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Last chance to vote in ArtPrize: Juror Sarah Urist Green shares ideas on how to make your votes count

With just two days left in Round 2 of the public vote, we spoke to 3-D juror Sarah Urist Green to find out questions she recommends asking yourself as you make final selections for ArtPrize voting.
Last year's winner in the public vote was Anila Quayyam Agha's "Intersections." Who will win this year?

Last year's winner in the public vote was Anila Quayyam Agha's "Intersections." Who will win this year? /Diane Charvat

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With two days left to vote in ArtPrize Seven, stakes are higher than ever as the prize winners will soon be announced. ArtPrize is one of few major art events which incorporates both a jury panel and public voting.

Now that the Top 20 Finalists have been announced in the public vote categories, voters have the opportunity to choose their favorites among those remaining five artworks per category.

For some, voting for one person's artwork over another's might be intimidating without having any background in art. ArtPrize juror for the three dimensional category this year, Sarah Urist Green, shares how she views art as a juror and how the public can do it just as easily.

"When I'm looking at art, I tend to ask myself a lot of questions," Green says. "I ask what I think the artist is trying to do, and whether they do it effectively. Sometimes that involves the artist displaying a great degree of technical skill and sometimes not. I try to be really open minded about each artwork I approach and evaluate my intuitive reaction to it."

This two-fold question of what is the artist trying to accomplish and how well do they execute it, can be combined with your own personal reaction of how you feel in response to each artwork.

"Trust your instincts! You don't have to have a background in art to have legitimate reactions to it," Green encourages ArtPrize viewers. "There are so many different kinds of art, and it's perfectly acceptable to have a preference for art that is highly technically accomplished. But I would try to keep in mind to be open to new ideas and new approaches to art."

Sometimes it is not obvious when walking into a gallery to see the artist's initial intention for the entry, Green explains. In this case, Green has some suggested questions to ask yourself as a viewer: When you first look at a piece of art, does it move you in an emotional response? Or is it pleasing to look at? Does the technicality impress you?

If it doesn't immediately make sense or catch your eye, find out more about the artists intentions, read the description behind the work and combine that with your first reaction to the piece. There isn't a correct or incorrect way to judge, as part of the beauty of ArtPrize is giving the public viewer a vote for their own opinion, making every viewer's personal response to the art valid.

"I think the public vote is a fantastic way to engage the audience of ArtPrize and legitimize public opinion about art. I'm also fascinated to see how the community of Grand Rapids will grow and change with ArtPrize, especially as kids who have grown up with the event become art producers and consumers as well," Green says.

"It's also important to remember that even when you're not viewing art during ArtPrize or in a traditional exhibition setting like a museum or gallery, you're still consuming and processing visual imagery every day," she adds, "We are all surrounded by an onslaught of images and input through our phones, computers, t.v., print media and advertising, and developing critical thinking skills about those images can be beneficial in many ways."

While keeping this in mind, the last chance to vote for the ArtPrize Seven finalist entries is tomorrow, Thursday October 8, until 11:59p.m.

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