The Rapidian

ArtPrize seeks to broaden conversation in 2014 programming, events

ArtPrize has added several new features this year in their efforts to deepen and emphasize the tension between public and expert opinion over "what is art" and "what is good art."
Underwriting support from:

Getting to ArtPrize

  • By Bus: Two wristbands for unlimited rides for the 19 days of ArtPrize on The Rapid and DASH bus systems can be purchased at participating Meijer stores for $5. This includes the new Silverline.
  • By Bike: Two free valet services for visitors to park their bikes will be at the ArtPrize HUB and the Ledyard Building
  • By Foot: Walk ArtPrize's new Pathways which lead visitors past 90% of ArtPrize's venues. All paths 2.4 miles or less and begin and end at Silverline bus stops.
  • By Car: Use the Parkmobile app to pay for meters without needing to remember change. Meter parking free after 6pm on weekdays and most are free on weekends. Click here for a parking ramp and lot map. Also, try Uber, a ridesharing and smartphone app. Enter promo code "ARTPRIZE" between Sept 24 and Oct 12 for a free or discounted ride.
ArtPrize 2014 Poster

ArtPrize 2014 Poster /Courtesy of ArtPrize

In the sixth year of ArtPrize, there are 1,537 entries and 174 venues for visitors to navigate.

The self-proclaimed "radically open art competition" continues to refine its approach toward the dialogue and exchange between public and expert opinions with a series of changes. Changes include an updated prize system, expanded and amped up Critical Discourse programming, a partnership with ART21 an updated website and mobile apps. ArtPrize begins this Wednesday, September 24 and goes through October 12.

For the first time, the public vote and the juried votes will award their grand prize winners an equal amount of money, $200,000. Previously, the public voted for a Top 10 and then an overall winner, with juried awards being added to the competition in 2010.

"These parallel tracks have the possibility of changing the dynamic of the event and the conversations and debates that happen throughout as we further explore the tension between public and expert opinion," says Jaenell Ott, Public Relations Manager for ArtPrize.

There will be a Final 20 broken down into five finalists for each of the four categories, Two-Dimensional, Three-Dimensional, Time-Based, and Installation. Jurors will be judging the same categories.

Instead of the speaker series of previous years, there will be Critical Discourse programming, billed as "an event within an event." There will be eight evenings of free, open to the public panels, discussions and hosted talks. Nearly every evening at the ArtPrize HUB from September 29 to October 7 at 7p.m., Critical Discourse will begin with the Juried Awards Shortlist Announcement, broadcast live by WOODTV-8 on September 29. The series ends with a "spirited two-part, televised town-hall style finale also broadcast live on WOODTV, when art-world experts will face the audience while weighing in on the Public's Final 20." The Community Media Center is partnering with ArtPrize this year as its media partner for the Critical Discourse series and will be providing opportunities for the public to respond to expert opinions at the close of each event.

For the first time this year, ArtPrize is also partnering with ART21, nonprofit producers of contemporary art films and an award-winning PBS series, "Art in the Twenty-First Century." They will host the world preview of the 7th season at Critical Discourse and the ART21 Young Filmmakers Award. The Grand Prize Jury will also be assembled by ART21, including executive director Susan Sollins and two Season 7 featured artists, Katharina Grosse and Leonardo Drew.

“You can take meaningful, complex contemporary art and deliver it to a lot of people. ArtPrize and ART21 have had a lot of exciting success in doing that in different ways," says Kevin Buist, Director of Exhibitions for ArtPrize. "ART21 has put contemporary art on television- the idea in the abstract seems impossible, like ArtPrize did at first, but the way they’ve been able capture and communicate it is amazing. And they’re able to do it in a medium that’s tailored to the widest possible audience, which shares a certain affinity with ArtPrize.”

The intersection of technology and art has always been an integral part of the ArtPrize experience and this year is no different. Updated mobile apps and website integrations further encourage visitors to make ArtPrize their own, get involved in the conversation and get out and see as much art as they can. A new Listing feature enables participants to make lists of art they'd like to see, naming them anything they want, like "Fave 2D Art" or "Art People Complain About." These lists can be kept private or be made public on social media and email. ArtPrize will also showcase Featured Lists by 2014 Jurors, local art experts and public vote data. A routing feature will turn these lists into walkable routes to see all the entries on a given list.

ArtPrize is once again encouraging environmentally-friendly ways to explore the competition by providing wristbands for unlimited rides on both The Rapid and DASH bus systems, sold for $5 at area Meijer stores. There's also a new bike valet service offered at the HUB and Ledyard Building downtown where bicyclists can safely leave their bikes to explore on foot. Four new ArtPrize Pathways that start and stop at Silverline bus stops will guide visitors past 90% of ArtPrize venues. More transportation options and information can be found under Getting Around on the website.

To get ready to vote and participate in this year's ArtPrize, register at

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.