ArtPrize Is Coming to Phoenix

The ArtPrize Phoenix Pitch Night is happening at Found:RE Hotel on Tuesday, May 22.
The ArtPrize Phoenix Pitch Night is happening at Found:RE Hotel on Tuesday, May 22. Courtesy of Found:RE Hotel
ArtPrize organizers are looking for Phoenix artists to pitch ideas.

The annual international competition is presented by a Michigan-based nonprofit that also presents a festival in downtown Grand Rapids each year.

Phoenix attorney Dan Packard is spearheading the ArtPrize effort in Phoenix. He announced the plans on Saturday, February 10, during a Downtown Voices Coalition meeting of stakeholders who weigh in on policies affecting the area.

"It's not just about showing art," Packard says. "It's also about creating conversations around art."

The ArtPrize competition is part of a 19-day public art event that features exhibitions in both traditional and nontraditional settings, ranging from museums to vacant storefronts.

ArtPrize is holding pitch events in several cities as part of ArtPrize 2018, which happens from September 19 to October 7 in Grand Rapids. ArtPrize will award a total of $500,000 to winning artists chosen by art experts and members of the public.
Packard hails from Michigan, which is why he's familiar with how the event works. And he wants to see Phoenix in the mix.

That's why he started a nonprofit called ArtPrize Phoenix in March 2016. Packard serves as its CEO, and art advocates Sue Gifford and Angela Hughey sit on the board of directors.

The group already has two ArtPrize events scheduled.

First up is an information session for artists on Monday, February 26, at Phoenix Center for the Arts, where organizers will share details about ArtPrize, Phoenix Pitch Night, and plans for create a similar event in Phoenix.

ArtPrize exhibitions director Kevin Buist and filmmaker Jody Hassett Sanchez will host the event. And Sanchez's film More Art Upstairs, which explores the ArtPrize experience from multiple perspectives, will be shown that night.

Phoenix Pitch Night is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22, at the Found:RE Hotel. That’s when five artists whose proposals have been chosen by a panel of art experts will compete for a grant and the chance to have their work installed at ArtPrize 10 in Michigan.

But that’s just part of the ArtPrize news.

ArtPrize Phoenix organizers are planning to present their own ArtPrize-style event downtown during November 2019. It's likely they'll rebrand and use another name, but those specifics have yet to be decided. Once they've chosen the event name, they'll change the Phoenix nonprofit's name to match.

Whatever it's called, Packard has high hopes for the event.

"We want to transform all of downtown into an amazing, interactive gallery."

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to include the correct day for the February 26 event.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble