The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ (UICA) public art program Exit Space Project just released an open call for artist proposals for a series of murals to be installed in downtown Grand Rapids this spring. The project, which is partially funded by Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., will place several pieces of vibrant public art within the downtown boundaries.

Artists are being asked to propose murals for up to four pre-selected walls that area businesses, churches, city and state properties have made available for the project. The call for proposals is available online at https://uica.slideroom.com/#/permalink/program/24160, and is open to local, national, and international artists. The walls that may receive murals include the Heartside Health Center, a MDOT retaining wall, the Bethlehem Church, and a City parking garage on the corner of Cherry St. and Commerce Ave. Addresses, maps, and photos of the properties can be found in the documentation at https://uica.slideroom.com/#/permalink/program/24160.

The deadline for artists to submit proposals is March 16, 2015. Artists will be notified of the outcome by April 6, 2015. The proposals will be evaluated by the UICA curatorial staff and the property owners, and selections will be based on artistic merit, dynamism, and representation of inclusive viewpoints. Mural installation will begin as soon as temperatures are reliably warm enough this spring.

UICA hopes that this series of public art projects (permanent and semi-permanent) will draw together diverse artists, property owners, and Grand Rapids stakeholders to create exciting artworks. UICA’s Executive Director Miranda Krajniak said, “It is a UICA priority to create partnerships in the creative and business communities that will 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.”