ArtPrize is continuing its partnership with 21c Museum Hotels to host a Pitch Night event. Instead of Cincinatti, we're staging this year's event at the newly opened 21c location in Durham, North Carolina. One North Carolina artist will be awarded $5,000, and the chance to install their work at a highly visible public ampitheater next to the Grand River.

Applications are due May 26, more details below.

Every fall, over 1,500 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 to choose the winner of a $200,000 grand prize and four $12,500 category winners. Simultaneously, world-renowned jurors select a $200,000 Juried Grand Prize winner, and four $12,500 juried category winners.

Pitch Night Durham will take place on June 3 at 7:00 p.m. at 21c Durham. 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 at Lyon Square during ArtPrize 2015.

The judges for Pitch Night Durham are:

  • Alice Gray Stites, 21c Museum Hotels - VP, Museum Director
  • Linda Dougherty, North Carolina Museum of Art - Chief Curator & Curator of Contemporary Art
  • Gab Smith, CAM Raleigh - Executive Director
  • Xandra Eden, Weatherspoon Art Museum - Curator of Exhibitions
  • Marshall Price, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University - Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Pitch Night Durham is presented by:

Delta Airlines

More Details

How to apply

Between now and May 26, North Carolina artists must submit a proposal (maximum 500 words), an artist CV, and up to five images, all by e-mail to Give us an idea of what you'd present at Pitch Night, and what you'd like to put in the Lyon Square.

Who can apply?

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

What can be put in Lyon Square? 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 space and what's allowed, see Lyon Square 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 it possible.

What happens if my pitch wins?

Several things. One, we'll register you as an artist on at no cost (normally registering as an artist costs $50). We'll connect you with the Lyon Square venue, because every artist in ArtPrize must be officially connected to a venue on 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 to work out the details of installing the work before ArtPrize begins on September 23.

Lyon Square Information

Lyon Square is a public park located in the heart of Grand Rapids between the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the Devos Performance Hall. Lyon Square also provides a view of the river and has access to the River Walk.

Installations can occupy the flat circle at the center of the ampitheater as well as ledge seating. Access to the stairs and to the river walk must be preserved. The space can be used for installation, sculpture, performance, etc.

The riverside location that includes access to the River Walk is also widely traveled by downtown pedestrians. Earliest permissible date for installation of any artwork in the park is SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2015 at 12:00 Noon EST. All artwork installations need to be removed no later than FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2015 at 5:00 p.m EST. E-mail questions to

By Kevin Buist on