History of ArtPrize and Technology By Andrew Deprez

The very first ArtPrize was held back in 2009 in Grand Rapids. “On a brisk, clear morning in April 2009, Rick DeVos announced a bold new “social experiment.” He was going to give away the world’s largest art prize based solely on a public vote. DeVos said the event would take over downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, that fall. As it turned out, that was just the beginning.”(The ArtPrize Story,2016)Art Prize is the world largest art contest that occurs in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The competition last for almost three weeks all over down Grand Rapids. If you were to walk around the city of Grand Rapids, you would see art hanging up everywhere you go. With so many different artist putting up their own unique piece of art, it can be difficult to find every piece that is in the city. On the ArtPrizre website (www.artprize.org) there is a link that you can click on that brings up a interactive map that shows you where artist have put their entries for the judges and the public to view and vote on them. A big part of going to ArtPrize is that you can have a say in which artist will have the winning piece. Now there are multiple ways that you can cast your vote on your favorite piece of art. “Anyone over the age of 16 can register to vote. Cast your votes via mobile app, text message (SMS), and at artprize.org.” (ArtPrize,2016) The mobile app is a free and quick that you can download onto your phone. With the Mobile App there is so much that it offers. Like the website there is a interactive map that shows the locations or the artists work. There is even list of rules on the app if are interested in think about joining for the next ArtPrize. You can download the mobile app on iTunes. “with 1.1MM website visits, 7.3MM page views and over 25,000 mobile downloads–its deployment is central to the ArtPrize process and augmented through the social networks of all participants, facilitating an epic conversation around contemporary art.” (SXSW Interactive, 2014) There is no doubt that when ArtPrize starts, thousands of people from all over the United States come and visit Grand Rapids.

With me being a student here at Grand Valley and having classes downtown, I definitely notice what an impact art prize has on the city and it can bring people to the city. Technology is always changing around the world today, and it is changing here at ArtPrize as well. You don’t have to go to Grand Rapids and attend ArtPrize to even have a say in the voting. With having the mobile app and looking on the website, you can see ever entry that artist put in. Yes, it would be a better experience to attend the festival first hand, but if you can’t make it, you can still see all the art that is around Grand Rapids. Every year the creators of the mobile app try and update their app to make sure that it will always be better than last years app. “One of my favorite additions to the apps this year was the ability to create, share, and route Lists in the mobile apps.” (Hunsberger, 2014)  If you have never even heard of art prize before, you may have probably seen pictures online that someone posted that was from ArtPrize. In the World of social media that we live in today, it is so easy to share something with all of your followers. By posting a picture that you took from ArtPrize, it will inform everyone that follows you about ArtPrize and it may just draw their attention in and make them want to go and look at all of the art themselves. ArtPrize even has its’ own twitter page that you can go and follow.  When Art Prize come to Grand Rapids, it helps out the cities economy tremendously. “We estimate ArtPrize 2010 added between approximately $3.8 million to $8.1 million to the Grand Rapids area economy.” (O’Brien, Rizzo, 2011) This pass ArtPrize (2016) was the second festival that I got to witness. Both years it amazed me what people can create and what messages are hidden in their work. If you live in Michigan or nearby states, I would highly recommend visiting ArtPrize for a weekend, it is worth the drive out here.

Below are just some photos that I went out and took pictures of, Enjoy!




What is ArtPrize? (n.d) Retrieved October 13, 2016 From: http://www.experiencegr.com/events/artprize/


Hunsberger J. (October 15, 2014) ArtPrize Technology. Retrieved From: https://www.artprize.org/blog/artprize-technology


Woods J. (September 4th, 2014) ArtPrize Launches 2014 Technology Suite. Retrieved From: https://www.artprize.org/blog/2014-technology-suite


O’Brien J., & Rizzo M. (2011) The Economic Impact of ArtPrize 2010. 17(1)


SXSW Interactive 2014 (2014) Art & Technology Can Form a New Digital Citizenry  Retrived From: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/19605


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s