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Stream by Gustavo Prado won the “$15k ArtPrize Artist Challenge at SXSW Interactive” grant in 2019. Photo by Kallie Spidahl.

Artists from across the United States are invited to submit their ambitious installation ideas by February 21 for the chance to pitch them during SXSW Interactive, and ultimately to realize them at ArtPrize 2020 this fall.

GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) JANUARY 20, 2020 — ArtPrize, the independently organized art competition, is teaming up with Studio C and Michigan House to award a $15,000 grant to an artist or artist collaborative during SXSW Interactive. Five artists from across the United States will pitch their ambitious, large-scale installation ideas at a public event held at the Michigan House event space in Austin, Texas on March 16. The winner will use the funds to realize their idea at ArtPrize 2020, where they will be in the running for $250,000 prizes decided by public vote. Submissions for this “$15k ArtPrize Artist Challenge at SXSW Interactive” are now open. ArtPrize is slated to return to Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 16 to October 4, 2020.

This grant opportunity is reprisal of a similar opportunity offered at Michigan House during SXSW in 2018. A new partner for the 2020 edition is Studio C, who last year opened Studio Park, a mixed-use development that includes a new Celebration Cinema movie theater and concert venue in downtown Grand Rapids’ growing entertainment district. Studio C will provide support for this artist grant, and the winning work will be installed at Studio Park’s outdoor piazza.

“ArtPrize continues to grow and evolve along with the city of Grand Rapids,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Artistic Director. “Studio Park is a major new edition to the urban landscape, and we’re excited to partner with Studio C on this innovative way to bring great art there for ArtPrize.”

Artists from across the United States are invited to submit their installation ideas through February 21 at 5 p.m. ET. Following this open call, five finalists will be selected and given travel stipends to assist in traveling to Austin during SXSW Interactive to pitch their ideas at Michigan House — a roving pop-up space where Michigan’s most dynamic companies, organizations, artists and entrepreneurs tell their stories under one roof. On the afternoon of March 16, the five finalists will have five minutes each to make their case in front of a live audience and a panel of art experts. The winner will receive a $15,000 grant to install their project on the piazza at Studio Park.

“Studio Park is designed as a space for the community to gather, that was our intent from the start,” shared Eric Kuiper, Chief Creative Officer for Studio C.  “We’ve been looking forward to our first chance to host artists in our space for years now. Teaming up with Michigan House and ArtPrize to extend that invitation to artists across the country is a great way to kick off our unique involvement with ArtPrize 2020. We love how outdoor installations become gather points for shared experiences with art. That’s what we hope to help create at Studio Park.”

This official SXSW Interactive event is modeled on the successful ArtPrize Pitch Night event series, launched in 2013 as a means of discovering and supporting exciting projects, and to reduce the barriers to bringing them to the annual competition. The “$15k ArtPrize Artist Challenge at SXSW Interactive” is part of a suite of ArtPrize granting programs that in 2018 awarded nearly $300,000 to artists, venues and educators to support their participation in the annual event.

ArtPrize will return to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 16 to October 4, 2020. Venue registration will run from March 2-April 2, and Artist registration will be open from April 13-June 4. Both artist and venue registration take place online at artprize.org.

The ArtPrize organization produces citywide contemporary art experiences that encourage critical discourse, celebrate artists, transform urban space and promote cultural understanding. 

The ArtPrize competition, which takes place every other fall in Grand Rapids, MI, is open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas for an enormous audience. Registered artists and venues connect online at artprize.org and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19-day event. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $250,000 in cash prizes. In 2018, the tenth installment of ArtPrize included over 1,260 entries representing 40 countries and 41 U.S. states and territories. ArtPrize annually attracts more than half a million active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 3.4 million votes for public art.

ArtPrize is made possible in part through the generous support of many organizations. Please visit artprize.org for a full list of corporate and foundation partners.


Jaenell Woods, ArtPrize Senior Communications Manager
616.401.1608 // jaenell@artprize.org

View and download images
View drone footage of the piazza at Studio Park

Venue Registration: March 2-April 2
Artist Registration: April 13-June 4
Artist-Venue Connections: April 27-June 25
ArtPrize 2020: September 16-October 4

By Jaenell Woods on