U.P. artists compete in ArtPrize 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It brings international artists who specialize in a plethora of different mediums together in one place. Over 1,500 2D, 3D and interactive pieces have taken over the streets and several indoor venues, including pieces from the Upper Peninsula, for this year’s ArtPrize 8.

Thousands of onlookers were entranced by the several art attractions that were scattered throughout 170 venues this past weekend in downstate Grand Rapids.

ArtPrize 8 kicked off last week, ushering in artists from as far as China and as close as Negaunee. In fact, there are actually 51 local artists being featured at this year’s ArtPrize.

Twenty–eight of those artists were exhibited at the U.P. Pavilion, a section of the DeVos Place Convention Center dedicated specifically to artists from the region.

This is the first time a single area has been represented.

“It’s important for the U.P. to present itself as a creative destination that we are,” said Tiina Harris, the Marquette Arts and Culture manager. “The talent that is up here is really incredible so this was a wonderful opportunity to bring U.P. artists to the international stage.”

The creation of the U.P. Pavilion was spearheaded by the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba. Working with the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center, they encouraged several artists to apply.

“Lines of people walking by art work from the U.P. was really exciting and the artists felt excited. They were really treated well, a lot of them were hosted by families or people down in Grand Rapids,” Harris said. I think the artists were very, very, very happy with the reception to their work. A lot of good feedback from everybody.”

ArtPrize will continue through October 9, but you can show your support for the local artists without making the trip to Grand Rapids.

The Bonifas Arts Center will be hosting an artists reception for all the featured work on Saturday, October 22 from 1:00 pm until 3:00 p.m. The event is free of charge.

Jurors chosen from the Grand Rapids community announced the five finalists in their respective categories Monday night.

Though no local artists were chosen, the public vote is still up for grabs. Winners for both the jurists awards and public vote will be announced October 7.