With more than 1,700 artists vying for almost $500,000 in prize money, ArtPrize, a three-week free festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan, claims to be the “world’s largest prize for art.” Now in its second year, the showcase for all manner of visual media turns a three-square-mile area of the city’s downtown—including sidewalks, building exteriors, fences, bridges, and parks—into a gigantic gallery through October 10th. But its epic size isn’t the only thing that makes ArtPrize worth visiting: Instead of relying on curators or judging panels to award money, ArtPrize opens the voting to everybody who attends. During last year’s inaugural event, almost 335,000 visitors voted for their favorites. This year, the top ten will be announced on September 30th, the winners on Thursday, October 7th. ArtPrize also features some major audio attractions: Natasha Bedingfield (Unwritten, Pocketful of Sunshine) and David Archuleta (American Idol) perform on October 2nd.
GO ArtPrize in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 22nd through October 10th. Free; for $15, you get a map, guidebook, and a wristband that allows unlimited travel on the Rapid from outside Grand Rapids to downtown, plus access to the public shuttle between exhibit venues. For more information, visit artprize.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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