ArtPrize Gets Ready for its Next Decade: Introduces Project 1, Shifts to Biennial Schedule

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 21, 2018—Today ArtPrize revealed plans for a new citywide public art project, slated to take place in alternate years, beginning in 2019 titled “Project 1 by ArtPrize.” Concurrently, the organization announced that the ArtPrize event will be shifting to a biennial schedule following its tenth year this fall, returning for its 11th edition in 2020.

“Since its inception in 2009, ArtPrize has been an evolving experiment. Our job is to continue to push the bounds of how we engage the public in conversation about art and why it matters,” said Jori Bennett, ArtPrize Executive Director. “With the incredible support of the community, we are now in an exciting position to again be the accelerant for conversation about art and creative expression.”

“For the last decade, ArtPrize has infused the City of Grand Rapids with unparalleled energy, staging world-class exhibitions that have engaged over 3 million visitors from near and far with contemporary art,” said Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids. “This next evolution of the event will generate new ways for us all to be inspired and challenged, to come together as a community and deepen our connection.”

In 2019 and in subsequent years, a single artist or small group of artists will present a dynamic citywide public art project. Project 1 will take place in September-October 2019 at sites in downtown Grand Rapids, and will include education and cultural programming that is free and open to the public. The entire cost and accompanying programming will be funded by ArtPrize with the support of its donors and sponsors.

“As a counterpoint to the vast array of artworks vying for attention during ArtPrize competitions, Project 1 will invite visitors to slow down and engage with large scale immersive work,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Artistic Director. “The artist or artists will present a temporary, focused activation that will respond to the city’s history, community and sense of place.”

As ArtPrize shifts to a biennial schedule, the series of Projects will be presented in the fall of each alternating year:

  • 2019: Project 1
  • 2020: ArtPrize 11
  • 2021: Project 2
  • 2022: ArtPrize 12
  • 2023: Project 3

“We’re thrilled by the new creative and community opportunities that Project 1 presents, and the platform it offers to develop collaborative programming inspired by a citywide art project,” said Dana Friis-Hansen, Director and CEO at Grand Rapids Art Museum. “ArtPrize’s move to a biennial schedule will breathe new energy into the event, allowing venues space to continue to create exciting exhibitions on a grand scale.”

“Grand Rapids Public Schools’ partnership with ArtPrize has engaged thousands of students in contemporary art experiences, and we’re looking ahead to 2019 and Project 1 with anticipation,” said Teresa Weatherall Neal, Superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools. “This change will deepen our work together as we seek to inspire our community’s next leaders, a new generation of artists and art lovers.”

ArtPrize announced these changes at Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park atop Grand Rapids Project X (1974), an asphalt earthwork by the American sculptor Robert Morris. ArtPrize staff and board members were joined by Founder and Board Chairman Rick DeVos, as well as Grand Rapids community leaders and cultural partners. The piece, a several acre “X” inscribed in a hillside, marks an important milestone in the history of public art in Grand Rapids and nationwide.

Additional details about “Project 1 by ArtPrize,” including selected artists will be announced in early 2019.

Now in its 10th year, ArtPrize distributes $500,000 in cash prizes by public vote and expert jury, making the event the world’s largest art competition. More than 500,000 spectators take an active role as judge and critic to decide the public vote, a format that will continue in 2018 and beyond with the biennial ArtPrize schedule. ArtPrize is slated to return to Grand Rapids, Michigan for its tenth iteration this fall, from September 19-October 7, 2018.

Artist registration closed earlier this month, and over 2,100 artists or artist teams seek to show their work at more than 190 venues across the city. Returning to the event will be several past ArtPrize winners, including Ran Ortner—who took home the $250,000 Public Vote Grand Prize at the inaugural ArtPrize in 2009—serving as Grand Prize Juror. ArtPrize participants are invited to help the organization celebrate the first decade by sharing their favorite ArtPrize memories to be included in ArtPrize Stories. Find more information and submit stories at