Over the last two years there have been no ArtPrize entries in the Grand River.  This year, art will return to the Grand River during ArtPrize.

There will be two ArtPrize entries in the Grand River in 2012.

In 2009, the Grand River was shown to be an excellent location for artists to show their work during ArtPrize.  With so many entries in the competition, just getting noticed at ArtPrize can be a challenge.  Being placed in a high-profile venue, such as the Grand River, ensures an artist that their entry will be seen and that is a large part of what it takes to be successful at ArtPrize.

In 2009, the first year of ArtPrize, there were two entries in the Grand River, both finished in the top ten:  David Lubbers' "The Grand Dance" finished in fourth.  The Nessie Project's "Nessie on the Grand" finished in sixth.

In 2010, two artists were approved to place their entries in the Grand River, but they backed out when they were not able to raise enough money to support their projects. Once again in 2011, no ArtPrize entries were installed in the Grand River.

This year, two entries will be placed in the Grand River during ArtPrize.

Dan Davis' "Fishes" will include six fish hovering just above the surface of the Grand River.  Each fish will be approximately 8 feet long and 18 inches high.  The fish will be made from sheet metal and painted with automotive paint.

Dan Davis explains his entry:

I remember the first time I looked down into a Michigan river and saw the mesmerizing sight of salmon, lazily swimming in place, hovering over a spot of river bottom, as if taking a break from their up-stream journey.  That serpentine movement is hypnotic and ethereal.  One false move and it's gone, leaving you wondering if there was anything there in the first place.

With "Fishes", I'm attempting to mimic that slow motion, silent, sleepy movement of a school of salmon, hovering in place in a Michigan river.

The second entry is from Richard Morse of Studio 126 in Fennville.  Morse's entry is a stampede of 7 - 10 life-sized horses.  The horse's bones will be made of rebar.  Tree branches will be nailed and screwed to the rebar to give the horses mass and muscle.  Their heads will bobble and their bodies will be on gliders bolted to metal cages which will set just below the surface.  Morse's entry is currently unnamed.

ArtPrize entries which go into the Grand River have earlier deadlines than those at more traditional venues.  Multiple steps are taken to ensure installations will not have a negative impact on the Grand River.  All applications are still carefully considered, but the process has improved since the first ArtPrize competition in 2009.

Jose Reyna, Fiscal Services Manager with the City of Grand Rapids, said "the MDEQ has been particularly helpful in revising its policies for these and other temporary installations."

Reyna also said entries will be restricted to 30 days in the Grand River, including installation and de-installation time.

Due to the high-profile nature of ArtPrize entries placed in the Grand River, "Fishes" and Morse's horse stampede will be a couple to watch when ArtPrize returns this fall.