What does an artist do with $5,000, 400,000 people, and an entire bridge? ArtPrize is teaming up with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis to find out.

Every fall, two thousand artists from around the world descend on Grand Rapids, Michigan, to compete for half a million dollars in prizes. Their installations fill the city, from museums and galleries to restaurants, banks, and city parks. During the two and a half week exhibition, the public votes on the winner of a $200,000 prize, while world-renowned jurors select a $100,000 Juried Grand Prize winner, and five $20,000 category winners.

New for 2013, ArtPrize is partnering with The Walker Art Center to help fund an ambitious project by a Minnesota artist for a prominent ArtPrize venue. Artists will create proposals for an installation on Gillett Bridge, a highly trafficked pedestrian bridge in the center of ArtPrize. Five artists will be selected to give a five minute presentation using five slides each. A panel of five experts and the audience will be able to ask questions of the artists following the presentations. The panel will select the winner, who receives a $5,000 grant to realize their proposal on the Gillett Bridge during ArtPrize 2013.

How to apply

Between April 22 and May 22, Minnesota artists must submit a proposal (maximum 500 words), an artist CV, and up to five images, all by e-mail to pitchnight@artprize.org. Give us an idea of what you'd present at Pitch Night, and what you'd like to put on the bridge.

Come to a free info session The Walker with ArtPrize staff to find out more, Tuesday, April 30 at the Walker Art Center lecture room (bazinet entrance) at 7pm.

Who can apply?

ArtPrize is open to any artist, but Pitch Night is only for artists currently living in Minnesota. All ArtPrize eligibility rules apply. Artists must be 18, collaborative groups are welcome, and artists must own the work. There are more eligibility requires listed here and in the Artist Rules.

What can be put on the bridge? How crazy can it get?

Pretty crazy, but there are limits. Part of the process of selecting which five artists get to pitch their proposals will include a review by City of Grand Rapids officials to ensure there are no red flags. For more information about the bridge and what's allowed, see Gillett Bridge Information below.

What should a pitch presentation include?

If you're one of the five artists selected to present, you'll have five minutes and five slides, the details are up to you. Be entertaining and informative. Be prepared to answer questions from the judges and the audience. Above all, you'll need to convince the judges that your project is the best, and that the $5,000 grant will make is possible.

What happens if my pitch wins?

Several things. One, we'll register you as an artist on ArtPrize.org at no cost (normally registering as an artist costs $50). We'll connect you with the Gillett Bridge venue, every artist in ArtPrize must be officially connected to a venue on ArtPrize.org. We'll give you the $5,000 as a lump sum. It's up to you how you use those funds to install the artwork (materials, shipping, travel, etc.). You'll then work with an installation coordinator hired by the City of Grand Rapids to work out the details of installing the work before ArtPrize begins on September 18.

Gillett Bridge Information

Gillett Bridge is an historic pedestrian bridge crossing the Grand River in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. During ArtPrize many visitors traverse the bridge due to several large venues on either side: Ah-Nab-Awen Park and The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum on the West, and DeVos Place and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel on the East.

The bridge is 474 feet long and about 20 feet wide. The surface is concrete and brick, the sides are lined with concrete walls topped by metal railings. There are several benches on the surface. There are no electrical outlets, but previous installations have been able to run large extension cords onto the bridge.

Installations must be safe and not impede the flow of foot traffic. No more than half of the width should be used at any given point. There are lampposts, but artwork may not be attached to them. Installations must remain on the surface of the bridge, and may not hang below it or enter the water.

All submissions will be reviewed for feasibility before being selected to present at Pitch Night.

Send questions to pitchnight@artprize.org.

The Panel of Judges

CHRIS LARSON: BA, Bethel University. MFA, Yale University School of Art. Chris Larson has a multi media based practice that is rooted in sculpture. His work incorporates film, video, photography, performance and drawing/painting, often in installed environments. He builds objects/worlds/spaces that look familiar but have been severely affected. He has has numerous solo exhibitions: Heavy Rotation, The View Contemporary Art Space Switzerland, Deep North, magnus müller, Berlin, Germany and Failure, Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN.  He has exhibited work in numerous group exhibitions at institutions, including Walker Art Center MN, Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Contemporary Arts Museum Huston, Weisman Art Museum

BEN HEYWOOD: is the Executive Director of The Soap Factory. Based in a Victorian soap factory on the banks of the Mississippi in Minneapolis, The Soap Factory has been presenting innovative programs in the visual arts to the Twin Cities since 1995.At 48,000 sq ft, The Soap Factory is the largest space devoted to emerging contemporary art in the US. A British citizen, Ben Heywood is a graduate of Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art. From 1990 he was the Deputy Director of The Henry Moore Sculpture Trust. For six years he was an Officer in the Visual Arts Department at the Arts Council of England, the national governmental arts funding body, leading the development of national policy on public art, architecture and design. He relocated to Minneapolis in 2002.

SARAH PETERS: is a Twin Cities-based artist, writer and arts programmer who is interested in public engagement with the arts and critical issues of our time. She currently works as the Director of Public Engagement for Northern Lights.mn, a roving, collaborative arts agency responsible for experiences such as the Northern Spark Festival, a dusk-to-dawn art and culture festival in the Twin Cities. For NS2013, Peters serves as the festival’s Associate Director and has developed over 40 programmatic partnerships with cultural organizations and oversees a broad ranging outreach plan. Peters grew her roots in the work of art and community engagement at the Walker Art Center where she spent a decade organizing public and interpretive programs for adults. In the final months of her tenure at the museum, she worked with a team to conceptualize and launch the museum’s innovative participatory project Open Field. A book on Open Field that she co-edited is available for free online reading at the Walker’s website. As an artist, Peters makes boats and books. She is a co-op member at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and is invested in starting an art boat movement on the public waterways of the Twin Cities.

SARAH SCHULTZ:  is the director of education and curator of public practice at the Walker Art Center. In addition to co-creating Open Field, she has led the Walker’s efforts to engage diverse communities with contemporary artists and art forms for more than a decade. She has been involved in the Walker’s efforts to deepen the institution’s commitment to serve broad audiences and create innovative programs that engage visitors with contemporary artists and art forms. She has contributed to essays to Expanding the Center: Walker Art Center and the Herzog & de Meuron and Sustainable Museums: Strategies for the 21st Century and co-edited Open Field: Conversations on the Commons, which explores the meaning of public practice for cultural institutions.

SCOTT STULEN: is an artist, curator,writer, DJ, Project Director of mnartists.org at the Walker Art Center, Director of the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photographers and former Associate Curator at the Rochester Art Center (MN). He received his BFA in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1998 and his MFA in Painting and Drawing with a minor in Art History from the University of Minnesota in 2004.  Through his work at mnaritsts.org he has developed innovative on and off-line programming including the first Internet Cat Video Festival (#catvidfest),Community Supported Art (CSA) project in partnership with Springboard for the Arts, mnartists.org Field Day, the weekly Drawing Club and the Walker Art Center’s ongoing Open Field initiative. He has curated and exhibited work at the Soap, Factory, Rochester Art Center, Walker Art Center, Franklin Art Works, ebersmoore gallery, Melanee Cooper Gallery and the University of Minnesota. Scott is the co-founder of the SELLOUT gallery and has served on the board of The Soap Factory. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his visual artwork, including the 2004 Katherine E. Nash Purchase Prize, 2005 and 2009 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants and 2008 Meet the Composer's Creative Connections Grant.

By Kevin Buist on