Thousands of people walked around downtown Grand Rapids for the kickoff of ArtPrize 2012 Wednesday.
1,517 artists are competing for more than half-a-million dollars in the art competition.
There’s so much art here I don’t even have to leave my office building to find some. Neither did Amy Norkus. I ran into the CPA in the lobby of our building taking a picture of a 20 foot long, very detailed quilt.
"I love it. For me to be able to work downtown and walk around and see art, it’s a real treat. It gets me away from all the numbers I have to deal with all day long,” Norkus said.
Norkus had already cast “thumbs up” votes for some artwork on her smartphone during lunch.
She admits, the pictures don’t do the artwork justice. She tells her friends its worth checking out the event in person.
“You get to see the detail and the texture of the steel or the paint and plaster used in things. It’s really cool,” Norkus said.
In the end, the piece with the most votes wins two-hundred-thousand dollars. There are more professional juried award this year too.
Scott Bye is an artist who came from Buffalo, New York to enter. He’s never entered ArtPrize before or been to Grand Rapids.
“This art competition is awesome because it does have a wide variety from the Sunday painter to the professional. And to have both public and juried votes I think is also great to because it just throws everyone in the mix,” Bye said.
Bye’s cedar wood sculpture “Rush Docks” stretches like a giant accordion along a staircase near the Grand River.
The competition runs through October 7th.