ArtPrize Nine concludes in Grand Rapids

GVL / Courtesy - foxnews17

GVL / Courtesy – foxnews17

Megan Webster

For two-and-a-half weeks every fall, Grand Rapids plays host to ArtPrize, an annual art competition that hosts art at various venues from creators around the world. Each year, more than $500,000 in prizes is awarded to various artists. ArtPrize Nine, this year’s edition, wrapped up Sunday, Oct. 8.

There is no total yet for how many people physically attended ArtPrize this year, but 384,053 votes were cast among a total of 1,348 entries across different mediums. ArtPrize is broken up into different categories, including two-dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based and installation, which allows artists to submit different types of work, giving a diverse feeling to the competition as a whole. 

Finally, one winner and one runner-up from each category are announced among 38 finalists. A public vote, as well as a juried panel, determines these winners. The jury goes around to the 38 finalists and determines their choice for a winner in each category. 

On top of the individual categories, there are also two grand prize winners. The winner of the public vote, taking home a $200,000 prize, was Richard Schlatter’s “A. Lincoln,” a portrait of the president made entirely out of pennies. Schlatter’s work was displayed in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. 

Seitu Jones won the juried grand prize with the piece, “The Heartside Community Meal,” which placed more than 250 local community members at a 300-foot-long table. He will also take home $200,000 worth in prizes. 

Jaenell Woods, ArtPrize communications manager, explained that ArtPrize is constantly changing, and this year’s edition was no different. The change this year came in the form of different events and new art forms that allowed the event to stay unique and evolving.  

“ArtPrize is an evolving experiment, and so there is quite a lot that is new every year,” Woods said. “Each year, there is a different mix of venues and completely new art across the city. A new program this year was ArtPrize Murals, providing grants to artists to create murals on shipping containers. We created a series of experience guides to offer visitors a new way to approach the event.”

Ali Gilman, a recent GVSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with an emphasis in graphic design, said ArtPrize is a personal inspiration to her own work. She also mentioned that ArtPrize is a perfect place for art lovers, people in public relations, and those in marketing to get together and network. 

“Having artwork literally right down the street from me is such a gift,” Gilman said. “I’m able to be inspired and be surrounded by other people who appreciate art. People from all over the world come to Grand Rapids, and being able to be exposed to a new culture through art is exciting. 

“ArtPrize venues put on great events that are perfect for networking, not just for people in the art world, but great for PR and marketing alike.” 

Despite ArtPrize Nine having just finished, Woods and the rest of the ArtPrize team are eager for next year’s edition as well. 

“We can’t reveal just yet what’s in the works for ArtPrize Ten, but we’re excited to get to work,” Woods said. 

All of ArtPrize Nine’s winners can be found on