Returning for its third year is the ArtPrize Featured Public Projects program, which awards grants to five artists or collaboratives from around the country to install large-scale public art projects at prominent outdoor spaces within the ArtPrize district.
ArtPrize also offered grants to three artists to create shipping container murals, which are displayed at outdoor venues throughout Grand Rapids.
These spaces include the Calder Plaza, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Gillett Bridge and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Submissions were vetted by the ArtPrize Exhibitions team and then reviewed by the ArtPrize Arts Advisory Council who ultimately selected one project for each space—awarding a total of $90,000 in grants to nine artists and collaboratives.
Where to find them
The World Beneath the City
By Cracking Art – Milan, Italy
Six giant red crocodiles will emerge from the Grand River at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, appearing to crawl across the grass. ArtPrize visitors are invited to climb onto the crocodiles via metal platforms over the legs.
By Ryan Swanson – Tampa, FL
Larger-than-life, colorful crystals placed across the Gillet Bridge wll use sight, sound and touch to bring people together—transforming the walkway into a community gathering point. The crystals will reflect the surrounding water and nature, creating beautiful photographic moments.
Harvest Dome 3.0
By SLO Architecture – Long Island City, NY
A 24-foot diameter buoyant orb, constructed with brightly colored defective and discarded seatbelts, will float in the Grand River near Gillett Bridge on 128 two-liter soda bottles. The dome will emerge from the water as an accumulation of the city’s manufacturing legacy and a byproduct of it.
Animal Land: ArtPrize 10
By Strohacker/Sollars – Tempe, AZ
Indoor and outdoor video projections at the Grand Rapids Art Museum will reimagine traditional wildlife in a contemporary format—through technology in an urban space with human inhabitants. The projections will generate synthetic animals, native to the geographical location, that are completely decontextualized.
By Gustavo Prado – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This installation inverts the traditional challenge artists face at Calder Plaza. Instead of creating a work that competes on presence with La Grande Vitesse, Prado’s work reflects and amplifies the landscape it occupies. The series of convex mirrors will be installed in a stream formation, reflecting not only Calder’s sculpture, but also referencing Grand Rapids’ namesake river.
We are the Music Makers/We are the Dreamers of Dreams
By Shaina Kasztelan – Detroit, MI
Kasztelan will create an over-the-top vibrant psychedelic experience at Gillett Bridge, drawing inspiration from techno music and candy raver fashion. Color, texture and pattern will blend together as a means of self-expression.
To Advance God’s Kingdom (Rose Colored Glasses)
By Brian Lacey – Detroit, MI
Lacey will employ geometric elements paired with a methodically mapped out composition and regionally relevant patterns and iconography to represent human beings’ relationship with their environment. The mural at Calder Plaza will reference the long-standing history of design in West Michigan.
By Patrick Hershberger – Kalamazoo, MI
On the Blue Bridge, Hershberger will depict the former Club Indigo, a Grand Rapids establishment to once feature great musicians of the Jazz and Blues era—creating scenes of both the building’s interior and exterior featuring his whimsical animal characters. This mural is presented by X-Rite Pantone.
ArtPrize takes place Sept. 19 – Oct. 7.