It's always interesting to see what happens to ArtPrize entries after the competition.  Each year a few land in high profile places, this year has been no exception.  Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not!' has bought three entries from ArtPrize 2011.  They are considering purchasing many more.

Mlive.com reports:

Edward Meyer, vice president of exhibits and archives for Ripley Entertainment, Inc., was one of an estimated 500,000 people who came to Grand Rapids for the third annual exhibition.

Meyer came with his checkbook and he’s acquired three pieces, so far, from ArtPrize 2011 for Ripley’s museums of oddities.

“I really believe it’s the best art contest in country, if not the world,” said Meyer, who also bought a fourth piece from an artist who entered a different work in the contest that ended Oct. 9.

Here's the entries going to Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not!':

A fourth artist has sold a piece to Ripley's because of the exposure provided by ArtPrize.  Mlive.com reports:

Meyer was intrigued by John O’Hearn’s “Eye Don’t Know,” a large eyeball created from some 62,000 airsoft BB’s, on display in The B.O.B.

“It’s a cool piece, the technique and colors,” Meyer recalled.

But the subject itself didn’t appeal to him, so Meyer asked the artist from Traverse City if he had anything else using the same materials.

“He said he’s got one of LeBron James,” Meyer said. “I said, ‘Sold.’”

ArtPrize critics have many complaints about ArtPrize.  I would hope that more purchases like these would begin to quiet some of those complaints.

ArtPrize was not created for the art community, it is for the public.  But that doesn't mean it can't be good for both.  If the public's demand for art continues to grow we will see more purchases like these in the future.  Artists will gain exposure and will have an opportunity to make sales that they may never have made otherwise.  Everybody wins.