At tonight’s event held at Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Pippin Frisbie-Calder took home a $5,000 grant to install ‘Canceled Edition’ at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan -- drawing attention to the human impact on the environment during the ninth annual event this fall.

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana) JUNE 5, 2017 -- ArtPrize, the independently organized art competition recognized as the world’s largest annual public art event, in collaboration with Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, tonight awarded a $5,000 grant to Pippin Frisbie-Calder for her Pitch Night New Orleans-winning entry, ‘Cancelled Edition’. In addition to the grant, ‘Canceled Edition’ earned a guaranteed spot at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids during ArtPrize Nine, slated to take place September 21-October 8, 2017. Pitch Night New Orleans is presented by 21c Museum Hotels and Delta Air Lines, and underwritten by Experience Grand Rapids.

Frisbie-Calder’s work was selected from among five artists that were invited to present at tonight’s Pitch Night event. Each artist was given five minutes and five slides to sell their ambitious, site-specific installation idea to a panel of local arts professionals including: Katie Pfohl, curator of modern and contemporary art at New Orleans Museum of Art; Gia Hamilton, director at Joan Mitchell Center; Nick Stillman, president and CEO at Arts Council New Orleans; Heather Duffy, exhibitions curator at Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Andrea Andersson, The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans.

‘Canceled Edition’ is a collection of approximately 400 hand-carved, woodcut prints of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, once prevalent in Louisiana but now unseen since the 1940s and believed to be extinct. Each bird is hand painted, half as males with red heads and half as females without. ArtPrize visitors will be encouraged to each take a bird home with them, and through this audience participation the goal of the project is to simulate the extinction and loss of a species.

“Individuals are able to participate one-by-one in watching a large-scale wall of a species that seems to be vibrant and living and fully intact, slowly deteriorate,” said Frisbie-Calder of visitors interacting with a past installation of this work. “You can put it on your wall or on your fridge, and it creates these dialogues in your home where people are looking at their participation in the loss of a species but also being able to have a piece of art at home that has hundreds of hours put into it.”

“We talked a lot about the relationship between the role of participation, which is such an enormous part of ArtPrize, and how participation can quickly be turned into an idea around culpability,” noted Andrea Andersson, expressing the panel of jurors’ thoughts on the winning piece. “And so this problematization of what it means to participate in contemporary art we think is very exciting about this work and we think will resonate really well with audiences.”

Frisbie-Calder earned an MFA at Tulane and while there wanted to examine human relationships with the environment from a more critical angle. This interest in environmental stewardship and impact stems from childhood sailing trips through Central America, with a homeschool curriculum focused primarily on science and ecology.

The birds will be installed at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts very simply, with nails and magnets. Each nail will have a specimen label that reads “Greed,” “The Cost of Hubris,” and “The Consequence of Collection.” When someone removes one of the birds from the wall, all that remains will be the nail and the tag -- and they will be asked to complete a ‘Canceled Edition’ hunting license asking how many birds they took, how many remain, and whether they took the last one.

ArtPrize Pitch Night launched in 2013 as a means of discovering and supporting ambitious, exciting projects and to reduce the barriers to bringing them to the annual competition. Since its inception, the Pitch Night program has continued to expand and in 2017 includes events in six cities across the country. 21c Museum Hotels hosted three events -- in Louisville, KY on May 15; in Durham, NC on May 17; and in Bentonville, AR on May 22. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit hosted on June 1; the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans hosted tonight’s event; and the Indianapolis Museum of Art will host the final Pitch Night event of 2017 later this week on June 8. Each event will award the winning artist $5,000 and a spot in a prominent ArtPrize venue during the eighth annual event.

ArtPrize Nine will take place across downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 20-October 8, 2017. Artist registration for the world’s largest art competition is now open through June 8 at 5 p.m. EDT.

By Jaenell Woods on