Artprize - Grand Rapids, Michigan
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ArtPrize Grand Rapids | Top 8 Things to Know & Do

Grand Rapids has established itself as a cultural hub in Michigan, boasting dozens of museums and plenty of public art displays. But perhaps there’s no better proof of its commitment to arts and culture than ArtPrize Grand Rapids.

This international arts festival is a massive celebration of all things art. It’s an independent international art competition that welcomes artists across all mediums, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to showcase their work and compete for recognition.

The Awesome Mitten Artprize
ArtPrize | photo via Jessica Kelly

About ArtPrize Grand Rapids

ArtPrize is an independent international art competition, and it has come to be known as the best annual celebration of art in Grand Rapids. It was first hosted in 2009, but since then, it has grown to be one of the most beloved events in the city.

What makes ArtPrize unique is that it’s an open competition that takes place in venues across Grand Rapids Michigan. Any artist — from any medium or any country in the world — is able to participate in the competition.

Also, any venue that wants to host a work of art is welcome to do so. It’s incredibly welcoming and inclusive and has allowed artists to forge partnerships with Grand Rapids organizations that have lasted a lifetime.

Judging & Grand Prizes

Each year, ArtPrize provides artists with more than $450,000 in grants and funding, recognizing them for their work and offering support that will allow them to continue creating art.

The public is even invited to get involved with the judging, and they can vote or make selections on the ArtPrize website throughout the competition. Artists, business owners, and attendees all wait with excitement to find out who the grand prize winners will be each year.

Community Impact

Spanning 18 days each fall, this festival brings people to Grand Rapids and fuels economic growth. It also sparks conversation and encourages people to witness, absorb, and discuss the impact of art within their own communities.

Artprize - Grand Rapids, Michigan
ArtPrize | photo via @zahrahrah

Things to Do at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids

ArtPrize is an ongoing festival that provides plenty of opportunities to personalize your experience and enjoy the events in a way that works for you. By far, the most popular thing to do at ArtPrize is to visit the various venues throughout the city that host artwork and to experience the art that’s on display there.

These tours of Grand Rapids will take you to local parks, public squares, museums, art galleries, vacant storefronts, and more. In addition to searching for art at nearly every corner, you can enjoy a variety of pop-up-style events:

  • Concerts
  • Art-making for people of all ages
  • Dance parties
  • Mini festivals

The events calendar changes from year to year, but you can get a full schedule in the weeks leading up to the competition.

Artprize - Grand Rapids, Michigan
ArtPrize | photo via @chadronald

More Things to Do Near ArtPrize Grand Rapids

As you wind your way throughout the city to see the artists and their incredible works, you’ll find many other things to do in Grand Rapids. However, below are some of the most popular attractions.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Nature and beauty meet as one at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This Grand Rapids museum has become famous for its winding gardens and larger-than-life sculptures, making it a favorite destination among visitors of all ages.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Boasting more than 250,000 artifacts and specimens, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is one of the largest museums of its kind in the state of Michigan. Art-minded visitors would be remiss to come to the city and not spend an afternoon exploring this magnificent museum.

John Ball Zoo

The John Ball Zoo is a seasonal attraction in Grand Rapids, but it’s open during the fall months when the ArtPrize is taking place. Families love to go to this intimate zoo and interact with the animals in a way that feels up close and personal.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum

Gerald R. Ford is the only U.S. President to hail from Michigan, so it only makes sense that his presidential museum is located in his hometown of Grand Rapids. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum contains information and artifacts from his administration.

Artprize - Grand Rapids, Michigan
ArtPrize | photo via Brandi O’Granning

Dining Near Grand Rapids ArtPrize

Grand Rapids is not only a haven for artists but also an up-and-coming destination for foodies. Below are the best local restaurants to check out during the ArtPrize Grand Rapids competition.

The Sovengard

The Sovengard is a Scandinavian-inspired restaurant, which is perfect for those who are searching for international fare during the ArtPrize festival. Its daily menu relies heavily on fresh produce that’s harvested from local West Michigan farms.

