Flint Public Art Project – Call for Proposals

Silos and Grass

Flint Public Art Project – Flint, Michigan

Call for Proposals for Temporary Installations at Spring Grove Silos – Deadline: Wednesday, June 26th

Our friends over at Flint Public Art Project, an initiative which helps to organize engaging public events, workshops and temporary installations in the city of Flint, Michigan, are preparing to fund new site-based installations at the end of this summer. Flint Public Art Project aims to inspire Flint residents to reimagine their city, reclaim vacant and under-utilized areas, and use innovative methods to help influence Flint’s long-term city planning. It’s a very cool project and all the better that they’re continuing to open up opportunities to participate and collaborate. Here’s the latest:

Flint Public Art Project is currently seeking proposals for temporary installations incorporating two, 65-feet-tall concrete silos at Spring Grove, a restored wetlands and open space near downtown Flint. Two artists will receive up to $3,500 each for their projects, which will be installed August 1 and September 5. These installations will be part of Spring Grove Nights, a new summer program featuring music, dance, and theater performances as well the silo projects. These events will help residents and visitors re-imagine the site, establishing a public space unlike any other in the city and informing a long-range community plan to re-use the silos.
Submit a proposal by Wednesday, June 26. More information can be found here.

ArtPrize: Or How to Put a City on the World Map Right Now


Have you heard of ArtPrize? Not familiar? Check it: Over 1200 artists showing their work throughout the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan; the public votes on their favourite works through a variety of online methods; the winner gets $250,000.

A citywide exhibition at this scale is pretty much unheard of and this amount of prize money is a first too.

So, I of course posted this with Windsor in mind. I’ve been to Grand Rapids before, once, it seemed like a great city—the downtown had a few great coffee shops near the DAAC, and a few boarded up storefronts, a decent mix of people, generally not that different from Windsor. And so, I have to ask, what would Windsor look like if we opened up the entire city to an arts festival?

Of course, Grand Rapids had the good fortune of having a wealthy family throw in the prize money from their foundation, and also stepped up to the plate first, but the attention that’s being focused on Grand Rapids is incredible and admirable.

I’m not suggesting that I think that the best way to experience art is to cram over 1000 works onto every open floor or wall space in the downtown area, nor do I think that there’s likely even a lot of great art in that batch of 1200 artists, but this idea, as a novel way to inject some interest into a place, is huge.

What might Windsor’s ArtPrize look like? I’m not sure, but we need to start thinking at this scale if we’re ever going to get this place moving in the right direction.

[via Good]

Shrink the City (Solutions for Flint)

in Flint, Michigan Photo from New York Times

An article on Flint, Michigan in the New York Times earlier this week discussed the proposal for the intensifying and speeding up of the city’s decline—and it might be genius. Don’t wait for houses to become abandoned before they get demolished, instead pull down entire neighbourhoods and move the population. Concentrate everyone remaining in the city to a few key areas, and build that density.

In short, planned shrinkage.

I don’t think Windsor is quite this bad; though this could very well be coming down the pipes sooner than we expect. The fallout of the current economic realities is slowly being realized across the city, but if you really want to imagine Windsor in 10 years if we don’t make some radical change, just go for a drive down Indian Road (or anywhere in the West end, really).

So, if you were offered a similar place to where you live now, but in a denser area, would you take it?

The New Year

Save This City, text on ice

I just got back from out of town, I’m exhausted, having spent the last few days in northern Michigan (I forgot what it’s like to have real winter, it was nice). I pulled this out of the freezer, having nearly forgotten I had finished it, I had some difficulty freezing this one, mostly because I was trying to do so outside right when things were beginning to thaw.

I’m really looking forward to 2009—so many things to do and many more ideas to come. Posts should start up regularly again in the next day or so.