250,000 in prizes are awarded by public vote, including a $200,000 grand prize.

Any artist working in any medium from anywhere in the world can participate. Art is exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids, in spaces indoors and out, public and private. 

ArtPrize is remarkably open and collaborative by design. Museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto body shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces sign up to be ArtPrize venues. Then artists and venues find each other on our website, creating the nearly 200 independently-organized art shows that make up the ArtPrize competition — and attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the world. No one at ArtPrize selects a single artist or artwork, directs an artist where to show work or directs a venue what to show. Instead, you decide where to show your work.

Over ten years, 3.4 million ArtPrize visitors have cast 3.4 million votes and artists from around the country and world have received  $4.6 million in awards.

The event continues to stimulate conversation in Grand Rapids and beyond about how art connects to audiences and the role it plays in civic life.

Read More About ArtPrize

Over $250k in Prizes

Public Vote Awards

ArtPrize distributes $250,000 dollars in cash prizes decided by public vote. Hundreds of thousands of spectators take an active role as judge and critic, with top prize of $200,000. Using the ArtPrize mobile app and website, five Public Vote winners are chosen in two rounds of voting.

  • Public Vote Grand Prize: $200,000
  • 2-D Public Vote Award: $12,500
  • 3-D Public Vote Award: $12,500
  • Time-Based Public Vote Award: $12,500
  • Installation Public Vote Award: $12,500

Independently Organized Awards

Additionally, there are several Independently Organized Awards given by event participants during each competition, some decided by public vote and others by jury.

For more information about these awards, including what happens if you win, download our Interested Artists Packet (coming soon).

Artist Registration

To participate in ArtPrize, artists must first sign up during the Artist Registration period. The Artist Registration period for ArtPrize 2020 runs from April 13 to June 4, 2020. 

Registration is a simple three-step process that happens right here on the ArtPrize website.

  1. Sign up for an ArtPrize account, or sign in if you already have one.
  2. Pay the registration fee ($50 for individuals, $100 for collaboratives) to enter your artwork and create your entry profile.
  3. Complete your entry profile.

After registering, artists must connect with an ArtPrize venue to participate in the event. For more information on Connections, see “Connect with a Venue.” For more information on the Artist Registration process, download our Interested Artists Packet (coming soon).

Artwork Categories

At ArtPrize, each artist’s work is entered in one of four categories — 2-D, 3-D, Time-Based and Installation. These categories have a direct effect on the entry's eligibility for prizes. Midway through the event, twenty finalists are announced. The Public Vote Final 20 includes the five top-voted entries from each of the four categories.

During registration, artists choose the category they feel best fits their work based on the definitions below.

  • 2-D – Entries that exists primarily on a flat plane. Painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and most textiles are examples of 2-D work.
  • 3-D – Entries that occupy space and are intended to be viewed from multiple angles. Sculptures that are not site-specific belong in the 3-D category.
  • Time-Based – Entries that are durational and change over time. The viewer has to spend some time with the work to fully view it. This includes performance, video and film, dance, music, and interactive work.
  • Installation – Entries that are dependent on the site in which they are installed. The location is not a neutral ground, but makes up an important ingredient of the work. Installation is different from 3-D in that changing the location of the piece would dramatically change the work.

The ArtPrize team reviews the entries in each category, making sure the definitions of each are interpreted consistently. This sometimes means moving an entry to a different category. If we feel an entry could work in more than one category, we defer to the artist’s selection. The examples within each category provided above are not exhaustive.

Artist Grants

Grants are available to artists ahead of ArtPrize 2020 through the programs listed below. Read on for details on each granting program, including application deadlines.

$15k ArtPrize Artist Challenge at SXSW Interactive

On March 16, ArtPrize will host the $15k ArtPrize Artist Challenge at SXSW Interactive, in partnership with Studio Park and Michigan House. Five artists from around the country will pitch their ideas for ambitious projects they envision on the piazza at Studio Park during ArtPrize, in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Each will present for five minutes, using up to five slides to describe their proposal to a live audience and a panel of five judges. One artist will receive a $15,000 grant to install the project at ArtPrize, slated to take place from September 16 - October 4, 2020.

