2021 ArtPrize Tour: 25+ Entries to See, Tour Map, Top Tips, Events, Interactive Art & More

ArtPrize dinos 2021 Dentler

ArtPrize 2021

Welcome back, ArtPrize!

ArtPrize runs SEPTEMBER 16 – OCTOBER 3, 2021

ArtPrize is for all ages, and that includes kids. Children love this city-wide event that encourages curiosity and imagination.

But if you want to bring your kids to one of the biggest art events in the world, how do you decide where to go and what to see?

We’ve combed through hundreds of entries to find those that would most resonate with kids and families.

From that, we created this ArtPrize tour to be your downtown guide during your visit.

We’ve also indicated interactive exhibits we think kids will love.

ArtPrize Schedule

ArtPrize runs Sept 16 – Oct 3, 2021

Minimum Venue Hours – most venues are open early and close later
Monday-Thursday: 5–8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: Noon–8 p.m.
Sunday: Noon–6 p.m.

All venues are free and open to the public for the duration of ArtPrize during open hours.

ArtPrize® is an open, independently organized international art competition that 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 artwork to enter and a venue willing to host it. Visitors vote on the exhibits. These votes help award significant prize money at the end of the competition.

ArtPrize has a new mobile app for 2021! Learn more here.

Insider Tips for Visiting ArtPrize

ArtPrize is an extremely popular Grand Rapids event, especially on evenings and weekends.

If ArtPrize is new to you, or if this is your first visit with kids, take a minute to read over these great tips to maximize your visit.

You CAN visit ArtPrize with kids and have a blast!

#1

Timing is Everything

If possible, go on a week day!

We cannot emphasize enough what a difference this makes.
With many exhibits outside, you don’t have to worry about venues being open to see a good amount of art.

#2

Focus on Outdoor Exhibits

This year, almost half the ArtPrize venues are outdoors. Use this map to explore the 59 outside art experiences around Grand Rapids.

artprize 2021 outdoors
Click image to download full list & map of ArtPrize Outdoor Exhibits
#3

Restrooms

Public restrooms. There are restrooms in Ah-Nab-Awen park as well as participating hotels.

Also, DeVos Place serves as a good potty stop.

#4

Parking

No more quarters! Downtown is packed for ArtPrize, but there are lots of ramps and other parking available.

If you’re looking for low-cost parking try under the 131 overpass to the west of the Gerald R. Ford Museum or at Park Church (10 East Park Place NE).

Click for more on Parking and how to use the city’s MOTU parking app. 

Parking downtown GR Motu Parking Meter
Click Image for Info on Using the Grand Rapids parking App, MOTU
#5

Charge Your Phone

Start off with a fully charged phone and maybe bring a portable charger, too.

You’re going to take a lot of photos and scan a lot of QR codes (if you’re voting).

You might also use your phone to navigate from one venue to another, or to research the art around you.

#6

Use the New ArtPrize App to Vote

Well, you won’t need an app, and you won’t be voting this year, BUT you will be awarding prizes to the artwork you deem worthy and play the NEW ArtPrize game.

Anyone 13+ can participate & play the game.

To play: Scan a QR code, verify you’re human, and your device will show a prize on your screen. You’re then given a set amount of time to award that prize to an artist. The more prizes an artist receives, the better their chance of winning the $50,000 grand prize. Watch the video below for a demonstration.

#7

Gear Essentials – Adults

Dress in layers.
Bring snacks & drinks.
If you need a stroller, think small.
Wear comfy footwear.

#8

Gear Essentials – Kids

Some artists hand out cards. Bring baggies to collect these.
Kids over 13 – bring a phone to participate.
Sketchbooks & cameras for kids are cool things to bring.
Download the free scavenger hunts.

2021 ArtPrize Tour for Families by GRKIDS

Use this list & map of attractions to navigate ArtPrize with your family.

This year, art is a little harder to find than in years past. Fewer venues are participating, and some old-stand by art stops are not hosting indoor exhibits this year (like the GRAM or UICA.) This list will help you find art that we think your whole family will enjoy. While it’s not an exhaustive list, it’s a good start and we welcome you to add exhibits you stumble upon to the list using the form at the end of the list.

Happy ArtPrizing!

Map of Family-Friendly ArtPrize Exhibits for 2021

ArtPrize dinos 2021 Dentler
Dinosaurs artprize 2021

1: “We Are Not Extinct”

Artwork Description:
6 custom-crafted Dino’s.

