Projects and Partnerships

The following projects and programs were developed alongside partners with the goal of deepening students’ connection to their city, neighborhood and the arts, making thematic connections to the Project 1 exhibition. Interested in a future collaboration? Contact our team at

Education Days: Collaborative Art Project

Flexible Fence is a collaborative art installation including work of fourth-grade students in the Grand Rapids Public School district and installed during Project 1 on the lawn of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The large public sculpture will be a 6-foot tall wooden fence, curving into a loop with two intersecting open circles. While the fence reflects ideas of land use and ownership, the curved line changes the traditional function of property division to create an open space, a space to enter, and an inaccessible space. Student drawings on fabric will cover the fence in a patchwork of visual stories about community inclusion and what it means to belong.

Thank you to the Grand Rapids Public Museum for hosting this installation.

For a complete audio description of the project, provided by DisArt, listen below.

Flexible Fence

Eliza Fernand

After studying sculpture at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland Oregon, Eliza Fernand has spent the last ten years attending artist residencies and pursuing a nomadic cross-country career. As a teaching artist, she teaches at WMCAT, Cook Arts Center, KCAD Continuing Studies, and ArtPrize Education Days. Fernand has exhibited sculpture, video, performance, and quilt works nationally, and has painted outdoor murals in multiple cities including Grand Rapids. Her work often involves public interaction and reusing discarded materials.

Education Days: Partner Schools

Grand Valley State University

Students in selected GVSU authorized charter schools throughout the state will visit Project 1, attend a workshop produced by Grand Valley State University Art Education Program and work throughout the school year to create a student art exhibition that will be on display in the spring of 2020.  Educators will work alongside ArtPrize and GVSU staff to complete a year-long curriculum to foster conceptual thinking and meaningful art-making relevant to students’ lives by focusing on Big ideas pulled from the Project 1 exhibition.     

University Preparatory Art & Design Elementary, Detroit

Black River Public School Elementary, Holland

Detroit Achievement Academy, Detroit

William C. Abney Academy, Grand Rapids

Canton Preparatory High School, Canton

Crossroads Charter Academy, Big Rapids

Grand Rapids Public Schools

Students in selected schools will attend a guided tour of the Project 1 site located near their school and receive a grant to go towards a student-led art project that will be installed during the 2019/2020 school year. Educators will work alongside ArtPrize and GRPS staff to receive the support needed to create a community-based artwork inspired by the theme of Project 1.

  • Coit Creative Arts
  • Sibley Elementary
  • Campus Elementary

Teen Film Project

West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology students collaborated with Project 1, Gorilla, and the Mosaic Film Experience to concept and produce a student-led film inspired by the Project 1 theme and site locations.

WMCAT/ Project 1 Student Video

West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology (WMCAT) students collaborated with Project 1, Gorilla and the Mosaic Film Experience to concept and produce a student-led film inspired by the Project 1 theme and site locations.Check it out 👇👇👇

Posted by ArtPrize on Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Student film
WMCAT Student Film (Behind the Scenes)

Take a look behind-the-scenes at the making of the West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology (WMCAT) student-led film, created in collaboration with Gorilla and Mosaic Film Experience.

Posted by ArtPrize on Monday, July 15, 2019
Behind the scenes

Teens from West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) collected a series of interviews from Grand Rapids residents about their ideas, feelings and experiences on belonging. Please note the ideas and views expressed in this series do not necessarily represent the ArtPrize organization, supporters, partners or board.

The interview with Amanda Browder was shot and produced by WMCAT student Esteban Clark-Braendle. The footage was captured during a Sewing Day at the WMCAT.

Education Days: Early Childhood ArtWalk

Through a partnership with area early childhood providers such as the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Head Start for Kent County and Kent ISD, families and educators will explore a day of art-making and tour the Project 1 downtown site location. Activities will be provided by the following arts and cultural partners: West Michigan Jewels of Africa, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Artists Creating Together, The Air Zoo, WGVU, PNC Bank and more.

FIRST Robotics

FIRST Robotics teams are invited to attend a field trip that explores the intersection of art and technology. Selected teams from across Michigan will travel to Grand Rapids, MI to meet artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Rafael is an electronic artist that develops interactive installations by manipulating technologies such as robotics, computerized surveillance or telematic networks. During the visit, students are also invited to attend opening day festivities for Project 1 by ArtPrize. Thank you to KCAD and GRCC for providing on-campus tours during this program.

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SmartArt Competition

The ArtPrize organization, Consumers Energy and Grand Rapids Public Schools are partnering for the seventh annual SmartArt competition for high school students, which blended art with sustainability and environmental stewardship. Students were invited to submit work using renewable energy and energy efficiency as themes — to compete for a college scholarship and the chance to have their work displayed during Project 1 by ArtPrize.

SmartArt Competition sponsored by Consumers Energy

Project 1 Internship Program

The ArtPrize organization is dedicated to connecting young people to the arts through a variety of learning opportunities, helping to foster a sustainable future for the local and national arts communities. Our internship program provides students from across the region with paid internships and serves as a way to advocate for professional development opportunities for higher education students in art and design related fields.

To read one of our Project 1 interns blog posts, click here

Underwritten by Deloitte & Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

Community Programs

In addition to the artist commissions, we are also providing local community partners funding and resources to collaborate with us to develop neighborhood events, performances and programming that will deepen visitor engagement with the commissioned artist and works at each of the site locations during the event.

Thank you to the Efroymson Family Fund for underwriting the costs for our community programs and collaborations.

Thank You

We want to thank our Project 1 Education program sponsors:

and for supporters of the Project 1 Community Programs: