Arts & Entertainment, Marketing, PR & Advertising, and Travel & Tourism

Grand Rapids billboard campaign seeks artists

March 11, 2016
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Billboards paint Grand Rapids as art city
The "Art Outdoor" campaign features five billboards by local artists along Michigan highways to help promote Grand Rapids as an art town. Courtesy Experience Grand Rapids

Five local artists’ Grand Rapids-inspired work will be selected for billboards that will be on display throughout Michigan highways this summer.

Experience Grand Rapids, or EXGR, is bringing back its “Art Outdoor” billboard campaign for the second year in a row this summer.

The campaign invites artists with Grand Rapids ties to submit a “My Grand Rapids” design for consideration between now and April 13.

On May 6, a selection committee comprised of art devotees and gallery owners in Grand Rapids will announce the five selected designs.

Entries will be judged based on originality, variety of scenes entered, use of contrasting colors, simplicity and the overall views of Grand Rapids.

The selected designs will be converted into billboards that will be displayed from Aug. 1 to Sept. 25 to help promote Grand Rapids as a travel destination.

To qualify, artists must be over 18 and have ties to Grand Rapids.

Entries must be original art that showcases the artist’s interpretation of Grand Rapids, and the pieces must be finished works to be considered.

The selected artists will also receive a $500 award.

This year, EXGR has enlisted the help of UICA to improve the submission process for artists.

Janet Korn, SVP at EXGR, said that after last year’s campaign, she received positive feedback from selected artists.

“One felt that participating in the project led to other great experiences for her and her work, and the other felt further encouragement to keep pushing himself forward and believing in himself as an artist,” Korn said. “Supporting local artists and their dreams is part of our mission with ‘Art Outdoor.’”

Korn also noted that art enthusiasts continue to visit Grand Rapids, because the community is “strongly invested in arts and culture.”

“Showcasing local artists is another interesting way to show that the community has a passion for art and their city,” Korn said.

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