TIPS:
5/3 Plaza is located at the corner of Ottawa NW and Lyon St NW.

serpentina artprize 2021 1
serpentina artprize 2021

2: Serpentina the Dragon

Artwork Description:
Serpentina is a very large whimsical serpent dragon!

TIPS:
Visit at night to see her eyes glow a fierce yellow!

tin man artprize 2021

3: Tin man

Artwork Description:
The kind and gentle Tin Man, who has been with us for generations, is offering to us his most prize possession, his heart.

TIPS:
Take photos of your family standing under the tin man's heart.

prance horses artprize 2021 public museum

4: Prance

Artwork Description:
Wire & Steel horse sculptures

TIPS:
The horses are magnificent in person - the photos don't do them justice.

kinetic kaliedoscope artprize 2021 1

5: Kinetic Kaleidoscope!

Artwork Description:
Butterflies everywhere! Kinetic Kaleidoscope! is a collaboration between 6th-12th grade students as well as the woodworkers from the Pentwater Artisan Center.

TIPS:

checking inn artprize 2021

6: Checking Inn

Artwork Description:
“Checking Inn” - a living statue character ArtPrize entry. This character is friendly, optimistic bellhop, and welcomes all ArtPrize and hotel guests with his own special flair.

TIPS:
Don't be surprised when the statue moves or interacts with you!

oops artprize 2021
oops artprize 2021

7: Oops Series

Artwork Description:
These optical paintings on sculptural body pieces physically and visually extending the limits of the art installed on a wall.

TIPS:
View from different angles. Play around with photo viewpoints. If you stand directly behind the multi-color painting, it looks like the person is falling into a hole.

My Grand Rapids artprize 2021
My Grand Rapids artprize 2021 1

8: My Grand Rapids

Artwork Description:
36 individual oil paintings of places in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

TIPS:
Visitors can pick up free coloring pages or purchase coloring books of the drawings. Coloring pages can also be found at steinerstudio.com

Fun fact: This hotel has an amazing rooftop lounge. Knoop is on the 8th level. Take the elevator on up!

YOUR BEETHOVEN MUSICAL INTERACTION artprize 2021

9: YOUR BEETHOVEN MUSICAL INTERACTION

Artwork Description:
48”x48” inch oil painting of Ludwig Van Beethoven with interactive buttons that allow visitors to play the composer's pieces.

TIPS:
Stay for a bit to experience all of the audio available.

3d Twister artprize 2021

10: 3d Twister

Artwork Description:
An interactive 4 sided 3d Twister Game.

TIPS:
There is a playground just a short distance from here. Head north. Also, this is on the grounds of City Built Brewing. They have extensive outdoor seating and the riverside location is welcoming.

egg prize 2021

11: Egg Prize 2021

Artwork Description:
Egg Prize is an 8-foot tall custom vending machine that dispenses plastic egg-shaped capsules filled with original pieces of art made directly by an artist. Making art accessible to all is what Egg Prize stands for.

TIPS:
This entry is located outside of DeVos Hall near the Monroe entrance.

SeE tuRtLEs sWimmiNG Childrens Museum artprize 2021

12: SeE tuRtLEs sWimmiNG

Artwork Description:
SeE tuRtLEs sWimmiNG is a large stream of sculptural artwork that covers the Monroe Center side of the Children's Museum, wraps around the end of the building and continues to the building's entrance on Sheldon Ave.

TIPS:
Stroller-friendly. Next to Veteran's Memorial Park. There are a lot of restaurants with outdoor seating along Monroe Center.

pop goes grand rapids artprize 2021

13: "POP GOES GRAND RAPIDS!"

Artwork Description:
Large-scale "Fan-Art" invades the city of Grand Rapids for ArtPrize! The alien creatures of "Fan-Art" the likes of Baby Yoda, ALF & E.T are at Van Andel Arena! Male superheroes such as Iron Man, Batman & Spiderman are invading Calder Plaza. The "Fan-Art" Gaming Community with Angry-Birds, Mario & Sonic are taking over the GR Children's Museum.

TIPS:
Find the window display at Mojo's on Monroe Ave NW, across the street from the Amway Grand.

Robot Resurrection artprize 2021

14: Robot Resurrection

Artwork Description:
Robot Resurrection is a 30 foot tall, human-piloted, articulating, fire shooting sculpture made from 90% recycled airplane parts and reclaimed objects. The artist climbs into the torso cockpit and controls both the motion and fire by operating joysticks.

TIPS:
Flames are really enjoyable after dark.

