"Frankly, I’ve never seen anything like it. People who normally would never have any interest in art are now flocking to buildings to catch a glimpse of the work. Almost all of it is for sale, though nothing can be bought until after the competition closes (ArtPrize takes ownership the winning work). It’s exactly what I have always wanted for art, but of course, for one thing: People have bad taste. Of the ten finalists I will see today, I expect to like only one or two pieces. Amidst this year’s top crop, are the father-son living sculpture, a sci-fi eco-system sculpture, and a chainsawed log into a grizzly bear. Also, a giant preying mantis with a butterfly and a metal dog."
Interesting on a whole bunch of levels. First, off it's used mostly unknown artists to create an event with a huge financial and tourist impact in a severely depressed state. For the same reason, it's now heavily supported by a local business community and other non traditional arts funders.
The downside, as Paddy says, is realising just how bad, your neighbors taste is. But as she also points out, this may change as a wider public becomes more exposed and interested in art.