ArtPrize and mnartists.org have partnered up to give a Minnesota artist a unique opportunity: $5,000 and their artwork installed on/around/under the Gillett Bridge in Grand Rapids, Michigan during the city-wide art competition. This initiative, a “regional grant program,” as described by ArtPrize’s Director of Exhibitions Kevin Buist, will reach its denouement this Thursday for ArtPrize Pitch Night: Take it to the Bridge as five Minnesota finalists defend their art proposals to a jury and a live audience. Each artist will keep it short and sweet—with just five minutes to give a presentation—and the recipient of the $5,000 prize and coveted art location will be announced at the end of the evening. Review the five finalists’ ideas below, and bring your best questions for them to the Walker Art Center this Thursday. For, as Buist puts it, “[we] believe that debate is good.”
Recent MAEP artist Broc Blegen has proposed A Monument to Community. Rather than erecting a traditional sculpture, Blegen describes his project as a “sculptural project using sandbags as the primary medium;” the idea is to delineate spaces of reflection and alter the movement of pedestrians by employing the tool of utility and disaster relief.
Sculptor Perci Chester has designed a laser-cut sculpture that embodies the freedom of a joyride: Squealies for Wheelies. The colorful, abstract work in polychrome and stainless steel portrays a woman at the wheel, and Chester has used medium to reflect content by covering her work with automative paint.
Yousif Del Valle
Yousif Del Valle is interested in changing the flow of traffic on the Gillett Bridge. The artist and musician has designed a winding path made of wooden crates that will slow foot traffic and provide viewers with a guessing game: what is inside of those boxes?
Jennifer Newsom Carruthers and Thomas Benjamin Carruthers
The architect and design team Dream the Combine, Jennifer Newsom Carruthers and Tom Carruthers, have dreamed up a reflective installation along the bridge. The duo plan on streaming a live-video projection of the water underneath the Gillett Bridge and then projecting the footage through five vertical, mirrored theaters and into the sky.
Daniel Feinberg and Alexander Hanson
Daniel Feinberg and Alexander Hanson have envisioned a playful and dramatic site-specific installation that will allow viewers to think about different ways of crossing a bridge. The artists set the scene and let the viewers fill in the rest: “a broken down early-90s Chevrolet Suburban SUV, blocking passage of a frequented footbridge spanning the Grand River,” covered with stairs, will greet each pedestrian.
ArtPrize Pitch Night will take place in the Walker Cinema at 7 pm on Thursday, May 31st. Tickets are free and will be released at 6 pm. Presented by the Walker Art Center and mnartists.org, in partnership with ArtPrize.