- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Michigan’s annual ArtPrize competition is entering its seventh year Wednesday with more than 1,550 entries on display and a series of nighttime events.

Artists from around the world are participating in the 19-day event, with displays at 162 public venues around the Grand Rapids area. Artists will compete for $500,000 in prizes, including a $200,000 grand prize selected by public vote.

The first round of voting will trim the field to a final 20, comprising five entries each in four categories. After a second round of voting, the winners of public and juried awards will be announced Oct. 9. Votes can be cast using the free ArtPrize mobile app, online and via text message.

ArtPrize Education Days also begin on Wednesday, aiming to bring more than 13,000 children from across the state to ArtPrize. Free programs are being offered to school group.

“The entire ArtPrize event is a hands-on contemporary arts experience for all ages, filled with limitless opportunities to discover, learn and create,” Becca Guyette, ArtPrize education manager, said in a statement.

Events billed as “ArtPrize Tonight” will bring more evening programming this year’s ArtPrize, including films, live performances and arts discussions. The Waterfront Film Festival is planned as well as a tent venue called “The Eddy.”

ArtPrize is evolving and expanding, broadening its reach with a new campus in SiTE:Lab’s Rumsey Street Project, The Grand Rapids Press reported. An entire city block will be converted into a temporary arts district.

Elsewhere, attractions include a shipping container, officially called the “Activi-Tree Learning Lab,” that visitors can cover - both inside and out - with art, The Detroit News reported. The container had previously been one of the most visible elements in Detroit’s Lincoln Street Art Park.

ArtPrize is also partnering with organizers of the inaugural DisArt Festival in Grand Rapids held earlier this year that featured works by artists with disabilities. The message of “Art is Every Body” will be highlighted at ArtPrize.

“Since its inception, DisArt has networked with the staff of ArtPrize, so this feels like a natural development as both organizations strive to create innovative art events that include all people,” said DisArt Executive Director Christopher Smit.




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