Grand Rapids was packed with people looking at ArtPrize pieces Saturday, Sept. 30.

For many there was some urgency because round one of the public voting period ended at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday night. The votes of the people will narrow the field of more than 1,500 entries to 20 finalists in 4 categories. In the hours before the deadline many people were visiting all the venues they could to see as much art as possible.

“Have not had the opportunity to see all the things we want to see,” explained Jim Merby.

“It is hard to see them all, it certainly is,” agrees Dave Groner.

Some said it was also sometimes difficult to know what was worthy or a vote.

“Has to be unique and colorful,” thought Amia Shelvin.

“Nice and clean and it has to be really artsy,” offered Philip Legace.

“If it gives me the warm fuzzies and stirs some emotion, I vote for it,” says Donna Merby.

The top 20 in the popular vote and the top 20 picks by a jury of experts will be announced at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1 in Rosa Parks Circle. During the second round people can vote for any or all entries in the top 40. Voting ends Oct. 5. The top pick of the jurors and the winner of the popular vote will each receive $200,000. Nine others in five categories will win $12,500 apiece. Awards will be announced Oct. 6.

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