Four ambitious public art projects will be selected to show at ArtPrize 2016, one for each of four highly visible outdoor venues in downtown Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, February 10, 2016 -- ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury, today launched a brand-new grant program for 2016. ArtPrize Featured Public Projects will grant $55,000 directly to artists, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 per project. The organization is now soliciting proposals for large, ambitious public art projects to take residence at four highly visible public sites in downtown Grand Rapids during ArtPrize 2016. The winning projects will be in the running for the $500,000 in public vote and juried prizes to be awarded this fall.

ArtPrize Featured Public Projects joins an expanding portfolio of granting programs. In 2015 ArtPrize granted $220,000 to artists, venues, and educators, bringing surprising, challenging work to the seventh annual event and encouraging the possibility of exploration and discovery. These granting programs included Artist Seed Grants, supported by the Frey Foundation, Pitch Nights, which directly support artists’ work; Transportation Grants, which bring students to downtown Grand Rapids from across the state to explore the event; Education Days Grants, which support ArtPrize institutional partners in creating innovative programming with their artists for visiting students; Fellowship for Emerging Curators, which offers young curators the opportunity to work alongside and learn from experienced curators; and Venue Grants, which support venues in producing their ArtPrize exhibitions.

Today marks the beginning of part one in a two-part application process for ArtPrize Featured Public Projects. Interested artists are encouraged to answer a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), describing their project idea for one of the four possible sites and demonstrating their experience creating large-scale public art projects. The ArtPrize Arts Advisory Council and staff will review all materials submitted, selecting two to three artists per site to move on to the second part of the application process.

During the second stage, the selected artists will each be provided a $500 stipend to complete detailed proposals. Artists must demonstrate that projects can be built on time and on budget, and will not pose a risk to the public or city infrastructure. ArtPrize will work with artists to ensure that the proposals include all of the information required by the City of Grand Rapids. Ultimately, one proposal will be selected per site and awarded a grant.

Proposals are being accepted for four sites. Click the following links to download a PDF with application information specific to each site:

In addition to grants, selected artists will also receive supplies and services from sponsoring construction, shipping, and engineering firms to help offset the cost of bringing their ambitious projects to Grand Rapids.

Find more information about ArtPrize grants to artists here. ArtPrize will accept RFQs through March 10, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

ArtPrize will once again take place across downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 21 to October 9, 2016. Venue registration for the eighth annual event will be open from March 7–April 7, and artist registration from April 18–June 2.

Photo: Big Think by Lou Rizzolo, ArtPrize 2009

By Jaenell Woods on