An international art competition in western Michigan is changing its voting structure as it gears up for its ninth year.
ArtPrize held its annual Premiere Event on Thursday to prepare for ArtPrize Nine's Sept. 20 kickoff.
Jaenell Woods, the organization's communications manager, said there will be two rounds of voting.
The first narrows the entries down to 20 chosen by the public and 20 by an expert jury.
ArtPrize said the second round's rules will change, removing the distinction between the public's choices and the jury's choices. This means the 20 from each finalist group will compete with each other in one pool rather than two.
"A lot of people love to come to ArtPrize in round two because they feel like the exhibitions are narrowed down. It's such a massive, vast exhibition, so in round two they feel like, 'OK, now it's down to the top 20 public vote,'" ArtPrize Creative Director Todd Herring said. "Now it's to the top 40 ... So it will actually open up the narrative that people generally look for when they come to ArtPrize in the second half of the event."
Exhibition manager Katie Moore said the change is meant to highlight the connection and tension between the popular and professional opinion.
"We wanted to allow the public to vote on the juried awards so we can see the dialogue that comes up there," she said. "It's typically been so separate and we want to see what happens when we're not making it separate. Both are really valid, and there's often some overlap."
Artists are allowed to register for the competition until June 8.