Forty Acres Soul Kitchen

This restaurant celebrates African American culture and heritage, and it’s well known for using recipes that have been handed down for generations. It’s one of the best restaurants in Grand Rapids for enjoying authentic soul food.

Butcher’s Union

Butcher’s Union is a steakhouse in downtown Grand Rapids that features a historic vibe and an eclectic menu. It’s known best for its meat and whiskey, but there are plenty of options that appeal to any person’s palate.

Artprize - Grand Rapids, Michigan
ArtPrize | photo via @zahrahrah

Lodging Near ArtPrize in Grand Rapids

From opulent hotels to warm and welcoming vacation rentals, there are many lodging options available near the ArtPrize competition. These are some of the best places to stay in Grand Rapids.

Amway Grand Plaza

Perhaps the most luxurious hotel in the city, the Amway Grand Plaza is a sophisticated hotel with cosmopolitan flair. It’s perfect for those who want to indulge in the finer things during their stay.

The Parsonage Inn

Located in the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood, this bed and breakfast is housed in a 19th-century Queen Anne home. It’s an opportunity to step into the past while staying in Grand Rapids.

Vacation Rentals

Visitors will find that there are many vacation rentals available in Grand Rapids, ranging from downtown lofts to historic homes in the Heritage Hill neighborhood.

Artprize - Grand Rapids, Michigan
ArtPrize | photo via @marissa_slussy

Frequently Asked Questions About ArtPrize Grand Rapids

What is ArtPrize in Grand Rapids?

ArtPrize Grand Rapids is an independent art festival that welcomes artists from all over the world across all mediums. It was first hosted in 2009 and has quickly become a favorite fall festival in Michigan.

Where is ArtPrize in Grand Rapids?

ArtPrize is a unique festival in the sense that it doesn’t take place in one specific location. Rather, the entries for this independent international art competition are displayed throughout every corner of Grand Rapids.

You’ll find art on display in common places, such as parks and museums. But, you’ll also find hidden treasures tucked away in other surprising locales, such as on bridges or in the windows of storefronts.

Of course, there’s art on display in art galleries as well. Essentially, you can find ArtPrize everywhere in Grand Rapids at once.

Is ArtPrize still going on in Grand Rapids?

ArtPrize is an 18-day festival that takes place in late September and early October.

Will there be a Grand Rapids ArtPrize in 2022?

Yes, ArtPrize Grand Rapids is returning in 2022. It will take place from Sept. 15 until Oct. 2.

How do I get into the ArtPrize in Grand Rapids MI?

ArtPrize is a partnership between venues and artists. Venues can apply to be an ArtPrize location in April each year, and artists apply to participate just a few weeks later.

Artists have to register for the competition by the middle of June. Then, they work directly with their venues to create a work of art to display for the competition.

Who won ArtPrize in Grand Rapids Michigan?

In 2021, the $50,000 grand prize winner of ArtPrize was an audio installation called Before You Go, which was created by Monica Pritchard and Christian Reichle. Many artists were recognized with honorable mentions, juried awards, and independent awards too.

What are the dates of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids Michigan?

The 2022 ArtPrize in Grand Rapids will take place from September 15 until October 2. 

Where do you park for the ArtPrize in Grand Rapids MI?

As the festival takes place throughout the entire city, visitors can use any number of public parking lots to attend ArtPrize. If they are going to a museum to see an installation, they may be able to park at that museum. 

Explore All That ArtPrize Grand Rapids Has to Offer

Whether you’re a local or an out-of-towner, ArtPrize Grand Rapids has art to inspire and activities to entertain everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to see some of the most stunning artwork of the year from talented artists of all kinds.

ArtPrize Grand Rapids has become a fall tradition in Michigan, but it’s just one of many Michigan fall festivals that take place across the state throughout September, October, and November.

Whether you are coming to the west side of the state to see the fall colors bloom, or you are simply looking for a fun way to spend the weekend in Grand Rapids, you are sure to love the world-renowned ArtPrize festival. ArtPrize Grand Rapids is one of the most cultural things to do in West Michigan during the fall.

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