GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As ArtPrize returns to downtown Grand Rapids after a two-year hiatus, the artists installing their entries at DeVos Place are returning, too.
The majority of DeVos Place’s ArtPrize artists previously have had work on display there.
“We have approximately 40 artists registered with our venue and this year we’re calling it the Reunion Exhibition. So out of the 40, 30 have been here at one point before,” DeVos Place assistant general management Eddie Tadlock said.
The reunion posed a bit of challenge because DeVos Place was not sure how many artists it could accommodate with pandemic protocols in effect.
“We had to wait until the last possible minute to register as a venue just because we didn’t know what the capacities were gonna be for our venues,” Tadlock said.
The venue is asking people to wear masks and has spaced out the artwork in an effort to allow for social distancing.
Painter Adam Bock from Grand Rapids was thrilled to return to DeVos Place after competing in all but two events.
“I’m excited that it’s in person and it’s not just purely virtual,” Bock said. “When you’re matched up with a venue, you try and get into one that you hope people are gonna set foot in and obviously DeVos Place is kind of the hotbed, I’d say, of ArtPrize and so a lot of people come through here.”
Detroit artist Dominic Pangborn says ArtPrize has put Grand Rapids on the international art map.
“It’s so unique because you’ve got anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 artists from around the world and there’s not many places you can compete at that level,” Pangborn said.
Still, the artists are wondering how many people will come out as the pandemic drags on to see their work.
“I’m hoping but I honestly don’t feel that we’re going to get the numbers that we had in the past. I think especially in the rise with this delta COVID, people are still afraid to go out into large areas,” Pangborn said.
ArtPrize begins Thursday and runs through Oct. 3.