Artists from across the United States are invited to submit their ambitious installation ideas by February 19 for the chance to pitch them during the 2018 iteration of SXSW Interactive and ultimately to realize them at the world’s largest public art event this fall.

GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) FEBRUARY 5, 2018 - ArtPrize, the independently organized art competition recognized as the world’s largest annual public art event, in partnership with SXSW, will 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 Michigan House Austin on March 12. The winner will use the funds to realize their idea at ArtPrize 10, where they will be in the running for a combination of public vote and juried awards totaling $500,000. Submissions for this “$15k ArtPrize Artist Challenge at SXSW Interactive” are now open. ArtPrize 10 is slated to return to Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 19-October 7, 2018.

“At ArtPrize, we’re humbled year-over-year by artists’ vision and courage, their willingness to take risks and challenge themselves to bring truly spectacular work to the annual event,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize Exhibitions Director. “To support this ambition, we’ve steadily grown our artist granting program, giving $175,000 directly to artists in 2017 alone, and we’re excited to see what this new artist challenge will bring to ArtPrize 10.”

Artists from across the United States are invited to submit their installation ideas through February 19 at 5 p.m. ET. Following this open call, five finalists will be selected and flown 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 evening of March 12, 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 Vandenberg (Calder) Plaza, alongside Alexander Calder’s iconic La Grand Vitesse, during the tenth annual ArtPrize event.

“Calder Plaza has hosted a number of exceptional and memorable artist works throughout the history of ArtPrize – including Louis by DeWitt Godfrey in 2016, and Everything is Happening Right Here by Justin Langlois and Hiba Abdallah at last year’s competition,” said Katie Moore, ArtPrize Exhibitions Manager. “It’s a huge, open space with incredible potential. I can’t wait to see what artists envision for this space in 2018.”

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 2017 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 19-October 7, 2018. Venue registration for the tenth annual event will be open March 5-April 5, and artist registration from April 16-June 7.

Photo: Everything is Happening Right Here by Justin Langlois and Hiba Abdallah, alongside La Grande Vitesse by Alexander Calder

By Jaenell Woods on