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ArtPrize recruiting volunteers
ArtPrize recruiting volunteers

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - When artists entered in this year's ArtPrize competition arrive in Grand Rapids this summer, many are going to have needs.

Everything from help moving or setting up their artwork to a place to stay.

"Last year we had 100 people open up their homes to host the artists," says ArtPrize volunteer coordinator Kim Klap.

Lee Ingstrom and partner James Bleeker have hosted an artist in their home each of the past two years.

"It was interesting to hear about their experiences," says Ingstrom.

"We were happy to share what we have with them," adds Bleeker.

Wednesday night during a reception at the Byrneboehm Gallery in Grand Rapids, the ArtPrize staff recruited new volunteers willing to help the visiting artists.

"Plug them into Grand Rapids and help them really experience what we are all about," says Klap. "Maybe it's a home cooked meal, maybe it's a truck to move their installation. There are lots of ways to expand the good feeling an artist gets when they come to Grand Rapids."

After encouragement from ArtPrize staff and positive recommendations from previous host families, some at the reception seemed ready to volunteer.

"Yes. Why not?" Says Debbie Schut. "Getting to know somebody from another part of the country or even another country might be very interesting. It would be fun."

People with an interest in hosting or helping the ArtPrize competitors can look for opportunities on the TheCommon.org website. ArtPrize set up a page there to match volunteers with artists.

This year Art Prize is scheduled from September 21 through October 9.  The grand prize is again nearly $250,000.



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