Following the cancellation of ArtPrize because of COVID-19, the Beer City Brewers Guild convened to devise a creative workaround that celebrates local art and beer.
AlePrize is a monthlong, citywide event that pairs local artists with local breweries.
Chad Atherton, guild board member and director of market development at Founders Brewing Company, expressed his respect for ArtPrize while detailing a temporary solution.
“All of us brewers in the guild are going to miss ArtPrize in a big way,” Atherton said. “AlePrize isn’t a 100% supplement for what ArtPrize brings to the community, but we thought it would be a cool opportunity to connect with local artists and utilize our spaces to promote local artists.“
During October, local breweries will transform their spaces into galleries for exhibiting artists’ work so patrons can enjoy a pint of locally crafted beer while enjoying the craft of locally created art. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to the artist who gains the most public votes and another $1,000 prize will be awarded to the top-rated artist judged by a panel of local artists and culture community figures.
Of the more than 40 breweries in the guild, nearly half will be participating in some capacity. The Brewers Guild said to expect a directory detailing what art each brewery will be hosting and to be on the lookout for beers brewed specifically for AlePrize.
Mitch Ermatinger, owner of Speciation Artisan Ales, teamed up with Dayna Walton, artist/owner of Solstice Handmade, to display a piece over the garage door of Speciation’s Wealthy Steet taproom.
“This is just a great thing that we can do to drum up excitement in a dark time,” Ermatinger said. “It’s really important to remember that art is often the light that gets us out of the dark.”
The guild wants to reassure the public the intention of AlePrize isn’t to draw crowds but to raise awareness for local artists and to give them a platform for displaying their art.
“With COVID’s prominence in our everyday lives, we want everyone to be responsible,” Atherton said. “We certainly don’t want to alter anyone’s operational procedures, capacity restraints, social distancing, all those rules that people have put in place to keep people safe. We want to make sure these guidelines are maintained.”