Excitement builds as community welcomes back ArtPrize


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — ArtPrize is a safe haven for artists, a hub for creatives and a canvass for self-expression.

“I think it creates an experience,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “I do see it as a bridge-builder and as a connector.”

Artists will resume their annual tradition of debuting their work in Grand Rapids. This year marks 11 years.

“The energy that people feel is coming back,” said Dana Friis-Hansen, director and CEO of Grand Rapids Art Museum.

That return is a milestone for Friis-Hansen. He said ArtPrize’s return is a bright light in the midst of the shadows COVID-19 casts.

“COVID has taken a toll on individuals, on the community’s spirit, on the artists and on the museum,” said Friis-Hansen.

Excitement is also building at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

“We’re excited to have the ArtPrize experience come back,” said Laurene Grunwald, director of sculpture at Frederick Meijer Gardens.

Workers said they’re eager for ArtPrize to attract viewers who normally don’t frequent places that foster a love for artwork.

“ArtPrize has always engaged and excited people who have been maybe unsure of art or intimidated by art, and this is a really easy entry point,” said Grunwald.

Although the competition will noticeably look different this year, city leaders are thrilled to see every installation, both near and far, represent the community it serves.

“My hope is that ArtPrize continues to be a space that brings people together,” said Bliss.

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