ArtPrize awarding 14 ‘independent’ prizes


"In Our Element," a multi-section acrylic- and aerosol-based mural, is an ArtPrize Seven installation entry by Ruben Ubiera, located on Front Avenue under U.S. 131. Photo via

The world’s largest public art competition has announced 14 "independently organized" prizes worth a total of $37,500, in addition to the $500,000 total in public vote and juried awards.

ArtPrize said this month its community partners and sponsors will offer artists 14 additional chances to win a prize at the ninth-annual event, which runs from Sept. 20-Oct. 8.

Five of the independent prizes are new this year, and nine are part of annual contests.

“Over the years, independently organized awards have organically emerged as an anticipated component of the ArtPrize event,” said Christian Gaines, executive director, ArtPrize. “ArtPrize spurs catalytic activity not only through venues and artists filling every available space with art, but also by encouraging specific awards that honor artistic achievement, celebrate culture, address social issues and further the conversation.”

Winners of the independent prizes will be revealed alongside the juried and public-vote awards during the televised ArtPrize awards ceremony on Oct. 6.

For more details about the independent awards, contact Jaenell Woods at (616) 214-7921 or jaenell at artprize dot org.


Film and music (chosen by public vote)

$5,000: Best Short Film, presented by the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office at the ArtPrize On Screen film festival, Sept. 20-23

$2,500: Best Feature, presented by Celebration! Cinema at ArtPrize On Screen

$1,000: ArtPrize Song of the Year, presented by HopCat at the HopCat WYCE Blue Bridge Music Festival, Sept. 29-30


$5,000: The Youth Collaboration Award, determined by public vote and presented by Western Michigan University to a school or eligible nonprofit serving K-12 students*

$1,000: Fifth-annual SmartArt competition, determined by a combination of juried and public input, presented by Consumers Energy to a high school student who created art with a renewable energy theme

Equity and inclusion

$2,500: Third-annual Artista Latino Award, juried award presented by the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan to recognize the work of a Latin American or Hispanic artist

$5,000: Contemporary Black Art Award (formerly called the Paul Collins Diversity in Art Award), juried prize presented by The African American Arts & Music Festival to an artist who identifies as African-American, African or of African descent

Two $1,000 awards: Asian Art Award, determined by public vote and presented by The West Michigan Asian American Association to two Asian artists*

Two $1,000 awards: Annual Art to Change the World awards, selected by jurors and presented by Fountain Street Church to two artists whose works best exemplify the transformational power of art

Two $2,500 awards: Veterans’ Awards — one selected by public vote, the other by a jury —  to be presented to two artists who have served as members of the Armed Forces*

*New this year

Design & Drive contest

Six artists will compete for a 24-month lease on a new 2017 Honda Civic, worth about $6,500, by developing an original design that will be applied to a vinyl-wrapped Honda vehicle for outdoor display in this third-annual contest sponsored by The Honda West Michigan Dealers.


Founded in 2009, ArtPrize is an international 19-day open art competition. Two $200,000 awards are decided by public vote and expert judges, and an additional $100,000 in prizes is awarded to the top entries in each category.

Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 3.2-million votes for public art. The competition annually attracts more than 500,000 active participants.

ArtPrize Nine will include 1,346 entries representing 47 countries and 41 U.S. states and territories. 

Facebook Comments