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What Changes Should Be Made To ArtPrize In 2014? – ArtPrize Spotlight 2013

Matt Milhouse

2013 brought another great year of ArtPrize!

A record number of votes, hundreds of artists, and thousands of visitors.

ArtPrize is doing very well, but is there room for improvement?

What changes should be made to ArtPrize in 2014?

ArtPrize organizers have always been quick to react and adjust the competition to improve it.  ArtPrize has never been better, but there is still room to expand and improve.

How can ArtPrize get better in 2014?

The addition of the juried awards has probably been the biggest single change since the first year of ArtPrize. The juried awards and the juried short list enable more people to find more good art.

Is it time to place a greater emphasis on the juried awards?


The ArtPrize public vote is wildly popular.  The juried awards and short lists are also popular, but have more room for growth.  Making the prize money equal for the public vote winner and the juried grand prize winner could help to improve the overall quality of art at ArtPrize.

More importantly, it would send a message to art professionals and ArtPrize fans that the juried awards and the opinions of art professionals are important to ArtPrize.

ArtPrize is unique because of the voice it gives to the public, but sharing that voice with the jury makes ArtPrize stronger.


ArtPrize 2013 featured a new event, “Pitch Night”, at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The winner of ‘Pitch Night’ received $5,000 and a prime location at ArtPrize, the Gillett Bridge.

This year’s winner, Alexander Hanson and Daniel Feinberg’s “Temporary’s Pursuit of Permanence”, made the juried short list in the Urban Space category.

Pitch Night is a great move for ArtPrize.  It gives out-of-town artists an easy and affordable way to participate in ArtPrize while helping to improve the quality of art at ArtPrize.

The expansion of Pitch Night to multiple cities across the United States and around the world could do wonders for ArtPrize.


Every year venue owners are faced with the choice of whether to participate in ArtPrize or not.  Art brings huge crowds during the event and it also brings a lot of work in preparation. Curating art for ArtPrize takes time and skill.

Sharing the responsibility of curating a venue with an art professional could lower the work load for venue owners while also raising the quality of art shown.


You can’t fully enjoy ArtPrize without walking and you can’t walk without some good shoes. A good pair of shoes will allow you to explore venues all around Grand Rapids.

There were 169 venues at ArtPrize 2013.  It would be great to see more of those venues involved in the public vote.


There will always be room to improve, but let’s not forget what an amazing event ArtPrize is.

Hats off to the entire ArtPrize crew and their huge team of volunteers!  Looking forward to next year!

Follow ArtPrize Superfan Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen to 100.5 The River weekdays, 10am – 3pm.

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