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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

ArtPrize Awards $165,000 in Grants to Artists Ahead of 10th Event

Aug 22, 2018 12:13PM ● By WLMagazine
GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) AUGUST 21, 2018
ArtPrize, the independently organized international art competition recognized as one of the world’s largest public art events, today announced $165,000 in total grants to 63 artists around the world. This funding will assist the winning artists in realizing their ambitious projects, and competing for a combination of public vote and juried awards totaling $500,000, at ArtPrize 10 this fall. The event is slated to return to Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 19-October 7, 2018.

“Installing temporary public artworks on a massive scale, able to withstand the elements for 19 days, is no small feat,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Artistic Director. “It takes courage to embrace the spirit of ArtPrize wholeheartedly and take risks in front of one of the largest contemporary art audiences in the world. This series of granting programs ensure artists have the financial support they need to realize their vision.”

Returning for a third year is the ArtPrize Featured Public Projects program, awarding grants to five artists and collaboratives from around the country to install large-scale public art projects at prominent outdoor spaces within the ArtPrize district—Calder Plaza, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Gillett Bridge and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Funding support for the Featured Public Projects program comes from Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the Efroymson Family Fund and the Frey Foundation.

Back for a second year is ArtPrize Murals, which awarded three artists a $1,000 honorarium and a $500 stipend for materials to create a work of art during the 10th annual event. These artists will apply their murals to shipping containers, creating temporary venues at sites throughout downtown Grand Rapids.

ArtPrize issued an open call in February, accepting project ideas from artists around the world. Submissions were vetted by the ArtPrize Exhibitions team then reviewed by the ArtPrize Arts Advisory Council who ultimately selected one project for each space—awarding a total of $90,000 in grants to nine artists and collaboratives.

Parks & River 
Cracking Art  • Milan, Italy The World Beneath the City Six giant red crocodiles will emerge from the Grand River at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, appearing to crawl across the grass. ArtPrize visitors will invited to climb onto the crocodiles via metal platforms over the legs.

Ryan Swanson • Tampa, FL Oscillation Larger-than-life, colorful crystals placed across the Gillett Bridge will use sight, sound and touch to bring people together—transforming the walkway into a community gathering point. The crystals will reflect the surrounding water and nature, creating beautiful photographic moments.

SLO Architecture • Long Island City, NY Harvest Dome 3.0 A 24-foot diameter buoyant orb, constructed with brightly colored defective and discarded seatbelts, will float in the Grand River near Gillett Bridge on 128 two-liter soda bottles. The dome will emerge from the water as an accumulation of the city’s manufacturing legacy and a by-product of it.

Strohacker/Sollars • Tempe, AZ Animal Land: ArtPrize 10 Indoor and outdoor video projections at the Grand Rapids Art Museum will reimagine traditional wildlife in a contemporary format—through technology in an urban space with human inhabitants. The projections will generate synthetic animals, native to the geographical location, that are completely decontextualized.

Gustavo Prado • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Stream This installation inverts the traditional challenge artists face at Calder Plaza. Instead of creating a work that competes on presence with La Grande Vitesse, Prado’s work reflects and amplifies the landscape it occupies. The series of convex mirrors will be installed in a stream formation, reflecting not only Calder’s sculpture, but also referencing Grand Rapids’ namesake river.

Shipping Container Murals
Shaina Kasztelan • Detroit, MI We are the Music Makers/We are the Dreamers of Dreams Kasztelan will create over-the-top vibrant psychedelic experience at Gillett Bridge, drawing inspiration from techno music and candy raver fashion. Color, texture and pattern will blend together as a means of self-expression.

Brian Lacey • Detroit, MI To Advance God's Kingdom(Rose Colored Glasses) Lacey will employ geometric elements paired with a methodically mapped out composition and regionally relevant patterns and iconography to represent human beings’ relationship with their environment. The mural at Calder Plaza will reference the long-standing history of design in West Michigan.

Patrick Hershberger • Kalamazoo, MI Roma Hall On the Blue Bridge, Hershberger will depict the former Club Indigo, a Grand Rapids establishment to once feature great musicians of the Jazz and Blues era—creating scenes of both the building’s interior and exterior featuring his whimsical animal characters. This mural is presented by X-Rite Pantone.

For the fifth consecutive year, registered ArtPrize artists sought to be awarded one of 25 Artist Seed Grants presented by the Frey Foundation, valued at $2,000 each. Members of the ArtPrize Art Advisory Council reviewed the applications, seeking ambitious entries from artists who demonstrated both financial need and artistic merit.

The panel awarded Artist Seed Grants to the following 25 artists:

These grants join $25,000 in ArtPrize Pitch Night grants, awarded to artists in five cities across the U.S. this spring, and include the $15,000 SXSW ArtPrize Artist Challenge grant—all part of a growing ArtPrize granting program, awarding over $300,000 in 2018 to artists, venues and educators, bringing surprising, challenging work to the tenth annual event and encouraging the possibility of exploration and discovery. All grant-winning artists will be in the running for the $500,000 in public vote and juried prizes to be awarded at ArtPrize 10.

These grantees—hailing from 41 U.S. states and 40 countries—join the over 1,270 artist entries that will be on display across the city for ArtPrize 10. More than 165 venues across the three-square mile event district selected entries from among 2,043 possible artworks, more than the number of registered artworks in both 2017 and 2016. A lower connected entries count suggests venues curated more focused exhibitions for ArtPrize 10.

ArtPrize will return to Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 19 to October 7, 2018. Find a full list of artist entries at

ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize. Two $200,000 awards are decided by public vote and expert jury, and an additional $100,000 in prizes is awarded to the top entries in each category. Registered artists and venues connect online at and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19-day event. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute their awards, while a group of international art experts determines the winners of the juried awards. ArtPrize Nine included 1,346 entries representing 47 countries and 41 U.S. states and territories. ArtPrize annually attracts more than 500,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 3.2 million votes for public art.

ArtPrize is made possible in part through the generous support of many organizations. The Corporate Leadership sponsors include Amway, DTE Energy Foundation, Founders Brewing Company, Meijer, Mobile GR and Parking Services — City of Grand Rapids, PNC Bank, Switch, West Michigan Honda Dealers, and X-Rite Pantone. Premier sponsors include Consumers Energy; Haworth; Herman Miller Cares; ITC, Your Energy Superhighway; LIFEWTR; and Wolverine Worldwide.

Leading Foundation Supporters include the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, CDV5 Foundation, the Efroymson Family Fund, the Frey Foundation, Knight Foundation, Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

CWD Real Estate Investment is the Official Real Estate Provider. Honda is the Official Vehicle of ArtPrize. MLive Media Group is the Official Provider of the ArtPrize Event Guide. The Rapid is the Public Transportation Partner. WOOD TV8 is the Official Broadcast Media Partner of ArtPrize. The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation is the Founding Supporter of ArtPrize.