ArtPrize Announces Three Sites for Inaugural Project 1 Exhibition

Martin Luther King Jr Park and Tanglefoot to join downtown Grand Rapids in hosting large-scale art installations and performance programming for Project 1: Crossed lines, September 7 to October 27, 2019.

Grand Rapids (Michigan) May 21, 2019 — Project 1 by ArtPrize, the first in a series of multi-sited public art exhibitions taking place in the years between biennial ArtPrize competitions, today announced Martin Luther King Jr Park, Tanglefoot and Downtown as the locations around Grand Rapids, Michigan that will feature large-scale installations for Project 1: Crossed Lines this fall. The exhibition, which will include an array of performances and community events, is slated to take place from September 7 to October 27, 2019.

Past ArtPrize visitors will be familiar with the rectangular district employed during ArtPrize competitions, a three square mile area centered on the heart of Grand Rapids where any space can opt to host artworks. The approach for Project 1 is decidedly different. In order to select installation locations, organizers worked closely with the selected artists, and listened to input from community partners. The exhibition’s theme, “Crossed Lines,” is meant to explore the way boundaries affect our sense of belonging, and served as a guide to site selection. The result is a multi-sited exhibition that connects disparate parts of the city, crossing dividing lines of neighborhoods, wards, as well as socioeconomic and racial enclaves.

“We’re a city with a rich history and legacy of public art that lifts up our community. Making sure the world-class installations of Project 1 are in all three city wards is an important and thoughtful approach to engage and invite the world to experience our diverse community.”

City Manager Mark Washington, who serves on the ArtPrize Board of Directors

“We’re excited to come alongside neighborhoods and partners in the community that have prioritized the arts as a way to bring people together. We are looking forward to celebrating artists and our city, and encouraging visitors to experience the city in new ways during Project 1.”

Jori Bennett, ArtPrize Executive Director

Martin Luther King Jr Park, located in a residential neighborhood on the southeast side of the city, will feature works by artists Amanda Browder and Heather Hart. Browder will install a vibrant, multi-colored textile wrap on the exterior of the community lodge in the center of the park. Hart will install a sculpture at the park that mimics the roof of a house that appears to sink into the lawn. The rooftop can be climbed on and the attic can be entered. During special events the roof will function as a stage for local music, dance and spoken word. Martin Luther King Jr Park was selected as an installation location for Project 1 after close consultation with community members, city officials and the artists.

“The fabric of the MLK Park neighborhood is strong, and neighbors are already feeling the excitement of Project 1. The Project 1 team and artists are working closely with neighbors to advise on planning and programing of the exhibition slated to be in the park this fall.”

Jordoun Eatman, the City of Grand Rapids’ lead neighborhood connector

An architectural intervention by artist Paul Amenta and architect Ted Lott, as well as a work by Amanda Browder, will be installed at Tanglefoot. This industrial campus is named after a flypaper manufacturer that once operated at the site. For the last several decades, however, it has held artist studio spaces. The selection of the site was driven by Amenta and Lott, whose collaborative work focuses on creating platforms for the creative experimentation of other artists, both figuratively and literally. In collaboration with DisArt, they will create a structure that responds to the existing architecture of the space by filling a partial courtyard with accessible ramps, walkways and platforms. The structure will be occupied in various configurations by audiences and collaborating performers. Participation and collaboration are essential to the work, which led Amenta and Lott to a site with a rich creative history.

Downtown will be a key location during Project 1 this fall, featuring a walkable center-city experience with installations by four of the five Project 1 artists. Amanda Browder will wrap several public structures throughout the downtown core with her textiles. Heather Hart will create a second sunken rooftop sculpture that will feature performances throughout the exhibition. Olalekan Jeyifous will create a large steel sculpture. And Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work will invite visitor participation through sound and light. Exact locations of their work within the downtown area will be revealed in the coming weeks.

“Through Project 1: Crossed Lines, we are interested in how lines are drawn, both literally and figuratively, throughout our city, and how these lines inform our sense of belonging. We’ve tasked not only the participating artists with thinking critically about this theme, but also ourselves. It permeates everything we create for Project 1 alongside the many partners and community members who are helping make this exhibition possible.”

Kevin Buist, Artistic Director for Project 1

More details about Project 1, including a calendar of events and specifics on each artist’s work, will be shared in the coming weeks. The events calendar will highlight community-based events and programming to take place on Saturdays throughout the seven-week exhibition. For more information, visit

The ArtPrize organization produces open citywide contemporary art experiences that encourage critical discourse, celebrate artists, transform urban space and promote cultural understanding. Project 1 is the first in a series of citywide, community-oriented public art commissions to take place between biennial ArtPrize competitions.

From Sept. 7 – Oct. 27, 2019, the Project 1: Crossed Lines exhibition will occupy multiple outdoor sites in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will feature temporary public artworks by five artists. The seven-week run will be punctuated by a series of events, volunteer opportunities, educational programs and performances.

As of publication date, underwriting partners for Project 1 include DTE Foundation, Herman Miller Cares, Meijer, PNC Bank, X-Rite and Pantone. Major sponsors include Amway, Consumers Energy, Founders Brewing Co, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Haworth, ITC—Your Energy Superhighway, LIFEWTR, Switch, West Michigan Honda Dealers and Wolverine Worldwide.

Major supporting foundations include CDV5 Foundation, Peter C. & Emajean Cook Foundation, The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund and Frey Foundation.