ArtPrize in Grand Rapids

September & October, Canceled for 2020 due to Covid-19


Downtown Grand Rapids plays host to perhaps the world's largest art competition--ArtPrize. It takes place from mid-September to mid-October with many local artists submitting pieces.

For 2018, there were 1,250 entries by artists at 160 venues across Grand Rapids, vying for $500,000 in cash prizes. The 2018 winners were Le'Andra LeSeur's 'brown, carmine and blue" which won the $200,000 juried grand prize. Photographs by Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez won the $200,000 public vote grand prize for "THE STRING PROJECT."

Art Prize will now be held every other year, rather than annually, with the next one in 2020.

Local artists that participated in 2018 ArtPrize:

  • Shelby Soberalski, Ludington, Frog Portrait, Manic Muse Hair Salon.
  • Rachel Gaudette, Fountain, "Lost in the Woods," The B.O.B.
  • Trinja Henrickson,"It's a Grand Old Party," The B.O.B.
  • Todd & Brad Reed, Ludington, two photographs depicting a sunset and waves battering the North Breakwater Light, The B.O.B.
  • Ryan Spencer, "Oil+Water," in the Grand River off the Pearl Street Bridge. (winner in the installation category)
  • Sarah Verschueren, "Matriarch," Bangkok Taste Cuisine Cafe.
  • Pentwater Public Schools, collaborative piece, Grand Rapids Police Department.
  • Laurel Prafke, paintings from life at Stearns Park Beach, Moosejaw Mountaineering
Ryan Spencer Reed-Ludington

What is ArtPrize?

Simply put, it's a city-wide art competition within a 3-square mile district in downtown Grand Rapids. It is open to any artist age 18 and up. During the first 11 days, visitors can view the entries and take note of the ones they would like to vote for. Then you can cast one vote from the Top 10 entries. There will be two grand prizes worth $400,000...and eight category awards worth $160,000. Admission is free.
Jilly Barnes-Pentwater


This was not to be a run-of-the-mill art competition. Some very creative minds back in 2009 invented ArtPrize...where any artist in the world could compete with no limitations. The venue would not be contained to one place--if a property owner in Grand Rapids wanted their storefront to become a "canvas," it became one. And the public would vote to decide who would win the cash prizes.

So on September 23, 2009, 1,262 artists from 14 countries and 41 states entered their pieces for ArtPrize, and Grand Rapids wasn't quite prepared for the 200,000 people that arrived for the two-week event. Over the past three years, ArtPrize has featured over 4,500 artists, given away $1,428,000.00 in prizes and brought almost one million visitors to Grand Rapids.

Visit for more information and to vote. You can vote online, by text message or by the ArtPrize mobile app.

More Arts in West Michigan...

For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

West Michigan Map
Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.
Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.

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Last Updated: 05-21-2022 07:15 PM ID: 1210