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ArtPrize underway in Grand Rapids

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:11 PM

There are more than 1,500 entries from 45 states and 47 countries at 169 venues in the city, organizers said. Works went up ahead of Wednesday's official opening of the event, which runs through Oct. 6.

"It is minting the next generation of art lover," ArtPrize Executive Director Christian Gaines said. "It is really encouraging a conversation around art that is really unprecedented."

In Grand Haven, the smaller, symbiotic ArtWalk also kicked off Wednesday. Details on the local event's kickoff will be published in Thursday's Tribune.

This year, efforts are taking place to make Grand Rapids even more of an attractive place for artists to show their work.

An ArtPrize smartphone app and website allows people to communicate more directly with artists and arrange potential purchases, Gaines said. Also this year, sessions are being organized to bring together artists with other arts professionals, including people in West Michigan's arts and design community.

"The idea is to develop one's career," Gaines said. "Think of one's career as an artist in the long run, and expand one's network in the arts professional community."

Artists compete for a combination of public votes and juried prizes to secure part of a prize pool of $560,000.

The public participates in two rounds of voting to distribute $360,000 of the prize money. First place receives $200,000, second $75,000, third $50,000, and fourth through 10th get $5,000 each.

In addition, professional jurors will distribute $200,000 in prize money to artists at their discretion.

For details, visit artprize.org.

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