Downtown GR businesses prepare for start of ArtPrize

ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Across the city of Grand Rapids, it’s all eyes on ArtPrize.

Installations are popping up outside downtown’s biggest attractions and inside small businesses.

Oh, Hello Co. Paper & Gifts is going big for its first-ever ArtPrize, hosting five artists at its shop on Monroe Center.

“I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m very optimistic that it’s going to be fabulous,” operations manager Della Becker-Cornell said.

Kalamazoo artist Aerick Burton installed his piece inside the store Sunday.

“Being papers and gifts, we really wanted to focus on artists that made their products out of paper,” Becker-Cornell said.

The retail spot is bracing for big crowds and new visitors during this year’s event, something they have seen very little of since opening at the onset of the pandemic.

While their business has relief on mostly online sales, they are excited to attract new faces and foot traffic into the store.

“ArtPrize is just so exciting for many reasons — more foot traffic downtown, just to be seen by new people,” Becker-Cornell said.

Across the street, House of Wine is also preparing for its first-evet ArtPrize after opening in late 2018.

Owner Jim Lynch told News 8 the restaurant’s future is depending on events like ArtPrize after being hard hit by the pandemic.

“It’s survival,” Lynch said. “I’m not sure we could continue the way it’s been going… we’re missing all the events in the city… so we need a push.”

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