Why I LOVE Art Prize

Art prize was my favorite event that I attended while living in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is an event that I feel everyone should check out at least once. It’s the world’s largest art competition, and it completely takes over the city.

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You see art entries inside and outside of buildings, along with parking lots and lawns at almost every angle downtown.

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The winner of Art prize is decided by the public by popular vote.  This method has it’s critics because art is subjective.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

This year’s Art Prize will have 1517 entries at 161 venues.  Location is very key for the winning entries.  It’s unfortunate that some entries will not be seen by as many people because their pieces are in venues that are less visible. Regardless of the rules and the set up, this event still gets people out looking, appreciating all types of art, and pulls together and boosts the local economy.


This piece was one of my favorites last year but it was in a location that had less traffic.

I think that the hardest part about Art Prize is deciding your favorite.  It’s like asking which of your kids do you love the most.  You love them because of their uniqueness.


The art you see is the same way.


This is just an extremely minuscule  taste of what was on display last year.

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The scuba guy over the dumpster was made from recycling materials such as a toddler car seat.

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This mosaic was the winner last year.

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The detail of this piece was incredible.

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This entry was made from different types of wood.

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The swimmer was so lifelike that she even had realistic looking drops of water on her back.

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The artists use all types of mediums for their entries.

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Each entry has a story to tell.

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There is so much detail to be seen.


This piece was individual sequins on pushpins.


Read the literal stories on the lines of his face.

Our family even had an entry in Art Prize last year.


A photographer was asking people to submit pictures from specific landmarks downtown.

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The photographer then took those images and layered them together to make one image.

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It’s hard to see because of how high the picture was displayed but our family’s picture is morphed into that bridge picture.   It was still cool to say we were part of an entry submitted.

I also got to volunteer in a gallery twice.  I just wanted to be involved in a small part of something so amazing.


It was so fun to meet and talk to several of the artists and people from around the world that experience this event.

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I have to show you a few of my favs from the year before because they are so cool.


All pennies both sides!


All rubiks cubes turned different directions.


Art Prize also can bring awareness. Two years ago visitors learned how getting involved with the 20 liters project could make a big difference by providing safe drinking water.


This year “The Manasseh Project” will be a huge presence at Art Prize to bring awareness of the human trafficking that is not just in foreign nations, but happening in our very own cities.

I LOVE Art Prize because seeing amazing art and wandering around the city make me feel more ALIVE!!

I get inspired, I dream, I appreciate beauty and wonder.

Don’t miss out!  This is the coolest overtaking of art in a city that I’ve ever seen.  This event is also FREE!!! Bring your friends and family or wander around solo.  Whatever way you do it, just don’t miss out!!!!!!

Art Prize is September 19th – October 7th, 2012. To learn more about Art prize check out their website. also has a free printable Kids Art Prize Tour.

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