The Seeker The King gorilla artprize 2021

15: The Seeker & The King

Artwork Description:
The Seeker and the king The sculpture is a 12 foot gorilla sitting on a rock mound protecting his crate of his special herbs, along with the seeker the pelican who is painting his portrait for their new business adventure.

TIPS:
Easily visible from the sidewalk.

BOB maze artprize 2021
Sometimes We Get Lost Along The Way maze at the bob artprize 2021

16: Sometimes We Get Lost Along The Way

Artwork Description:
"Sometimes We Get Lost Along the Way" is a 12 foot illustrated maze-scape that takes its solvers on a mind-bending, interactive journey. Starting at Grand Rapids, with Detroit next door, venturing through some of our local landmarks tucked away into the path. The maze then opens up across the US, from there, breaking out into paths leading to different corners of the world. There are "seek-and-find" items hidden in the maze.

TIPS:
It's tight inside of the B.O.B. This exhibit is on the second floor. Strollers and wheelchair users will need to use the elevator in the Monroe Avenue entrance vestibule.

Balance Sculpture Painting artprize 2021

17: Balance Sculpture & Painting

Artwork Description:
6ft x 10ft indoor sculpture - Identical details of sewn strips of fabric cover both winged forms, representing the necessary balance between night & day / dark & light / ying & yang / black & white;

TIPS:
Companion art - Balance Acrylic & Spray Paintings on Linen- is an all-inclusive interactive painting for different statures, ages, and those in wheelchairs to interact with.

Unstable Orbit artprize 2021

18: Unstable Orbit

Artwork Description:
A video projection of a grid of some 25 middle-aged men trying to hoola hoop with light-up hula hoops available for visitor participation.

TIPS:
There's a coffee bar in the back of this building.

pollinators ford museum artprize 2021

19: Pollinators

Artwork Description:
8 large sculptures representing pollinators. Sculptures include the Bee, Mosquito, Butterfly, Humming Bird, Bat, Moth, Beatle, and Ant.

TIPS:
The sculptures are placed strategically in garden beds along the sidewalk at the Ford Museum. Check them out from different angles as you walk the path.

045060 000001

20: Adolescent Echo

Artwork Description:
“Adolescent Echo” is an interactive installation of birdhouses that will repeat short phrases that are spoken into them. The birdhouses symbolize a place to raise a family and they’re painted in vibrant colors to represent youthfulness.

TIPS:
This exhibit is located along the river behind the Public Museum on a ramped sidewalk.

butterfly wings artprize 2021 public museum
butterfly wings artprize 2021 public museum 1

21: You, Me and a Butterfly

Artwork Description:
An interactive sculpture of a butterfly bursting out of its cocoon.
Viewers are encouraged to stand between the ornate, mirrored wings for photos. The wings light up at night.

TIPS:
View both during the day and at night for very different experiences.

lamplighter artprize 2021

22: The Lamplighter

Artwork Description:
The Lamplighter is a 12.5 foot tall interactive sculpture constructed of hundreds of antiquated tools and wooden remnants.

Visitors are invited to pedal the bike, which in turns lights the lamp in the sculpture.

TIPS:
This is located on the lawn of the Public Museum near the Blue Bridge.

red glasses artprize 2021 public museum

23: RED GLASSES

Artwork Description:
This interactive large sculpture of red glasses is designed to help children see their uniqueness.

The Red Glasses Movement was created to draw attention to the uniqueness of children born with special needs.

TIPS:
This is a fun photo stop. The sculpture is located on the front lawn of the museum.

charging forward artprize 2021

24: "Charging Forward"

Artwork Description:
Charging Forward by Bradley Goff - This mural spans the side of a building. 8 larger-than-life elephants look like they are coming right at you.

TIPS:
Easily visible by the road. Parking is available nearby if you'd like to linger. Not far from Bridge Street Market if you need refreshments or a bathroom break.

homes artprize 2021
homes artprize 2021 1

25: Homes

Artwork Description:
Large cut-out of the Great Lakes. Each lake is covered with photos taken of that lake by the artist.

TIPS:
Step inside of the cutout for a great photo opp.
Walk around to the backside of the exhibit to see the state of Michigan cutout.

Free Scavenger Hunt Printables for ArtPrize

Add a Scavenger Hunt Adventure to Your Downtown ArtPrize Adventure

Kids just love to turn anything into a game or an adventure, don’t they? I know my daughter does – she can give even the most mundane tasks an imaginative and energetic flair.

With that in mind, we are returning again this year with an ArtPrize Scavenger Hunt. This fun activity will add the elements of exploration and adventure to your kids’ ArtPrize experience!

