Thursday, 21 June 2018 14:53

ArtPrize announces switch to biennial schedule

Written by  Revue Staff
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ArtPrize crowds. ArtPrize crowds. Courtesy Photo

After 10 years as an annual event, ArtPrize is switching to a biennial schedule.

The art competition that takes over Grand Rapids will take place this year as scheduled, but ArtPrize 11 won't occur until 2020, making way for a new initiative titled Project 1.

Project 1 will be a citywide art project taking place during alternating years with Art Prize, first on Sept.-Oct. 2019. In 2021, it will be named Project 2 — in 2023, named Project 3, and so on.

The dynamic art project will be created by a single artist or group of artists, funded by ArtPrize. Free education and cultural programming also will accompany the project.

"As a counterpoint to the vast array of artworks vying for attention during ArtPrize competitions, Project 1 will invite visitors to slow down and engage with large scale immersive work," Kevin Buist, ArtPrize's artistic director, said in a statement. "ArtPrize uses a game-like public vote to invite audience participation and engage public opinion. Project 1 will instead offer a chance for artists to help us rethink how artists, audiences and the city can interact."

At a meeting in Grand Rapids' Belknap Park this afternoon, ArtPrize officials said the change would allow for the event to "be more special."

"We're excited to shift up the Artprize format to a biennial so that we shift up the cadence. In Project 1 years, we're going to go deep with one project and in Artprize we'll go wide with thousands of projects," said Jori Bennett, executive director. "It's up to us as an organization and its in our mission to continue to reinvent and keep things exciting for our visitors, artists and venues. This is a reaction to that."

When asked about the economic impact this shift will have on local businesses, Bennett responded, "I think it depends how you measure impact. ... I think with Project 1, we'll be able to fund a magnificent, outdoor piece of work that will have a big impact." 

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