ArtPrize draws first timers from overseas

1:13 AM, Sep 21, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Now that ArtPrize is five years old, it's hard to find anyone in West Michigan who hasn't been to the world's biggest art competition at least once.

But there are plenty of visitors from out of state and even out of the country.

This week Alan Leite and his fiancé, Tais Lourenco, of San Paolo, Brazil were enjoying ArtPrize. He's a former exchange student back to visit his host family in Freeport.

ArtPrize didn't exist when he lived here 11 years ago, so it was one of the first things his Michigan friends wanted him to see.

"I was excited this was going on when he was coming," says Joanne Dipp of Freeport. "Have to go to ArtPrize. It's national. It's worldwide."

"I'm really surprised at how massive it is," says Leite. "How many artists are here. I've never seen an event focused on art like this."

When their visit ends and they return to Brazil, Leite says he and his fiancé will urge others to visit Grand Rapids during ArtPrize.

"I will tell them I came to Grand Rapids and went to this amazing event called ArtPrize," he says. "I will recommend it. Come to ArtPrize to see art from all over the world."

ArtPrize continues through October 6.

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