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ArtPrize has a new voting system this year: here's what you need to know

Instead of voting with an app, QR codes are scattered around ArtPrize to scan and award artists prizes.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — There is a new way to support your favorite art at ArtPrize this year. 

The concept is simple: explore, scan, find, award. 

Here is how it works. Around downtown Grand Rapids by the art exhibits, there will be a prize code QR code. Scan that, and it pulls up a web-based app for ArtPrize, with a prize for that location. Then, search for the art you want to award. 

The "game" has replaced the simple popular vote features of past ArtPrize events. Craig Searer, the executive director, said the change was made after artist feedback. 

"That created a popularity contest" said Searer, "Definitely created a great platform for us to built upon. It narrowed focus from 20 to ten. A lot of artists felt disenfranchised, and if they were on the outskirts of boundaries, they felt a little left out."

There are 500 monetary prizes that range from $250 to $1,500. Plus, there are non-monetary prizes to award, like "Most Instagrammable Art," and "Family Favorite."

The more prizes an artist receives, the more chance they have of winning $50,000 grand prize award. 

"This puts as much money in the pockets of artists as possible," said Searer. 

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