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ArtPrize returns to Grand Rapids in two weeks after multi-year hiatus

The bi-annual event was canceled last year because of the pandemic, but despite a rising number of COVID cases the 2021 event will go on.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We are just two weeks away from the start of one of the region’s biggest attractions — ArtPrize is returning to Grand Rapids.

The international competition is coming back for the first time since 2018.

The bi-annual event was canceled last year because of the pandemic and despite a rising number of COVID cases, the event will go on.

“It's incredible, the response we've had from artists who were so enthusiastic to come back and show their work, and really, after the pandemic, having this great energy and seeing the work is starting to go in. And a lot of the murals and larger installations like the energy and excitement, is already building downtown. It's amazing," Katie Moore, senior exhibition manager for Art Prize, said. 

ArtPrize is a Grand Rapids-wide event. For 18 days, art is exhibited all over the city in a variety of mediums from murals to art installations.

The independent organization awards $450,000 to the artist through grants.

Organizer’s say economically the event attracts 500,000 people from all over the world and can generate more than $30 million for West Michigan.

With the delta variant continuing to plague the country, safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“We have a ton of amazing outdoor art, and it's spread all over the city," Moore said. "So, you can engage at whatever level you want to as a visitor at ArtPrize. If you want to see all these amazing outdoor sculptures, go for it. We'll have a guide published next week on our website of strictly outdoor art."

ArtPrize begins Sept. 16 and runs through Oct. 3.

New this year, many of the artwork you will see around the city will be available for sale in a new online auction.

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