Ann Arbor Art Center seeking artists for new alleyway design challenge

Submissions accepted until Sunday, July 11

The Ann Arbor Art Center softly reopened on June 30, 2020 after closing its doors to the public in March. Photo courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art Center. (Andrew Cohen)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Ann Arbor Art Center is looking for artists, architects, designers and engineers for its new alleyway project.

The Alleyway Project: Activating Ann Arbor’s Alleys Through Art design challenge is the first project from A2AC Alleys, an initiative focused on reimagining overlooked pedestrian spaces.

It intends to highlight the potential of alleyways and how their use through art, performances and events benefits urban environments, the art center said in an email.

“We want to re-imagine Ann Arbor’s alleyways; to breathe life into these auxiliary spaces, to create a place, a destination in itself, and to demonstrate the value, the importance, and the potential of these between spaces and the significance they have to our built urban fabric,” says the project website.

Here are the details:

  • Proposal submission is free. Designs can be submitted as one landscape-oriented 36-inch-by-24-inch board, including drawings and a project statement.
  • Designs should be engaging and utilize the surrounding site space. Potential sites include alleyways along West Liberty Street and West Washington Street.
  • Installations selected for the project must be able to remain up for at least a year, must be safe for public use and be able to be installed onsite within a two-week schedule.
  • Creatives and teams are encouraged to submit their installation designs until Sunday, July 11.

Final design teams will be announced during the last week of July, the art center said.

Submissions will be judged by a jury of nationally and internationally recognized designers, artists, and urban planning professionals, and a local selection committee. Four will be selected for installation in alleys around the west side of Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

Selected proposal teams will get $10,000-$15,000 to construct their design.

Development and installation are projected to happen in October.

Learn more about the Alleyway Project here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.