Animal Scavenger Hunt for ArtPrize

ArtPrize-Scavenger-Hunt-Animals-Tidd-2018

Shapes & Colors Scavenger Hunt for ArtPrize

ArtPrize-Scavenger-Hunt-Shapes-Tidd-2018

Family-Friendly ArtPrize Events

Several organizations put on family-friendly events during ArtPrize.

Here’s what’s going on:

Grab the little ones and join us in exploring with edible sensory art play for babies!

ArtPrize Events for Families

Food trucks, live music, DJ's, live Graffiti Art and more each Friday during ArtPrize.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Meet with artist Oaklee Thiele in a workshop designed to help children learn about disabilities in an open dialogue. Included with regular paid admission.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Come and meet the Artists whose pieces will be displayed at GRCCT all throughout ArtPrize! Ask questions, get advice on your own pieces, and more!

ArtPrize Events for Families

Help UICA make a polka dot masterpiece on the sidewalks surrounding our new building!

ArtPrize Events for Families

Free kids arts and crafts activities. Free Hotdogs. First 100 guests receive a free t-shirt.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Live Painting Experience and exhibition by Carlos Sampson.

ArtPrize Events for Families

A joint performance between the Grand Rapids Ballet and Degage Ministries. Free and open to the public.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Meet Artprize artist Jax Kalin for a drop-in workshop in our makerspace. Create your own sea creature! Included with regular paid admission.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Parents can bring their children for a free paint and sip experience. Family will get an art kit to complete at the art pod.

ArtPrize Events for Families

BYOS: Bring Your Own Shoes for custom shoe art !!!

ArtPrize Events for Families

A joint performance between the Grand Rapids Ballet and Degage Ministries.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Live Concert performance by The Collec7ive

ArtPrize Events for Families

Food trucks, live music, DJ's, live Graffiti Art and more each Friday during ArtPrize.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Performance of ACTion Drummers, Superhero craft stations, and Bboy Dance Presentation

ArtPrize Events for Families

This live musical performance will merge two different styles together. The world of Gospel and Classical will share the same stage.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Help UICA make a polka dot masterpiece on the sidewalks surrounding our new building!

ArtPrize Events for Families

Stop by and checkout a live dramatic face painting experience by Tiffany Moody!

ArtPrize Events for Families

A joint performance between the Grand Rapids Ballet and Degage Ministries.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Food trucks, live music, DJ's, live Graffiti Art and more each Friday during ArtPrize.

ArtPrize Events for Families

This live musical performance will merge two different styles together. The world of Gospel and Classical will share the same stage.

ArtPrize Events for Families

Fall Fun Finder

apple orchards button 1
pumpkin patch button
corn mazes button
hayrides button
farm directory
donuts and cider button
Fall Getaways List button 1
Halloween Events button
Fall Bucket List button
Haunted Attractions button
fall photo spots button
Halloween Displays button 1

9 thoughts on “2021 ArtPrize Tour: 25+ Entries to See, Tour Map, Top Tips, Events, Interactive Art & More”

  1. The life sized fairy house – whimsical
    Enchantment – at the Atrium in Uccello’s is great. Tons of adorable details inside & out. You can go inside to look at all the stuff inside. They also have a small carousel – Grab the Brass Ring – that has animals.

  2. If you want to stay away from the crowds A great place to visit this year is Peppinos Pizzeria behind Van Andel. .They have a family friendly atmosphere and the art works are larger than life including a colorful insect display and Michigan,Michigan state football field with minions. Across the street is Western Michigan univ and they have several unique pieces including a tapestry rug created with sand. Also there is an all day $5 parking lot nearby I think its Area 4.

  3. Thank you so much for this map and information! Unfortunately, the streets are such a light gray, they don’t show up with my black & white printer. Bummer.

    1. I’m also not sure which is the “stroller friendly” route and which is the “bigger kid” route. It only says “Route One” and “Route Two.”

  4. Don’t forget to check out “Dream Big” in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott! There are a couple steps to get up to the dream catcher to add your own feather/dream to it, but it’s also entirely visibly to enjoy from the main door with no steps or barriers in the way!

  5. Thank you for the warning about DeVos. It’s one of the places we usually all go because there’s a lot of entries. Sometimes I get to go walk around ArtPrize without the kids first, but sometimes I don’t. I appreciate the tip so we can plan a kid-friendly route!

  6. Will there be a map available with these location, similar to last year? We used it for our 4th grade field trip and love it! Thank you:)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *