Sadie Sheldon took home a $5,000 grant at tonight’s event to bring an interactive sculpture installation, made of discarded materials, to the Van Andel Arena this fall.

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana) MAY 15, 2018 -- ArtPrize, the independently organized art competition heralded as the world’s largest annual public art event, in collaboration with Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, tonight awarded a $5,000 grant to Sadie Sheldon for their Pitch Night New Orleans-winning entry. Sheldon captured the attention of tonight’s five judges, earning the opportunity to realize her vision outside the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan during ArtPrize 10 -- slated to take place from September 19-October 7, 2018. Pitch Night New Orleans is presented by 21c Museum Hotels and Delta Air Lines, and underwritten by Experience Grand Rapids.

“We were really excited about Sadie’s project because of the way that it blends concerns with ecological and social issues as well as formal concerns, said Charlie Tatum, reflecting on the juror’s pick. “We think that it will absolutely stunning in front of the Van Andel Arena. We’re really excited by the way that it could transform space.”

Sheldon's work was selected from among five artists who presented their ideas for ambitious installation ideas at tonight’s Pitch Night event. Each artist had five minutes to capture the hearts and minds of a panel of arts professionals including: Heidi Schmalbach, executive director at Arts Council New Orleans; Jennifer Williams, youth and family programs manager at New Orleans Museum of Art; Charlie Tatum, editorial and communications manager at Pelican Bomb; Bob Snead, executive director of Antenna Gallery; and Andrea Andersson, chief curator of visual arts at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans.

Sheldon's ambitious installation, which also serves as a social experiment, is inspired by the need to call attention to the rapidly changing and dying natural world caused by the overwhelming amount of waste produced by society.

"This project imagines an environment entirely of our waste which is something that’s really important to me. As I commute to work everyday. I just see waste everywhere. To have this project in such a public venue, it’s my hope that it will encourage people to think about the material things in their lives and the way they experience place.”

Created entirely from repurposed material and waste, Sheldon’s public artwork features 13 rest stops where visitors can sit and enjoy the atmosphere of the installation. Upon exiting, visitors will have the choice of purchasing a keepsake from a large vending machine, stocked with hand-sewn, clear, vinyl cubes containing material discarded from the production of the sculptures.

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 2018 includes events in six cities across the country. Following tonight’s event, The FOUND:RE Hotel will host a Pitch Night in Phoenix, AZ on May May 22. 21c Museum Hotels will host the next two Pitch Night events -- one in Nashville, TN on May 24 and in Cincinnati, OH on May 29. Bank Suey will host the final Pitch Night event in Detroit, MI on May 31. Each event will award the winning artist $5,000 and a position in a prominent ArtPrize venue during the tenth annual event.

ArtPrize 10 will take place across downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 19-October 7, 2018. Artist registration for the world’s largest art competition is underway and will remain open through June 7.

By Alee'a Ulsh-Cherry on