— The annual ArtPrize international art contest in Grand Rapids permanently banned a stunt artist who has broken public safety rules in past years, according to event officials.

Gurmej Singh, known as Artist SinGh, was banned after he unfurled a 3-mile long painting last year without permission and installed an effigy of Saddam Hussein in a cage the year before, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

The decision to ban the stunt artist because of his flagrant rule breaking wasn’t easy for ArtPrize organizers, exhibitions director Kevin Buist said.

“We did prevent him from entering in this and future years,” Buist said. “It’s the last thing we want to do. It’s something we never want to do again.”

Singh has installed drawings in the windows of downtown businesses during the competition that began Wednesday. His “Project Holy Cow” series, which includes 100 drawings, is displayed in several locations, he said. “I was disappointed to know that Kevin wouldn’t let me in and would ban me from ArtPrize,” SinGh said. “At the same time, my idea is to show art to the general public.”

The event runs through Oct. 12 and has a prize pool of $560,000. It includes more than 1,500 entries from 51 countries.

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