Apply Now — Applications are now open until February 21, 2020. Click here to view + download the information packet and learn how to apply.

Featured Public Projects

Featured Public Projects will award grants for large, ambitious public art projects in highly-visible public sites in downtown Grand Rapids — including city parks and the Grand River. Applying for and receiving a Featured Public Projects grant is the only way to exhibit artwork in these spaces during ArtPrize.

Proposal requirements vary by site, but all should be imaginative, photogenic and ambitious. Projects that integrate performance and interactive elements are encouraged. Proposals should consider the context of ArtPrize as a technology-driven, urban, democratic, participatory public art event. An awareness of Grand Rapids as a Midwest city with roots in design and manufacturing will be helpful. Ideal applicants will make good use of the installation site, with its specific physical, historical, and political qualities.

Apply Now — Applications are now open until April 10, 2020Click here to view + download the information packet and learn how to apply.

Artist Seed Grants

ArtPrize is proud to offer Artist Seed Grants, presented by the Frey Foundation. These grants give 25 artists $2,000 each to help fund ambitious and challenging ArtPrize entries, and are intended to give a boost to artists who demonstrate both financial need and artistic merit. 

Applications are open during the Artist Registration period. The Artist Registration period for ArtPrize 2020 runs from April 13-June 4.

Pitch Nights

ArtPrize hosts a series of events in other cities around the country, and across the globe, where local artists from those cities are invited to pitch ideas for an ArtPrize project to a live audience and panel of judges. The judges decide which project gets a grant to realize their idea at ArtPrize.

2020 Pitch Night events and locations will be announced soon.

Connect with a Venue

After you’ve registered your artwork as an ArtPrize entry and paid the registration fee — it’s time to find a venue to exhibit your work.

ArtPrize plays no role in assigning artists to venues. Instead, you will decide in which venue you want to show your work. Browse registered venues and then, during the Connections period, you may contact venues and venues will contact you.

This process of selecting venues is managed through the Connections tool on your ArtPrize Account.

For more information on the Connections process, download our Registered Artists Packet (coming soon).

Artist Packets

Click the links below to view and download more information for ArtPrize artists:

  • Interested Artists Packet — includes detailed information on Eligibility, Registration, Winning Prizes, Official Rules.

  • Registered Artists Packet — includes detailed information on Grants, Connections, Hosting Agreement, Selling Artwork, Insurance, Downloads, Temporary Housing, Resources, Artist Icon + Brand Guides, Official Rules

Official Rules

The following is a summary of the Official Rules for Artists:

  • Each Artist must be at least 18 years old at the time they register.
  • Artists must pay a $50 non-refundable fee to enter their Artwork. Team entries pay a non-refundable flat fee of $100.
  • For any team entry, every individual that makes a significant creative contribution to the Artwork must be registered as an Artist and officially attached to that Artwork and to no other Artwork. Volunteers or contractors that did not make a significant creative contribution to the Artwork do not need to be registered.
  • Artwork must be shown at an ArtPrize Venue.
  • Secondary elements of an Artwork (or instances of a performance) may appear elsewhere, but the primary element and/or documentation of an Artwork must be at its Venue.
  • Artists must sign a Hosting Agreement with their Venue.
  • Artwork may be a single piece, a collection of pieces, or an installation with multiple elements. In any case, an Artwork is titled and voted on as a single unit.
  • Each entry must be classified as only one of four Categories: 2-D, 3-D, Time-based, or Installation. Artists must identify their entry’s Category during the registration process. Category identification is subject to ArtPrize review; ArtPrize makes final decisions about the Category of each entry.
  • If an Artwork is Time-based or performance-oriented, the Artwork must at least be performed within the first round of voting with an artifact or other representation (props, a video, etc.) left behind for presentation during the remainder of the competition.
  • Only original Artwork is eligible for submission. The Artist is responsible to ensure that the Artwork does not infringe on any third party’s proprietary rights.
  • The Artwork must be currently owned by the Artist or by the team of Artists.
  • The Artist is responsible for transportation of the Artwork to, and removal of the Artwork from, the applicable Venue, unless otherwise provided in the applicable Hosting Agreement or other arrangements with the Venue.
  • Artwork from prior ArtPrize competitions, or Artwork that is identical to entries from prior ArtPrize competitions, may not be entered in ArtPrize.
  • Artists that win any of the Public Vote prizes and/or Juried Awards are ineligible to enter ArtPrize the following year (e.g., the winners of ArtPrize 2014, including all members of team entries, may not enter ArtPrize 2015, winners in 2015 may not enter ArtPrize 2016, and so on).
  • Artists who with the Public Vote Grand Prize or the Juried Grand Prize are not eligible to enter again.
  • A maximum of two entries per Venue may advance to the Final 20 in the Public Vote.

