It’s official: ArtPrize Nine is underway


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The countdown is over and ArtPrize Nine is officially here.

The opening ceremony for the world’s largest art competition was held at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids Wednesday evening, featuring the Grand Valley State University marching band and Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.

“This really put us on the map,” Bliss said of ArtPrize. “There’s so much energy. You can feel it all around. People are excited.”

Voting started at noon. Fewer than six hours later, ArtPrize said it had recorded the highest number of votes per hour in the history of the competition. As of 7:10 p.m., more than 10,000 votes had been cast.

To vote, you must sign up for an account through or ArtPrize’s mobile app.

This year, ArtPrize Executive Director Christian Gaines recommended that art seekers get outside and visit venues that may be considered a bit off the beaten path.

“There’s some really fun and interesting outdoor pieces this year. There’s some incredible stuff in the (Grand) River, there’s some incredible stuff in parks and on bridges around town, which is always really fun,” Gaines said, adding that people should check out the Monroe North district as well as the Rumsey Street/Garfield Park area.

>>Inside Full coverage of ArtPrize Nine 

Here is a list of important events for this year’s competition:

  • Sept. 20 – Sept. 30: Round 1 Voting
  • Sept. 25: “Juried Awards Shortlist” on WOOD TV8/ at 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 1: Final 20 announcement on WOOD TV8/ at 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 1 – Oct. 5: Round 2 Voting for Final 20
  • Oct: 2: “Why These Finalists?” on WOOD TV8/ at 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 3: “Why These Finalists?” on WOOD TV8/ at 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 6: “ArtPrize Awards” on WOOD TV8/ at 7:30 p.m.

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