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ArtPrize appoints artistic director

June 12, 2018
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Kevin Buist
Kevin Buist. Courtesy ArtPrize

ArtPrize has created a new leadership position.

The art competition now has an artistic director role, which was formally announced last week.

Kevin Buist was promoted to that position after serving as the director of exhibitions. He previously served as artist relations manager and has worked with ArtPrize since it began in 2009.

The new role comes after three employees resigned earlier this year.

Two of their roles, communications director and managing director, were eliminated. Jori Bennett filled the vacant executive director position.

Buist’s former director of exhibitions role was eliminated to create the artistic director position.

“We’ve had some staff turnover for a couple of months,” Buist said. “Folks were ready to move on and find new challenges, so we had a few resignations.”

Buist aded that the turnover "led to the restructuring and re-assignment of duties under a new title."

As the new artistic director, Buist will be tasked with the responsibility of creative direction, development, implementation and interpretation of exhibitions and special programs produced by ArtPrize.

Since being at ArtPrize, Buist has overseen more than 170 venues that host more than 1,400 artists project annually in Grand Rapids. He was instrumental in creating the juried grand prize in 2012, the design of ArtPrize’s award structure that awards $500,000 total in prizes, decided by both a public vote and expert jury, as well as prizes and grants that are awarded to artists, curators and educators.

“I’m thrilled for Kevin to take on this elevated role with ArtPrize, as he’ll help shape how the public interacts with contemporary art,” said Bennett, the new executive director. “His unique and intimate knowledge of the organization and how it collaborates within the art world both locally and internationally makes him well suited for this new position.”

ArtPrize 10 will take place downtown from Sept. 19 to Oct. 7.

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