Posted by: Kath Usitalo | September 19, 2012


ArtPrize artist Lynne Tan in her studio at the Box Factory in St. joseph

Did you see the post the other day about some Pure Michigan record-breakers, from a tall dog to an extensive alpenhorn band?

Here’s another chart topper: the world’s largest art competition takes place in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

ArtPrize, the unconventional, self-proclaimed “radical” art event that is “an international social arts experiment” has shaken up the art world, and it’s only in its fourth year.

It has the audacity to be largely a “peoples” art competition, with record-breaking cash prizes awarded to the artworks selected as winners by (gasp!) the people who view the art.

What a concept.

GRAM visitors admire the 2010 winner, Cavalry, American Officers, 1921

ArtPrize 2012, which runs from September 19 through October 7, has accepted 1,517 entries that will be exhibited at 161 locations within a three-square-mile area of Grand Rapids. 1,517 entries? The mind boggles…

Viewers vote on their favorite art works and at the end of it all the votes are narrowed to the winners of big bucks. First prize is $200,000. Two Hundred Thousand Dollars. And here’s more.

If the details of the prize money and all of those other nitty gritty details matter to you, check out the ArtPrize website.

If the logistics of voting and parking and getting around the ArtPrize sites matter to you, check out the ArtPrize website.

If you’d like to learn more about the artists that are participating, check out the ArtPrize website.

And after all that, check out (and vote for!) these two acquaintances whose work will be a part of ArtPrize 2012:

Kent Lund, an associate of TJ’s from the good old Detroit automotive advertising days, is a man of many talents, including hand-carving canoe paddles. Examples of his work are in ArtPrize and on display at the Women’s City Club. He also had an entry in last year’s ArtPrize. The website for his Grand Rapids Paddle Co declares it “the smallest paddle maker in the world.”

Works by Lynne Tan

Lynne Tan works mainly in clay; I met her this summer at her studio in the Box Factory for the Arts in the Lake Michigan city of St. Joseph. I love Lynne’s very soft-looking ceramic pieces that seem to have movement within.

Her ArtPrize entry is a series of 88 of her stoneware bowls filled with white rice, black rice, or a combination of different measures of each to create “Offering in Celebration of Mostly Grey.” Lynne’s work will be shown at the Riverfront Plaza Building High Five.

Visitor Info Clicks:

Grand Rapids

Pure Michigan

A mural in progress for ArtPrize 2010



  1. How did four years go by and I’ve never heard of this wonderful event, so close by?? Thank you for the enlightenment; I will certainly be participating next year!

  2. Absolutely. I think the call for artists happens around April. Check it out.

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