2009 winner reflects on ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) ArtPrize is in the middle of its seventh year and still holds the title as art contest with the largest cash prize in the world.

The first year, in 2009, an artist from New York City won the top prize with his painting, “Open Water No. 24.” Rachael Ruiz recently visited artist Ran Ortner in New York to see what he’s doing now and what he thinks of what ArtPrize has become.

Ortner says, that first year, no one had heard of ArtPrize and he was suspicious because of the large cash prize. He actually thought it was a scam. A few weeks later, and he was getting international press due to his winning. Ortner says he invested all of the winnings back into his studio.

Ortner’s winning painting “Open Water No. 24” has a home in Grand Rapids. You can see it at Reserve Wine and Food on Monroe Avenue, right next to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

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