GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Every year, the city of Grand Rapids becomes one giant canvas for ArtPrize. While that won’t change in 2019, the focus of the art will, with PROJECT .
“Instead of being the referees in the competition years for ArtPrize, we wanted to think about being collaborators,” said ArtPrize Executive Director Jori Bennett. “So in project years, we’re going to work alongside artists in more of a collaborative way, create financial resources for them, community connections, and allow them to do large-scale outdoor works across the city.”
Visitors won’t vote on any entries or feel the frenzy of trying to make it to more than 1,000 entries, but organizers hope they will still keep coming back for more.
“In project years, we want to encourage people to slow down, to spend more time with the work and go deeper with these fewer artists that we’re going to be engaging,” explained Bennett.
The shift to PROJECT  also means changes at venues. While the Grand Rapids Art Museum won’t be hosting ArtPrize entries like award-winning “Intersections,” director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen hopes to still be involved.
“We’ll be thinking about once we hear what the theme is, what form it takes, whether we work with that artist or have some talks, (or) lectures. We have this wonderful auditorium,” said Friis-Hansen.
That’s exactly what ArtPrize organizers hope to see: local venues creating content that elevates whatever theme they choose for PROJECT , as well as the artists behind it.
“We’re looking at doing that big, exciting, spectacular installation work which we know our visitors love. And we’ve seen some of that come to ArtPrize in years past,” said Bennett. “We really want to double down on that work and have it pop up in places around the city where maybe people aren’t expecting it.”