GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — ArtPrize 10 has officially arrived.
A steam-powered train whistle sounded at noon Wednesday to usher in the competition, which is featuring more than 1,200 entries at 168 venues scattered across the Grand Rapids area.
They’re all vying for $500,000 in prizes awarded by a jury of art experts and through public vote.
>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of ArtPrize
As of 2:35 p.m. Wednesday, more than 2,000 votes had already been cast in ArtPrize 10.
“So far so good,” ArtPrize Executive Director Jori Bennett said 15 minutes into the competition. “I just saw a couple people cast their vote so yeah, its exciting. We want to encourage people to start casting those votes. The app is up and running.”
New this year: the Visitor Pavilion downtown at Rosa Parks Circle.
“We’re super excited about (it). There’s going to be events happening there every single night during ArtPrize, daytime activities, people can come with their families, do art making at our STEAM village. So lots going on in the visitors pavilion, and there we can direct people on their art adventure,” Bennett explained.
At an opening ceremony at Rosa Parks Circle downtown Wednesday evening, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss urged people to explore the art and their city.
“This ArtPrize is a special time to celebrate how our community has changed over the last decade. It is also an exciting time to imagine the entire next decade and how the arts continue to play a vital role in our community,” she said.
ArtPrize 10 marks the end of an era for the event; after this year, organizers plan to hold ArtPrize every other year, with a community public art project slated on off-years. The first art project, dubbed “Project 1,” will take place in 2019.
>>App users: Photos from the opening ceremony