The Final Days of Grand Rapid’s ArtPrize Nine

Grand Rapid’s ArtPrize Nine is underway right now and there are just two more days to vote for your favorite piece!

Artists from all over the world have flocked to Michigan for the event, each one hoping to win the world’s largest art prize, $250,000.

Owner of Grand Rapid’s Richard App Gallery, Richard App says, “There’s no barriers on where people can and can’t put things. There’s things on the sides of buildings, there’s things in parks, there’s things in rivers. There’s a lot of different things going on and the energy for that is amazing.”

Northern Michigan is well represented at this year’s festival.

Ludington’s Ryan Spencerreed is a finalist for his piece, “Oil Plus Water,” a striking statement about the pipeline protests in North Dakota.

Spencereed describes it, “The piece itself is actually a large scale black and white photograph. There’s an image in oil on water that’s overlaid and kind of colorizes, tarnishes that original black and white image. The goal there is to try to create the illusion first and foremost of contaminating the Grand River, to make it look like there’s an oil spill on the river.”

There are about 1,300 pieces of art displayed at this year’s competition.

Spencerreed say beneath every masterpiece is a message, waiting to be heard, “ArtPrize for me has always been about hijacking that conversation with the right message, the right vision, the right story you could in some ways draw people’s attention and get them to care about something they wouldn’t otherwise know about.”

For more information on ArtPrize and it’s participants, click here.