ArtWalk & ArtPrize, competition or collaboration? | News
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - The success of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids is spilling over to the lakeshore. Grand Haven's ArtWalk was inspired by ArtPrize, but now both events are scheduled at the same time.
"We're Mayberry compared to Raleigh. We're the small city," says Steve Loftis, Chairman of ArtWalk.
"It almost seems like you've got too much competition going on," says Grand Haven resident, Marcus Joseph.
However, Loftis says it's not competition, it's collaboration.
"We've taken advantage of someone setting the table and we're saying 'hey lets add a couple of place settings and have a fun time,'" says Loftis.
Over the past three years, Loftis says they've had thousands of visitors from Grand Rapids.
Loftis says one of the main advantages of a smaller event is that people can walk to almost all of the art pieces. One featured piece was done by an artist who was a top ten finisher in ArtPrize several years ago.
WZZM 13 spoke to another local artist who switched to ArtWalk this year.
"I've been at ArtPrize the last couple years and I thought I'd give ArtWalk a chance this year. It seems a lot more personal," says Michele Gort, local artist.
"Eventually I plan to enter a piece in ArtPrize. It hasn't happened yet but I'm going to," says Chris Protas, another local artist.
Loftis says ArtWalk is also discovering new artists, which he says answers a commonly asked question.
"What kind of bloom have you seen in West Michigan? Well, we're that bloom," says Loftis.
Loftis says attendance is growing every year.
ArtWalk organizers say they've gotten support from the leaders of ArtPrize to continue with their own version of the event.