Lyon Square in Grand Rapids, Mich. | Photo by ArtPrize

Lyon Square in Grand Rapids, Mich. | Photo by ArtPrize

Chalk this up as the coolest event I’ve never heard of: ArtPrize is a 19-day international art competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., that is the most-attended art show in the world. It has teamed up with 21c Museum Hotel Louisville to award a $5,000 grant and exhibition space to a Louisville-area artist.

June 1 is “Pitch Night” at 21c, where five juried artists will pitch ideas for installations on Lyon Square, a public amphitheater-like promenade located in the heart of Grand Rapids, right on the Grand River.

According to the ArtPrize website, “Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown in over 160 venues — museums, galleries, bars, restaurants, theaters, hotels, public parks, lobbies, buildings, walls, bridges, laundromats, and auto body shops — and it’s all free and open to the public.”

The competition is judged half by the public and half by official judges. Last year, more than 438,000 people attended the event. There were 1,550 entries in the competition. And as with last year, this year’s prizes total $500,000.

ArtPrize 2016 will take place from Sept. 21-Oct. 9.

Judges for the Louisville “Pitch Night” are:

  • Alice Gray Stites, chief curator, museum director, 21c Museum Hotel
  • Chris Radtke, artist, co-owner Zephyr Gallery, partner IDEAS xLab
  • Chris Reitz, assistant professor, critical and curatorial studies and gallery director, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville
  • Daniel Pfalzgraf, curator, Carnegie Center for Art and History
  • Joey Yates, associate curator, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

There’s still time to apply to compete in “Pitch Night.” Applications are being accepted through Wednesday, May 11.  Kentucky artists must submit a proposal (maximum 500 words), an artist CV and up to five images by email to [email protected] Give them an idea of what you’d present at “Pitch Night” and how you would like to activate Lyon Square.

The winner will receive $5,000 as a lump sum to be used at the artist’s discretion.

“Pitch Night” is open to the public; it’s free and starts at 7 p.m.