ArtPrize executive director resigns

ArtPrize executive director resigns

Christian Gaines. Courtesy ArtPrize

ArtPrize is saying goodbye to one of its own.

The nonprofit said yesterday its board of directors accepted the resignation of Executive Director Christian Gaines.

“Since Christian joined the ArtPrize team in 2013, ArtPrize has thrived under his leadership,”  said Rick DeVos, founder and chairman, ArtPrize.

Jori Bennett, ArtPrize’s director of business development, will serve as acting director, while a national search is conducted.

Bennett joined the organization in 2015 and has been a driving force in the expansion of ArtPrize’s support base.

Gaines’ tenure

During his tenure, the organization introduced a $500,000 parallel award, which allows for two grand prize winners. The winner of the public vote award and the winner of the juried award each receive $200,000.

ArtPrize also expanded its artist and education grants to nearly $300,000, while becoming more involved in community outreach.

In 2016, ArtPrize launched the ArtPrize Featured Public Project program and ArtPrize Pitch Night, which provides grants for artists ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 per art project.

“I’m honored to have served ArtPrize, the city of Grand Rapids and the countless artists, venues, visitors, volunteers, sponsors and students who make our work so fulfilling,” Gaines said. “We are all excited for the future of ArtPrize and eager to celebrate its 10th anniversary this fall.”

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