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ArtPrize visitors to give cash prizes, other awards to artists

Visitors will also be able to award "emotional response prizes," which allow the visitor to tell the artist how their work made them feel.
Credit: ArtPrize / Facebook

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Visitors at ArtPrize 2021 will be given opportunities to give cash prizes and other awards to artists through QR codes placed throughout the event district.

“Throughout the event’s history, ArtPrize has used technology to create opportunities for the public to engage with contemporary art on a massive scale. We’ve gone wide, and now we’re looking to make that interaction deeper, more meaningful,” said Craig Searer, ArtPrize executive director.  

This shift away from technology to vote for artwork is intended to support the artists financially and increase the number of artists who go home with cash prizes. In addition, any interaction with artists will impact their chances of taking home the $50,000 grand prize.

Each entry label will have a QR code. Visitors can scan the code to have a chance to find one of nearly 500 cash prizes to award to any artist they choose, ranging from $250 to $1,500. The prizes also include "emotional response prizes," which allow a visitor to tell an artist how their work made them feel.

“In 2021, a beta year and testing ground for our new format, we’re attempting something that’s never been done before at ArtPrize - giving artists and visitors the opportunity for deeper engagement, a desire they’ve expressed for years,” said Searer. “As we build this new prize structure and the technology platform that supports it, we’re creating a wealth of opportunities to test new means of engagement for the future. This is just the beginning.”

ArtPrize will kick off Sept. 16 and conclude Oct. 3.

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