GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) reports record attendance and Museum Store sales during the world’s largest art competition that just wrapped up.
More than 174,000 people visited the museum during ArtPrize 2013, with is 12,300 more than GRAM's past record of 161,700 in 2011.
"We are so grateful for the support of our sponsors, staff and volunteers, many of whom worked long hours or moved from part- to full-time to help during ArtPrize," said Randy Van Antwerp, GRAM's deputy director of administration and CFO. "We couldn't do it without them. There are so many months of preparation involved, and it's always exciting to see that hard work pay off when the event is underway."
The event was held Sept. 18 to Oct. 6.
Van Antwerp noted the increase in attendance this year may have been due in part to favorable weather, a more streamlined system of entering and exiting the Museum, and the location of ArtPrize works in the galleries, spaced out and placed on all three levels of the Museum, reducing congestion and backups in the galleries.
There were 61 scheduled ArtPrize group tours, with more than 1,700 guests.
Museum Store sales were up 42% in 2013, compared to 2012, which included ArtPrize and general GRAM merchandise.
Also in 2013, GRAM reported the highest number of ArtPrize Juried Award nominations in comparison to previous years. This year, three artists at the museum were nominated for Juried Awards, and the GRAM itself was nominated for the Outstanding Venue Award. Artist Shahzia Sikander, the filmmaker and animator at GRAM behind "The Last Post," also won the Juried Time-Based award this year.
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