As the ArtPrize organization prepares to welcome artists from all over the world for the fifth annual competition, it opened artist hosting registration on June 25, 2013. This year ArtPrize will host artists from 45 states and 47 countries - including Japan, South Africa and Israel.
"Artists risk great amounts to travel to Grand Rapids and share their work with the ArtPrize audience. This is one way we can help offset their costs" said Amelea Pegman, community engagement director of ArtPrize. "Artist hosting is an amazing opportunity to showcase our legendary Midwest hospitality to out-of-town guests and to form profound, meaningful relationships with artists who come from all over."
Each year artists and hosts independently connect online to find those who will be a good fit for their homes and lifestyles. Upon making this connection, they work together to plan details regarding duration and expectations of the stay. Since 2010, dozens of meaningful relationships have been formed through the artist hosting process.
"Behind each of the 1,524 pieces of original art are even more artists stories waiting to be heard. It is an honor to be part of one another's stories," said Erica Curry Van Ee, a long-time ArtPrize enthusiast and host of four artists, including 2011 Top 10 Finalist, Young Kim. "Throughout our years of hosting artists, we have seen the most ordinary of moments transform into the most exciting. From hanging drywall to making late night trips to Home Depot to eating Chinese on the floor of the GRAM, these are the moments that have connected us in community with one another, that have allowed us to enter into each others' hearts and lives."
The hosting experience can be as simple as offering artists a room to stay or a garage to store supplies or as involved as helping an artist realize their idea. Volunteers can sign up to host an artist and learn more information about hosting at www.artprize.org/get-involved/volunteers/host-an-artist. Registration for artist hosting opens today and runs through the beginning of the event. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up early in order to help artists plan ahead for the event.
ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world's largest art prize, at $560,000. Registered artists and venues connect online at artprize.org and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19 day event. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $360,000, while an additional $200,000 in juried awards are decided by a group of international art experts. ArtPrize 2012 included 1,517 entries from 46 countries and 41 U.S. states and territories, as well as 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.