Grand Rapids Awaits ArtPrize Crowds, Back for a Second Year

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GRAND RAPIDS (AP).- ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids art show and competition that surprised locals by drawing tens of thousands of visitors when it debuted in 2009, is back for a second year. And it’s expected to be even bigger this time. The southwestern Michigan city’s vibrant arts scene will get an infusion of energy from 1,713 artists displaying their works for 19 days in 192 venues, from plazas, hotels and museums, to restaurants, coffee shops and parks. One of the most unusual aspects of the event, which runs Sept. 22-Oct. 10, is that the public decides the top 10 winners through “American Idol”-style voting. Last year, more than 37,000 people voted on their ArtPrize favorites either online or by text message. Artists from 21 countries and 44 states are taking part in the competition, which offers $449,000 in prizes decided by