ArtPrize 2018

Grand Valley Artists has once again been accepted as a venue for ArtPrize. Our location this year will be at the former Water Treatment Building, Street Level at 1101 N. Monroe Ave. NW. The square footage in this part of the building is between 4,000 and 5,000 SF, so we will be able to accommodate a larger number of entries than we did last year. While we’d love to have the venue exclusive to GVA members, the stipulation with the city, who owns the building, is that we be inclusive and diverse in our selections. That said, we will be jurying the venue.

Here are a few items regarding signing up on the ArtPrize site and some of the items we will have on our Artist and Venue Hosting Agreement. There’s a lot of information on the ArtPrize site when you apply to sign up. Please read the information carefully.

1. If you’re new to ArtPrize, understand that their website is a bit quirky. It helps to have a newer web browser, like Google Chrome. It doesn’t have to be Google Chrome, but a current web browser makes it easier to navigate the ArtPrize site. Otherwise you can become frustrated with the process.

2. You can begin signing up and asking for connections on Monday, April 16th through Thursday, June 7th. All connections must be completed between venues and artists by June 28th. The Connections process can take a bit of time, so I recommend that you don’t wait until the last week to sign up.

3. The entry fee is still $50.00 for one artist, or $100.00 for a team. Each artist may submit only ONE entry. An entry may include several pieces that make up a series or an installation with several elements. Each entry must have one title and will be voted on as a single unit. To submit a series or multi-part installation as your entry, you will need to indicate the entire space needed to exhibit the work in the Entry Details section of your Entry Profile, and a description of the series, individual piece sizes, etc. in the Description section.

4. Once you sign up you must download a photo of your entry, even if it’s not complete or if you don’t have all the pieces in a series finished. You can go in and update it when it is complete.
5. Next, you’ll go through the venues list and ask to connect with those you’d like to be a part of. I recommend asking 3 to 5 venues, just in case you are not juried into ours.

6. We will be jurying the entries for our site. We must meet the city’s diversity requirement, so we will not have exclusively GVA members’ work.

7. You can enter more than one piece as a series, but if you want to enter a big series or a series of very large pieces that take up a lot of wall space, we may not be able to accommodate you. We would like to include as many artists as possible without overwhelming our venue.

8. Size and framing are not a restriction this year. As long as the art can fit in through the front doors we’ll consider it. All work must be ready to hang. This means wire hangers, or otherwise ready to install. There isn’t a hanging system in the space. It will be hangers in the walls, and we’ll need to remove them when the art comes down. There is overhead fluorescent lighting, and large windows; if you require special lighting you will need to supply it. Please indicate this is what you will be doing when you sign up.

GVA has a hanging committee, but if your piece is complicated we will ask you to assist in the process. Drop-off and pick-up dates will be established. Again, this is city property and we will need to abide by their rules.

9. There isn’t much exterior space, however there is a courtyard, but it would be difficult to man and protect. In addition, the use of that space would mean applying to the city for permission to use the space, which could take months. The courtyard is considered a public space and must first be reviewed and approved by the City of Grand Rapids’ Arts Advisory Board. Once you’ve made a Connection with a Venue that’s agreed to host your Artwork, your Venue will work with our Exhibitions Team to try to obtain the necessary approvals from the City.

10. If you are juried into our venue, you will be asked to volunteer to man the space throughout the 19 days of ArtPrize. We’ll set up a daily schedule of three-hour  shifts. Since this is a larger venue with three rooms and a back door, we will need at least four volunteers for each shift. It’s only fair for our artists to take turns volunteering – we will try not to overwhelm any of you with these duties, but we also don’t want anything to happen to the art.

Volunteering to man the space is a wonderful way to interact with the public, to talk up your piece, and to talk up GVA. People love to hear about your art and how you do it and why. A few of our artists sold work last year at ArtPrize, so being around to answer questions is important. One of our artists sat with her work and did very small drawings that she handed to the people coming through – this was a big hit and I’m certain this got her votes.

11. That said, we also ask you to have your piece insured – GVA does not supply insurance for individual art pieces, but the ArtPrize site offers artists the ability to purchase insurance through Fractured Atlas. “In an effort to provide access to affordable insurance options to artists, ArtPrize is extending free Associate Memberships to Fractured Atlas to all ArtPrize Artists. Fractured Atlas is a non-profit organization that serves a national community of artists and arts organizations. Fractured Atlas’ programs and services facilitate the creation of art by offering vital support to the artists who produce it. These services include access to clear and simple insurance quotes on all types of artistic activity.”

If you choose not to insure your piece, GVA will not be held responsible for it.

12. We will also need to go in to clean up the site and paint the walls before we begin to hang the show. The date for this will depend on the city. Again we’ll need your assistance in doing this. Many hands make the amount of time we spend there shorter.

13. GVA is in the early stages of planning events for ArtPrize. We hope to include model and plein air sketch sessions again this year. If you have ideas for events, please let me know so I can bring them to our ArtPrize planning committee.
We want to make this a memorable ArtPrize for every one who is a part of and visiting our venue. GVA has many talented artists whose work we want to share with the community, so we encourage you to enter. We look forward to seeing your entries online!