ArtPrize 2015 expands, partners with Waterfront Film Festival

Todd Herring addresses crowd for the ArtPrize annual report breakfast. (March 12, 2015)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The 7th annual ArtPrize competition is expanding this year with even more events and thousands of dollars in grants in order to boost entries.

Organizers announced the changes at the annual ArtPrize breakfast Thursday morning. The 19-day event will feature ArtPrize Tonight, a new series to extend the art competition beyond the hours that venues were usually open. It will showcase events in three categories — Critical Discourse, ArtPrize On Screen and ArtPrize On Stage — intended to highlight creative expression through music, performance, video and film.

“ArtPrize On Screen” came about through a partnership between Waterfront Film Festival and ArtPrize to create a film competition which will take place at various venues across downtown Grand Rapids during the art competition. The organizers of Waterfront Film Festival have decided to cancel their annual event in South Haven this year and hope to return in 2016.

==Above, watch an interview with Waterfront Film Festival co-founder Hopwood DePree==

In addition to half a million dollars in awards, ArtPrize will also be awarding $220,000 through a host of support grants.

“As ArtPrize matures as an organization, we continue to seek out ways to broaden the support we give to venues, artists and educators,” commented Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “New and updated ArtPrize grant programs allow us to support as well as reward the innovators that make ArtPrize a success each year.”

Artist Seed Grants, launched in 2014 with the support of the Frey Foundation, will continue awarding 25 artists a $2,000 grant. ArtPrize Pitch Night will also continue for a third year, expanding to include events in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Durham and New York City. Each event will feature work from five artists who will have five minutes to sell their public art concept to a panel of art experts.  The winner will be awarded a $5,000 grant, and a spot on a prominent venue in downtown Grand Rapids.

Grants will also be made to create programming with artists for visiting students known as ArtPrize Education Days.

ArtPrize will also introduce two new grant programs to help support venues which will replace the Exhibition Center and Showcase Venue programs.

Similar to the Artist Seed Grant program, every venue is encouraged to apply for the opportunity to receive grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 each, for a total of $30,000. Venues can complete the online application form starting Thursday as they register to participate in ArtPrize 2015. The deadline for Venue Grant applications is April 6, prior to the April 9 Venue Registration deadline.

Applications also are being sought for a Fellowship for Emerging Curators program. This fellowship presents a unique opportunity for emerging curators to gain valuable experience by working with a curator at an established ArtPrize institutional venue. The application period for Curatorial Fellows opens Thursday and will continue through April 6.

“Curators play an essential role in ArtPrize, placing each artwork within a context that has the power to amplify, extend and deepen the artist’s original intent,” noted Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Exhibitions Director. “The ArtPrize Fellowship for Emerging Curators and the Venue Grants are both intended to highlight and support this essential work.”

The hallmark feature of the ArtPrize event – the prizes – will continue to feature two grand prizes of $200,000 each, one decided by public vote, the other decided by a panel of three jurors. There will also continue to be eight artist awards based on category — half decided by the public and half by expert jury. These category awards will account for a combined $100,000, or $12,500 each, with the continuation of the additional Outstanding Venue Juried Award, also worth $12,500.

ArtPrize 2015 will take place from September 23 to October 11.

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Online: ArtPrize.org

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