The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ (UICA) ArtPrize Eight exhibition extends beyond the gallery walls. This year, UICA’s exhibition features a satellite site, located on the exterior walls of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company building at 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW.
This summer, UICA commissioned the Detroit-based artist Louise “Ouizi” Chen to create a sprawling public mural as part of its ongoing public art initiative, the Exit Space Project. This mural is an official ArtPrize Eight entry (Vote Code: 63983), and a permanent addition to Grand Rapids’ public art collection. ArtPrize goers can watch Chen work at the mural site as she finishes the final touches on her recent public work. Chen will be working at the site during ArtPrize, Sept. 27 – Oct. 3.
UICA, Michigan’s largest contemporary arts center, is host to the Exit Space Project, a dynamic series of art installations investigating ideas, images, and conversation that are conveyed by contemporary artists working in public spaces. The first volume of the Exit Space Project featured public works and street artists from the Midwest who installed work in a public-facing but protected space in UICA’s building facing Fulton St. The second wave of the Exit Space Project highlights and continues to support local and regional artists on buildings and structures throughout the city.
This UICA initiative aims to increase Grand Rapids’ vibrancy, build the sense of creative place for our residents and visitors, and advance the city’s identity as a growing collaborative ecosystem that nurtures business, technology, art, and design. The Exit Space Project was first introduced to Grand Rapids by local artists Erwin Erkfitz and Brandon Alman, who continue to work with UICA to implement public artworks.