GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Organizers say ArtPrize Seven is on track to break multiple records. With artists from 45 countries, ArtPrize officials said this year is outpacing those previous on daily vote totals, attendance, economic impact, and international artist participation, which is up to 38 percent. They said we're well on our way to a record-breaking ArtPrize.
"The crowds downtown are spectacular, people are coming out in droves," said ArtPrize creative director Todd Heering, so much so that Grand Rapids Police have called in extra support, making sure everyone is safe and pedestrian and vehicular traffic flows.
ArtPrize officials believe the recent weather has put ArtPrize Seven on track for beating last year's estimated attendance of 441,000.
"The only downside of the beautiful weather is that people want to stay outside, so maybe some of the indoor venues aren’t getting as much exposure as they might if there was a little bit of rain or colder weather," said Heering.
This year's daily vote totals are surpassing previous years: Saturday's vote total was 11,000 votes higher than the same day last year, with more than 152,000 total votes and counting.
"I really encourage people to get out here, vote early, vote often, share your opinion, and participate in the conversation," said Heering.
The ArtPrize jurors' shortlist will be announced Monday at 7 p.m., revealing the top five entries in each category alongside the top five venues as chosen by the jurors.
"At the same time, we release the top 25 pieces in each category," said Heering. "It’s a randomized list, but it’s a public vote top 25 in each category."
This year, there's just over 1500 entries with $500,000 in prize money to be had with round one of the public vote ending October 3. ArtPrize runs through October 11.