Technology at ArtPrize Through the Years


Technology is everywhere. It’s a part of our education system, it’s making its way into the workplace, so obviously, it has made its way into ArtPrize. ArtPrize is the largest juried art contest in the world and it takes place in Grand Rapids. It generates a massive turn out every year, and everyone has a favorite piece of art that they want to win. When ArtPrize began, there were physical voting sites you would need to visit, and wait in line at, to cast your votes. In 2014 they launched an app that could be used to vote. This really simplified the process, and in return, more people began voting. Every entry had a different code, and with that code you could easily vote for that piece of art in the app. The only way they could really simplify the process is if they added a QR code to each voting block so voters could just scan a code to submit a vote.


                                                                                   The man who created this piece, made it out of literal garbage, and other recycled items, and lived in it for the entire duration of ArtPrize.

To learn more about the voting process click here.

When they launched the app in 2014, they called it a “Technology Suite” and it truly is. The app that they released had a collection of impressive features. One of the major features they released was a “list” feature. Essentially, visitors could create their own lists of pieces of art. This was used one of two ways. People could either get on the app before they went and create lists of art they wanted to see, or they could make lists as they walked around, for friends or family to view. There were also lists created by ArtPrize jurors that contain pieces that they were excited about, or pieces that are trending in the public vote (Woods 2014). 

Every year since the app came out, they have released an updated version of their app. This year, the app included a “Discover View,” which “delivers ArtPrize blog and event calendar integration — continuously updated with important ArtPrize announcements, special events and on-the-fly happenings” (Woods 2016). Along with this, they updated their map. The map was extremely helpful when walking around Grand Rapids. It made it easier to find the art that you’re looking for, or anything else you may be searching for, the map “help[ed] visitors easily navigate to accessible venues, public restrooms, and public parking options” (Woods 2016).

Along with technology coming from the management of ArtPrize, it is becoming more prominent in the actual art. For the past couple years Honda has been doing a “Design & Drive” competition. Not only is this a good way to advertise their company, but bringing cars into the competition is adding yet another aspect of technology. Although they’re painting on the technology, it is interesting to see how Honda is making ArtPrize a bit more modern each year.


As the years go on, people are also trying to make more of a statement about the impact of technology on the world. This year one of the pieces that stood out to me was a piece by Douglas Rogge, called Cityscapes Around the Lake. In his piece he used old circuit boards to create a cityscape, and he attached them to a background that he painted to look like a lake. I think it’s interesting how artists are letting technology influence them. Whether they’re making art with technology, or in his case, making art out of technology.unnamed-2.jpg

They have also greatly increased their Internet presence in the past eight years. ArtPrize has a FaceBook, a Twitter, and Instagram, a Tumblr, and various other social media platforms. This year ArtPrize even had a SnapChat filter, or GeoTag. This not only helps them reach out to other audiences, but it extends the ArtPrize magic to places much further than West Michigan. Overall it is clear that ArtPrize has been greatly improving their technologies each year, it’ll be interesting to see what they do next.


Design & Drive Art Competition | West Michigan Honda Dealers. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

How To Vote. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

Kaczmarczyk, J. (2014). ArtPrize 2014: New tech tools will change how you experience the sixth event in Grand Rapids. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

Woods, J. (2014, September 4). ArtPrize Launches 2014 Technology Suite. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

Woods, J. (2016, July 26). ArtPrize Launches New Mobile Experience. ArtPrize. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from