ArtPrize at GVSU
ArtPrize® is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It celebrates artists working in all mediums from anywhere in the world, and is open to any creative with an artwork to enter and a venue willing to host it.
For 18 days, art is exhibited throughout the city in public parks and museums, in galleries and vacant storefronts, in bars and on bridges. ArtPrize awards $450,000 directly to artists, through grants to support their ambitious work and through prizes which the public decides through the ArtPrize website.
Since its inception in 2009, millions have participated in ArtPrize, displaying their work, opening their spaces to artists and visitors from around the world, and sparking countless conversations about what art is and why it matters.
Grand Valley State University has been active in ArtPrize since the festival's inception. Grand Valley has participated as an ArtPrize sponsor, venue, and programming partner. The University's participation has evolved, changing in step with the competition. Read on to learn more about ArtPrize 2021 at GVSU. We look forward to participating as a venue for ArtPrize 2022.
GVSU has actively collected works of art for its permanent collection from past ArtPrize years. These pieces are on display across the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses.
This year we’re hosting work by California-based artist Scott Froshauer from his series The Word on the Street and The Peace Signs. The GVSU venue is located on the pedestrian pathways outside the L.V. Eberhard Center on the Grand Rapids Pew Campus, where the Blue Bridge meets the west bank of the Grand River.
Froschauer’s work is familiar yet surprising, taking the form of street signs but communicating messages of hope and positivity, rather than municipal warnings. Of his work, Froschauer states, “By using the materials and visual language of street signs, but replacing the traditional negative wording (Stop, Do Not Enter, Wrong Way…) with positive affirmations, The Word on the Street seeks to provide something that is missing from our daily visual diet.”
The Peace Signs series takes these ideas one step further and challenges viewers to consider their role in creating and reinforcing social standards of behavior. These works take the form of parking zone signs but utilizes the text of the Lao-Tse poem Peace in the Heart translated into many different languages. Froschauer describes this project as "an exploration in visualizing world peace."
Scott Froschauer, Breathe/Interstate Now, courtesy of the artist
Scott Froschauer, The Peace Signs, courtesy of the artist
Scott Froschauer discussing his project The Word of the Street
Rethinking Street Signs Activity | Inspired by the Work of Scott Froschauer
Designed for grades 6-12, but adaptable for all ages, in this activity students will look closely at and think critically about the visual language of municipal street signs and other ‘official’ signs in their environments. They’ll question the impact of these signs in their day-to-day lives. They’ll re-imagine and create their own signs with alternative messages.
A Look Back at ArtPrize 2021
During ArtPrize 2021 GVSU hosted wo massive sculptures; Jason Quigno's Infinity Cube, at L.V. Eberhard Center; and José Marcelino Valdez and Gerson Valdez-Cordòn's Mayan Stelae Of King K'ak' Tiliw Chan Topaat. at L. William Seidman Center.
To support engagement with Jason Quigno's scultpure, we created this lesson plan and activity for 3-6 grade. Students can learn more about Infinity Cube and the artist's subtractive carving process.
Tour Past ArtPrize Works on Campus
To celebrate ten years of ArtPrize at GVSU, we have created self-guided mobile tours on the Art at GVSU mobile application for Apple and Android devices. These tours highlight previous ArtPrize entries from the past decade that have since become part of the GVSU permanent art collection.
For all ArtPrize inquiries, please contact:
Curator of Exhibitions and Collections