"ArtPrize is a radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury that takes place each fall in Grand Rapids. For 19 days in the early fall, around 400,000 attendees descend upon three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown in over 160 venues—museums, galleries, bars, restaurants, theaters, hotels, public parks, lobbies, buildings, walls, bridges, laundromats, and auto body shops—and it’s all free and open to the public."
Since 2013, WMU-Grand Rapids has participated as an ArtPrize venue and the Frostic School of Art curated an exhibition juried by artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens. This first exhibition included 32 registered ArtPrize projects representing 70 artists and transformed WMU's unique downtown fifth floor into a spectacular location full of fascinating and inspiring art. The first floor commons area was dedicated to the memory of Paul Robbert, professor emeritus of Printmaking, and features his handmade paper works. During his 41 year tenure at WMU he taught papermaking, printmaking, drawing and painting. He was a founding member of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center and the papermaking area is dedicated to him containing equipment he built himself and used in his studio at Park Trades Center. In 2014, WMU-Grand Rapids and the Frostic School of Art again invited Nayda Collazo-Llorens as the curator for our 2014 ArtPrize exhibition. The work chosen focused on original contemporary art while creating a dialogue that challenged, informed and inspired our audience. The exhibition featured 35 registered ArtPrize projects representing 46 artists and transformed WMU’s unique downtown fifth floor into a spectacular venue.
In 2017, WMU-Grand Rapids and the Frostic School of Art