What works well and what could be better for ArtPrize 2015

Posted at 11:32 PM, Oct 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-12 23:32:26-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — From creating apps that allow you to vote for your favorite artists to adding pathways throughout the city to make the walk a little easier, it seems the organizers behind ArtPrize are always thinking of ways to make the event a little better than the year before.

The competition that brings in thousands of people from all across the world.

"It's beautiful," Shireen Hamid said. She and Shireen Hamid and her grandson Ahmed were among of countless folks who gathered in downtown Grand Rapids for the final hours of ArtPrize.  "I really enjoyed seeing all the art pieces, and they've done a wonderful job."

With the event continuously growing with each year since it first began in 2009,  the people behind the scenes are already thinking about what to do to improve in 2015, Todd Herring, director of communication for ArtPrize, said.

"We try to create as many tools as possible to make it an easy event for people to access," Herring said.

While the grandmother-grandson duo said there's a lot to applaud about the event, such as the wrist bands that were mailed to them for a free tour around the city, they said there are things that would be ArtPrize even better.

"It's too short a time for everyone [to] come in, because of crowds," Shireen Hamid said. "A little more time: I think that would help a lot, really."

As for her grandson, Ahmed said that while many artists leave cards, he'd like them to express their inspiration in a more digital way.

"They created the app, which is amazing, but if they had something we can download to learn more about the artists' perspectives and why they created this, like a short video clip, that would be helpful," he said.

Herring told FOX 17 apps are something that organizers will likely work on in the years to come.

"We try to do some new stuff with our mobile applications," Herrings said. "This year, routing listings so that people can create lists of their favorite work, then, automatically create a route to that. I think there's some things we can work on with that to make it work more seamlessly with the event."

Meanwhile, ArtPrize is a bonding experience that's tough to beat. Ahmed Hamid said there's just one more request he'd like to make on behalf of his grandmother.

"Maybe golf carts or something for the older people to go around," Ahmed Hamid said. "Youngsters like us can walk around, but for the grandparents, maybe golf carts with volunteers so they could go around. That would be excellent."