Artist FAQ

What is ArtPrize?
Check out the detailed About section here.

How do I stay up to date on ArtPrize artist information year round?
If you haven't already, sign up for artprize.org account here. You'll receive email notification on artist information and upcoming events. 

How do I enter my work?
ArtPrize 2020 Artist Registration is open from April 13-June 4, 2020. You may register your entry online at artprize.org any time during that window. Registration may be completed online only; there is no paper application. You can find more information here

How do I submit a collaborative entry?
One member of your team will need to register the entry account by selecting the ‘I am entering as team’ option on the registration form.  To add additional team members, first have them register for a general artprize.org account using the ‘Sign up’ option (If they are already a member, enter the email address associated with their artprize.org account).  On the entry form select the black ‘Add a Team Member’ button and enter their email address.  Once they are added, the team member can sign into their personal account to create an artist profile that is linked to the collaborative entry.  

Does my entry have to be complete before I enter ArtPrize?
No. Often times artists register an entry that has not yet been completed. When you register, fill in your entry profile and personal artist profile as completely as possible. This includes a detailed description of your entry, as well as images, sketches or renderings of your work in progress. Entry and artist profiles can be updated at any time, even after artist registration and connections close. We only require that your entry be completed by the opening of the event on September 19.

How many pieces can I enter?
Each artist may submit only ONE entry. An entry may include several pieces that make up a series or an installation with several elements. Each entry must have one titled, and will be voted on as a single unit. To submit a series or multi-part installation as your entry, you will need to indicate the entire space needed to exhibit the work in the Entry Details section of your Entry Profile, and a description of the series, individual piece sizes, etc. in the Description section.

How much does it cost to enter?
When you register, you will pay a $50 registration fee. Collaborative entries (entries made by a team of 2 or more artists) are $100. All entries must be paid by credit card through our secure payment system online.

How do I find a venue to display my entry?
Once registered, you can browse the list of venues and request connections (once the Connections period opens on April 27). Click the thumbnail image of a venue to review and find out if it would be a good fit for your work. If so, you can click the black "REQUEST CONNECTION" button near the top right corner of each venue profile page.

Can I reach out to venues before Registration and Connections?
Yes. Each venue is independently organized, and each venue has their own approach for organizing their exhibition. Some venues plan far ahead, some do not. It probably won’t hurt to reach out to venues early, but it is helpful to work with venues on their timeline. If the venues you'd like to connect with are not accepting proposals until Connections begin, reaching out early won’t help.

How many venues can I request?
We recommend starting with six or seven requests. You can request connections with as many venues as you like, but ultimately you must connect with only one.

Can I connect with more than one venue?​
No. You can request connections with as many venues as you like, but you can only secure a connection with one venue. Once you have secured the connection online, the Request Connection function will be disabled for your entry. All remaining pending connections will lapse.

What happens if I don’t connect to a venue?
If you do not connect with a venue, you are not entered in ArtPrize 10. The $50 registration fee is non-refundable. As with most juried art exhibitions and open call shows, not all artists who submit will be included in the final exhibition. Unlike most juried shows, however, ArtPrize will waive the 2020 registration for artists that do not connect with a venue for the 2018 event.

