Grand Rapids ArtPrize is Great But I Have Some Concerns

ArtPrize is a huge, outdoor public-juried art show and contest downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. I go every year because I love art. And it brings people to the state. And it attracts a diverse mix of interesting artisans. But I've got a few issues with the concept of Artprize.

First, artists shouldn't have to compete for prize money. It degrades and commercializes. It makes art competitive instead of collaborative. Artists who might normally be mutually supportive, end up behaving in tacky, mercenary ways. Like the conclave we overheard kvetching at the Amway Grand. They'd made it to top 25 and it was like they felt they didn't have to be nice anymore. They were very condescending, criticizing people for only checking out the top 25. These were the ones who voted them to top 25 and whom they should be thanking.  Others hawked their art like popcorn sellers. One said said he was "praying" for votes. Well, I guess you would if winning was the ultimate goal. Which it should not be with art. This kind of attitude won't get my vote, well, it wouldn't have if I could have voted which is my next beef. Read on. ArtPrize 2013 Frustrations and Fails Photo is my own taken of our favorite 2013 entry Gon Kirin.

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