World's Largest Art Prize

Artists from around the world will descend on Grand Rapids, Michigan this fall to compete for the world's largest prize given for art during a two-week event.


Amway heir Rick DeVos first announced the event on April 23, 2009 in Grand Rapids. The part that makes this competition even more unique is the large financial winnings of around $560,000. Prizes will be awarded based on public votes cast via text messages, the Web and special applications developed for devices such as the iPhone. The competition has drawn worldwide attention to Grand Rapids.


The dates of the competition for the next five years are below. The public will vote for the $200,000, $75,000 and $50,000 awards for first, second and third place prizes. A jury will award an additional $100,000 grand prize, and five $20,000 awards for five categories. A total of $560,000 will be distributed to artists. Art teachers can get education packets from ArtPrize free of charge.


DeVos is an entrepreneur who has two popular websites,, an Internet community for film buffs, and, a Web site that matches the abilities of people in communities with organizations in need.


Rick DeVos

Rick DeVos announces the world's largest art prize.

DeVos said to the Grand Rapids Press, "A lot of my ideas are around using technology to connect people to each other or to art in new and interesting ways," said DeVos, 27, grandson of Amway co-founder Rich DeVos and son of former Amway chief executive and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos. "Thinking about that, thinking about events, thinking about an overall love of art, I started to come up with questions like, 'What if we took a completely different approach to having an event in Grand Rapids?' "What if the city itself was a gallery?"[1]


DeVos said how people react to the competition will be part of what makes ArtPrize a unique and an engaging experience. Hundreds of venues are expected to be part of the event, ranging from corporate lobbies and empty buildings to public parks. "The call is going to go out to thousands and thousands of artists tomorrow to kick this off," he said during an interview with the Press.


Art PrizeRegistration for the event ends in late June. Artists also must secure a venue by that date. The top 10 artists will be announced October 1, and the final winner will be announced October 8, 2009. Artists can register online on the ArtPrize website.


The dates of ArtPrize for the next five years are as follows:

  • ArtPrize 2013: September 18 - October 6

  • ArtPrize 2014: September 24 - October 12

  • ArtPrize 2015: September 22 - October 11

  • ArtPrize 2016: September 21 - October 9

  • ArtPrize 2017: September 20 - October 8


A video summarizing ArtPrize is above. You can find their YouTube channel online.


Do you have art news you want to share? Are you an art teacher and want to brag about your students here? E-mail me with your news and I will put it here next month.