It takes courage to move from thought to expression. While expression is intensely individual, the creative act bears an emotional gravity that is universally understood. 

ArtPrize Nine was about celebrating the individual creative act, and the courage it takes to make a mark. The paint swash and graphic elements of the ArtPrize Nine poster and event design pay tribute to the thrilling and terrifying moment when an artist makes that first mark.

We can all relate to the moment; fear and insecurity plead with the conscious self to step away, to play it safe. But then we commit to the creative act not because we have resolved all doubts, but because we have the courage to act in spite of them.

Artists from 47 countries and 41 states prepared 1,346 works of art – each with an intention, a story and a reason it was created for you to experience.

ArtPrize happens due to a million unique instances of independent, civic collaboration. You will see it in artists and venues, in volunteers and sponsors, in partners like the City of Grand Rapids, and in every vote that is cast for art. 

During ArtPrize Nine we hope you found yourself delighted, moved, challenged and inspired by the connections and collisions from the endless array of courageous creative acts.


ArtPrize is an international art competition and festival open to all and determined equally by public vote and expert jury. ArtPrize encourages critical discourse, celebrates artists, transforms urban space and promotes cultural understanding.