Tens of thousands of people are visiting downtown Grand Rapids as the city is overtaken with art for ArtPrize Nine. The competition lasts for about three weeks and we have five reasons why you might want to stay away.

  • 1

    You Might Find a New Favorite Store

    As you explore ArtPrize you are also exploring Grand Rapids. The landscape in Grand Rapids is constantly growing and changing. Even if you live or work in downtown Grand Rapids, there's a good chance ArtPrize will take you to some areas you don't regularly visit. I don't think there's been a year of ArtPrize where I haven't discovered at least one new store or restaurant that I went back to visit later.

    Matt Milhouse, TSM
  • 2

    You'll Have to Make Space On Your Phone

    Going to ArtPrize with a smartphone? The good news is it will enhance your experience. The bad news is it will require you to use up a lot of memory on your phone unless you have great willpower.

    First, you'll want to download the ArtPrize app. The maps and descriptions are helpful, plus you can use it to vote on the spot. What's really going to cause the problem is all of the photos and videos you'll be taking.

    Going to play some fire games Capn Nemo's Flaming Carnival? You'll need a lot of space for the videos...just don't get too close and melt your phone.

    Matt Milhouse, TSM
  • 3

    You Might Have to Talk Politics Face-to-Face Instead of on Facebook

    Social and political messages are everywhere at ArtPrize. Some bring very clear and strong opinions. Others bring awareness to jump-start a conversation. Either way, you're going to react. You might react positively. You might react negatively. You might spend time thinking about a subject or issue you haven't thought about before.

    Matt Milhouse, TSM
  • 4

    You Might Not Vote For Everything You Like

    "Whoa! Look at that giant dragon! It's awesome!"

    As any "Game of Thrones" fan will tell you, that statement may be completely true whether said by you or your 4-year-old child BUT that doesn't mean you have to vote for it. Sometimes less is more. Part of ArtPrize is the never-ending conversation which surrounds the entries about which pieces are art and which pieces aren't.

    Who gets the final say? You do. You can vote for that giant dragon or quilt or mosaic or whatever, but you don't have to. Really. You don't have to vote for it.

    Matt Milhouse, TSM
  • 5

    You Might Lose Weight

    ArtPrize Nine has 175 venues most of which are found over a space of three square miles. If you're going to do it right, you'll do a lot of walking from venue to venue. Not to mention the walking you can do while within some of the larger venues which have dozens of entries.

    With a total of 1,348 entries, visiting ArtPrize can serve as its own exercise. The first week was like a free hot yoga class, but temperatures finally dropped back to normal.

    If you don't want to have to shop for new pants after losing a few pounds, don't visit ArtPrize.

    Matt Milhouse, TSM