Seven-story murals and launches of 100,000 paper planes may not sound like a tradional art show, but that's because ArtPrize is anything but traditional.
Running its fifth season from Sept. 18 through Oct. 6, the revolutionary art show is once again transforming three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan into a real-life art experience. International art will be displayed on every inch of the downtown area, free and open to the public and their voting eyes.
Started by philanthropist Rick DeVos—grandson of Richard DeVos, Amway co-founder—and funded by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, the project helped create a whole new expression in art-world philanthropy. ArtPrize is a citywide competition where the public themselves gets to vote. A total $560,000 prizes will be awarded to winners in 16 categories. The grand $200,000 prize is selected by the attendees.
In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, John J. Miller highlighted the renowned event that claims to thrust more than $15 million into the local economy. "I think that may underestimate it," DeVos told Miller in the Wall Street Journal. "But it doesn't matter. ArtPrize isn't designed to be an economic-stimulus program. That's just a happy accident."
Two years ago, Miller spoke with DeVos for the Summer 2011 issue of Philanthropy magazine about his goldmine art venture and the new prize philanthropy model that ArtPrize launched.