I need to sign a Hosting Agreement with my venue. What is that and how do I get one?
The Hosting Agreement is a contract that must be signed between each artist and their venue before the connection can be finalized. It covers installation details, insurance, shipping, and other important details. Generally, the venue coordinator you connect with will create the hosting agreement from a template provided by ArtPrize to venues. Both parties will review and then sign the agreement.

Do I need to insure my entry?
ArtPrize does not require Artists to obtain insurance for their artwork, but it is strongly encouraged. 

When can I begin installing my work?
It depends on your venue. All delivery, installation and de-installation details should be made directly with your venue coordinator.

Does ArtPrize provide me with labels?
Yes. Your venue coordinator will receive official ArtPrize labels that must be displayed with each entry. They include voting information, as well as title, medium, category, artist name, and artist city, state, and country. ArtPrize does not print artist statements, but we do provide digital templates if you would like to create your own. *Artist Statement Template available Summer 2018. 

Where should I stay during ArtPrize?
Coming to Grand Rapids to participate in ArtPrize can be expensive. Luckily, there are wonderful volunteers who are ready to help reduce the cost of your stay. Each year, ArtPrize helps connect out-of-town artists with volunteers offering free temporary housing. AirBnb is a great option as well.

Do I need to be present with my entry during the event?
No, but we encourage you to attend. Our visitors really enjoy hearing directly from the artists about their work, and it is a great chance to meet other participating artists.

How do I find out my voting code?
Once you secure a venue through the website, your voting code will be visible on your entry profile. To view your voting code, look below your Entry Title. Look for your five-digit vote code next to the red Thumbs Up icon.

How does voting work?
Anyone can vote in ArtPrize, the only requirements are that you have to be present at the event and you need to be at least 13 years old. Using mobile devices and the Internet, the general public chooses five Public Vote winners in two rounds of voting.

Visitors in the ArtPrize District  during the event can register to vote by downloading the ArtPrize app, or in person at a voting site.

During Round 1 voting, you can choose the twenty public vote finalists.  In Round 2, you vote again to choose the winners from among the Final 20. The entry with the most votes wins the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize. The entries with the most votes in their categories each win $12,500 category awards.

You can learn more about voting here

How should I prepare for ArtPrize?
Once your entry is complete, you should make plans for how to deliver or ship the work to your venue in time for the event. Let your venue know if you have any specific requirements for display in your hosting agreement, and if changes need to be made, make sure that you discuss them with your Venue Coordinator.  

ArtPrize encourages artists to take a more sustainable approach to the event, therefore please avoid bringing printed materials to pass out.  

If you need help finding a place to stay when you get here, make sure you look into our temporary housing program. ArtPrize helps connect out-of-town artists with volunteers offering free temporary housing. You can find more information here

Don’t forget to download the ArtPrize App, which will keep you informed about daily events.  

Where do I get my artist badge?
You’ll receive an email from the Exhibitions Team closer to the event with Badging Center location and hours. It is important that you pick up your badge so that you can gain access into certain ArtPrize events and spaces.  

What are opportunities I should be aware of during the event?
ArtPrize offers artists a variety of opportunities for Artists during the event that include professional development workshops, access to ArtPrize hospitality spaces and special events. Stay tuned to your communication from the Exhibition’s Team leading up to the event to make sure you don’t miss out.

Does ArtPrize release vote totals?
No. Vote totals are not released to the public or to artists. Voting is how we measure the public's response to ArtPrize, but we're careful to not let it turn into a horse race. Voting drives engagement, but it's only one small way people encounter your work. You'll see a similar approach with other arts awards, such as the Oscars or the Tonys, which also do not reveal vote totals.  

Can I use the ArtPrize Logo?
No. When promoting your ArtPrize entry, you are not permitted to use the ArtPrize logo.  Instead, we provide an Artist Icon that Artists can use on promotional materials.

Where does the prize money come from?
ArtPrize is a 501c3 nonprofit. We fundraise year round to cover our entire operating budget, including the $250,000 awarded in prizes and the funds distributed in grants to artists, curators and educators. The largest type of contribution is corporate giving, followed by foundations, individuals and government grants.