Two years ago Rick DeVos, heir to the Amway throne, capitalized on the fad of unqualified lay people voting in technical competitions via cell phone.  He unveiled ArtPrize.  It was an effort to both economically revitalize and hipify downtown Grand Rapids.  In the minds of Grand Rapidians, it worked.*

Today marks the premier of the third season of ArtPrize.   Like any art form, a lot of bad art needs to be sifted through in order to find a few gems.  It's worth it.  Juli and I will be doing our best to explore the citywide art gallery and report back to our readers what we've seen, what we think you should see, and of course what wish we'd never seen.  (Juli, I hope you read this so that you know what your assignment for the next two weeks is.)

Here are a few of our favorite pieces from the past two competitions:
Young-Kim, Salt and Earth

David Spriggs - Vision

Beili Liu -Lure
The photos** here don't look all that impressive.  This is what makes ArtPrize so much fun.  You have to be there.  A picture can't do any of these installations justice.  We look forward to sharing ArtPrize with you and we hope that you share some of your favorite (and not so favorite) works with us.

*There was great debate within the art community as to whether or not lay eyes should be allowed to "judge" art.  It caused such a fuss that ArtPrize added a juried vote to the competition, i.e. an intelligent vote.

**We hope we don't get sued for using these photos.  They are copied directly from these artists websites.  Please visit the artists websites to learn more about their work. 

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