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ArtPrize Explains Reasons for Changes to Competition

Matt Milhouse

Last week, ArtPrize announced changes for 2014.

Changes include equal prize money for public vote and juried awards, plus some changes to voting.

Take a further look at why ArtPrize made those changes.

It’s no surprise when ArtPrize makes changes. Change is expected as the competition continues to move forward and isn’t afraid to take risks.

ArtPrize’s decision to even the prize money for the public and juried awards seems like a logical step as the competition and discussion around ArtPrize continue to evolve.

The public engagement of ArtPrize is so strong, in part, because of the public’s ability to choose a winner.

With this change, ArtPrize is making it clear that the public’s opinion of art is no less important than the jury’s. At the same time, the jury’s opinion is no less important than the public’s.

Will future public awards at ArtPrize begin to reflect the awards given out by the jury?

As far as ArtPrize is concerned, it doesn’t matter.

ArtPrize Exhibitions Director Kevin Buist writes:

The tension created when the general public is invited to select a prize winner, rather than art insiders, is a positive thing. The conflict between these two approaches to assessing art is unresolvable. It’s not our goal that the general public will change to perfectly mimic the jurors. We’re also not holding our breath that the jurors or other art experts will alter their taste to match what becomes popular with the public. This intellectual and aesthetic conflict is the strength of ArtPrize.

The debate between the importance of the public’s opinion vs the importance of the jury’s opinion is not going to go away.

Equal award money is ArtPrize’s way of stepping to the side and allowing the debate to continue with all parties on equal footing.

Read more about why ArtPrize changed the rules.

Follow Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen to 100.5 The River weekdays, 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.

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