The Technology of Art Prize

Art Prize is a global art competition located in Grand Rapids Michigan. This 19-day long event consumes the city of Grand Rapids in the early fall. The city in its entirety is transformed into an exhibit with over 160 venues that includes cafes, museums and the streets. Wherever you look you will find a city drenched in the colors of The worlds most creative minds. The competition’s winner is determined through public opinion and a panel of judges with over $720,000 in grants and awards to distribute to the artistic contributors. The event has only existed for 8 years and in this time it has grown rapidly in spite of its adolescence. This exponential growth has largrly to do to the contribution of technology hand in hfullsizerenderand with art. Art changes and adapts with times and society as does technology. It is art’s job to depict and express change in culture and in the instance of Art Prize technologies role is
held in the promotion
of art through the event. Spreading awareness of Art Prize results in more participation as well and more economic stimulation for the Grand Rapids Area. So how has Art prize utilized technology to supplement its exponential growth? The innovation of  Geo tagging,  the launch of  the  Art Prize App with a capstone of  extensive social media promotion.

Geotagging is the process of adding geographical information to various forms of  media.This is usually accomplished through the collection of data usually consisting of location. If you use snapchat you are most likely making use of the img_9119geotags depicting what city or town you are currently in. As consumers we love the idea of collecting photos and videos that identify exactly where this experience was captured. SCVNGR,  is a game and social media platform that was utilized for art prize. Scvnger is a location-based game that involves earning points by completing treks. According to Ian MacLurg, ArtPrize’s social media analyst, “One thing we really wanted to do last year that we weren’t able to was use a geotagging platform of some sort, and Foursquare and Gowalla didn’t necessarily seem to do what we wanted to do,” MacLurg said. “SCVNGR provides a platform for a lot more action to be done” (Bennett Rylah, 2010).

The introduction of the Art Prize mobil app was a innovative addition to the event. The Art Prize app is best used as  personal guide to the festivities, allowing users to register to vote via geo-location. the App however crashed during the 2015 Art prize event causing delays in voting as well as other issues. Christian Gaines is the executive director of ArtPrize. Commented on the incident to FOX 17 West Michigan reporter, Erica Francis:

“When you have 450,000 people and take place over 19 days and have 100 thousand downloads and 40 thousand registrants and half a million votes cast
sometimes you have problems,” said Gaines (Francis, 2015). While the incident was resolved and the app continues to be a benifical addition to the event it is important to understand the potential risks associated with total voting dependancey through technology.fullsizerender-3 Petrocelli clarifies the potential hazards in this type of dependency: “Computer technology and the data associated with it are integrated into all aspects of an organization’s operations. Because of this dependence on information technology, there is a clear risk that data loss can make it impossible for an organization to perform properly,” (Petrocelli, 2005).  While it is cruicial to understand the precations associated with tecnolgoy it is also importat to still utilize it for all the potential it holds. Art prize participates actively in social media, effectively promoting the event though facebook, Twitter, Instagram and snapchat.  These social media apps serve as a global announcement platform, creating excitement and interest towards the event. The event’s rapid growth is largely due to the incorporation of technology into every aspect of art Prize.” Art Prize is, in and of itself, an innovative endeavor. It should come as no shock that ArtPrize, then, takes full advantage of innovative technology and social media trends when it comes to executing and promoting the event” (Bennett Rylah, 2010).


  1. ArtPrize. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2016, from
  2.  Bennett Rylah, Thursday, September 16, 2010. (n.d.). SCVNGR: A New Way to Discover ArtPrize. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from
  3. Francis, E. (2015, September 23) Fox 17 West Michigan. ArtPrize kicks off despite technical glitches. Retrieved on September 28, 2015. From
  4. Michaela Eagan on August 24, 2016. (n.d.). ArtPrize. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from
  5. Petrocelli, T. (2005, December 9). InformIT. The changing face of data protection. Retrieved on September 28, 2015. From

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