Richard Kooyman

I Boycotted the DeVos Family's Big Money Art Competition - Other Artists Should Too

The ninth rendition of ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition decided by popular vote, has wrapped up in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the grand prize going to an embarrassing portrait of Abraham Lincoln made out of pennies. This year some 384,000 people traveled to downtown Grand Rapids to cast a vote for the artist they believed deserved to win the $200,000 grand prize, filling the coffers of local businesses with $28 million along the way. Part clever art event, part social experiment, mostly an economic development plan for Grand Rapids, ArtPrize was devised by the venture capitalist Rick DeVos and his parents, Dick and Betsy DeVos. Yes, that Betsy DeVos.

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