GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The husband and wife team behind an ArtPrize winner were back in Grand Rapids during Project 1 to launch a yearlong world tour.

Chelsea Nix and Mariano Cortez produced the fan favorite “The String Project,” which won a $200,000 grand prize last year. The series of photos showing people holding onto a simple string is meant to demonstrate the ties between people across boundaries.

Now, Nix and Cortez will take their collection back to the communities around the world where they took the photos so the subjects can see their impact.

“I think it’s very important to create a space for people to feel the human kindness and human empathy,” Cortez said. “We believe in this message… We have been in over 40 countries and we have experienced this and we have to share it. And people in Grand Rapids felt it and chose this piece, which was amazing for us and gave us more energy. I think if we all come together, we can all do very powerful things and we are very excited to put this out in the world.”

Nix and Cortez are still feeling the love from West Michigan. The Battle Creek Community Foundation is helping them raise money for their tour. 

They will leave Grand Rapids Oct. 1, circle the globe and end up back here for ArtPrize 2020, when they’ll release a coffee table book and documentary.

This year, the massive art competition is being replaced by Project 1, a public art event that runs through Oct. 27.