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ArtPrize partners with ART21 for increase in robust programming, critique

ArtPrize and ART21 both work to bring more contemporary art and art education to the broadest audience possible through connecting art, digital media, and education.
Underwriting support from:
Leonardo Drew, an ART21 juror for ArtPrize

Leonardo Drew, an ART21 juror for ArtPrize /Courtesy of ART21

Katharina Grosse, an ART21 juror for ArtPrize

Katharina Grosse, an ART21 juror for ArtPrize /Courtesy of ART21

ArtPrize is partnering with ART21, a nonprofit organization which uses digital media to introduce millions of people to contemporary art and artists. ART21 has produced a Peabody Award-winning biennial television series, "Art in the Twenty-First Century,” with PBS.

ART21 is also an education resource, serving educators and students with free materials, programs, writings on contemporary art and short-format documentary stories available broadly online.

And importantly for ArtPrize this year, ART21 is leading the Grand Prize jury who just recently announced their shortlist for 2014.

“ART21 shares a key aim of ArtPrize, which is to make contemporary art accessible to diverse populations. ArtPrize provides a great service to contemporary art by providing a model for a radically open local event that has become internationally recognized,” says Susan Sollins, Executive Director of ART21.

“I’ve been a huge fan since it’s inception years ago," says Kevin Buist, Director of Exhibitions at ArtPrize. "The TV show is so great. The execution has been remarkable - you can take meaningful, complex contemporary art and deliver it to a lot of people. And ArtPrize and ART21 have both had a lot of exciting success in doing that in different ways. We pursued an intentional connection and worked with them to assemble a jury team in a directed way. Even the way to do it came about collaboratively. ArtPrize is right before the premiere of their new season, enabling the partnership to go even deeper.”

Season seven of “Art in the 21st Century” will have its world premiere on October 2 at The HUB at 7 p.m. as part of this year’s Critical Discourse series. That event will also include a conversation between ART21 executive director Susan Sollins and Season 7 featured artists Katharina Grosse and Leonardo Drew. For those new to ART21, past shows and seasons can be viewed online on their PBS video page.

Critical Discourse, ArtPrize’s “event within an event,” are free, open to the public panels, hosted talks and discussions. They take place at The HUB nearly every evening from September 29-October 7.

“ART21 will help make the Critical Discourse programming more robust. ART21 has a lot of really great recognition throughout the art world with educators and media producers, with far reaching implications for ArtPrize,” says Buist.

“It’s just a really good show. It’s informative and entertaining,but it also exposes our audience to a deeper understanding of contemporary art and enriching the way we look at the world. Something about how they capture artists in the process of making and in their own words, makes it so much more enlightening and less opaque compared to some of the confusion around contemporary art,” says Buist

ART21 also looks to continue their educational programming here at ArtPrize. “ArtPrize and ART21 also share a core goal of providing innovative art education, and as part of ART21's partnership with ArtPrize, we are delighted to offer free educator workshops to Grand Rapids teachers, taking place October 4th,” says Sollins.

“Also, we at ART21 had discussed launching an annual ART21 Young Filmmakers contest and award several times over the past few years, and were so pleased that our partnership this year with ArtPrize provided us with an irresistible launch pad,” says Sollins. Young Filmmakers is a short film competition for high school students, like a mini-documentary or a mini ART21. They will probably mostly be local, but kids can be from anywhere as long as they visit ArtPrize.

“It’s a great idea and we’re so happy to support it. ArtPrize is the perfect place to do that with so much art installed and so many artists accessible for interviews,” says Buist. For more information, visit Young Filmmakers Prize.

ArtPrize will also be showing some of ART21’s shorter films in The HUB throughout the art competition.

“ART21 events provide participants access to the art and artists of our time," says Sollins. "Contemporary artists provide role models for creative thinking, and we hope that audiences discover not just the stories and ideas of these artists, but also are inspired to explore their own creativity and new ways of looking at the world.“

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