Art Prize – The Perfect Time to Visit Grand Rapids, MI

Art Prize is an event downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan that started in 2009 and has grown immensely over the past 9 years now attracting over 500,000 people to the city. Any artist from anywhere in the world is welcome to enter a piece into the competition. The art is displayed all over city in the bars, restaurants, museums, parks, hotels, etc. and is judged by art experts as well as the public. Two winners (one for the expert votes and one for the popular vote) receive a $200,000 prize. From paintings to sketches to sculptures you will truly see it all!

Recently I have been traveling to Southwest Michigan for work, so I drove home one night to explore with my mom. I only had a few hours to walk around so I didn’t even see half of the entries, but it was still such a fun night. If you live close to Grand Rapids (aka all my Chicago readers), this would be the perfect weekend getaway!

The Art

This years winner was a portrait of Lincoln made out of 24,000 pennies. The pennies range in date from 1909 (the first year the Lincoln penny came out) to today which is how the artist, Richard Schlatter, got the contrasting shades.


My mom and I ended the night with dinner and drinks at Wolfgang Puck on the River. I’m hoping next year I can get a group of my Chicago friends to visit for a weekend!


Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Robert
    October 29, 2017 / 8:14 am

    Bet your Dad wishes he had gone with you. Take care.

  2. October 30, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    What a great post! The event seems to be very interesting according to the description and beautiful pictures. I am so glad you had a chance to have some fun with your mom! 😉

    • Kirsten Elizabeth
      November 2, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Thanks girl! It has been amazing! You and your husband would love it if you ever find yourself in MI this time of year!

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