Creative Endeavors

Sound and light 

By: R. Collins 

At Detroit Pitch Night on May 31, 2018, ArtPrize, an international art competition drawing more than 500,000 annual visitors to Grand Rapids, Michigan, awarded Detroit-artist Troy Ramos $5,000 for his installation piece known as Sound Space. The award will allow him to bring Sound Space to a high-profile venue during ArtPrize 10 in September, 2018. 

Pitch Night is an event which takes place in four other cities across the country such as Nashville and New Orleans to discover new talent to feature during the annual ArtPrize event. Ramos was chosen out of five other artists to exhibit his project at ArtPrize after pitching his idea to a panel of art professionals, such as Jenenne Whitfield, CEO of The Heidelberg Project; and Paulina Petkoski, cofounder and owner of Playground Detroit.

“We thought the opportunity for sound and light to work collaboratively to speak was most compelling,” stated Whitfield in a press release. 

Sound Space fuses the two elements of sound and light to create a refuge in the center of the city during ArtPrize 10. It will be a space for visitors to connect and find meaningful experiences through art during the sometimes-hectic event. To create it, Ramos will blanket the inside of the 111 Lyon Building in downtown Grand Rapids in black and trim it in golden neon lights, offering an enclosure in the center for visitors to experience art away from the bustle of the event. Ramos curated original sound work to play through speakers set up throughout the space, which is said to create a reflective atmosphere drastically different than that of the rest of the event.

“My installation offers visitors a place to go and sit for as long as they’d like, allowing them to take in the experience for however they want to view it,” stated Ramos in the press release. 

Since its inception in 2009, ArtPrize has sought to expand the conversation around contemporary art and has since represented artists from 47 countries and 41 U.S states and territories. The competition awards $300,000 in cash prizes, making it one of the world’s largest art prizes. Entries are chosen by public vote and expert jury. ArtPrize 10 will take place across downtown Grand Rapids from September 19 to October 7, 2018.

ArtPrize is supported by a collaborative group of corporate and nonprofit organizations across multiple industries, such as Amway, DTE Energy Foundation, Steelcase, Meijer, Haworth, Herman Miller, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, among others. 


Photos courtesy Troy Ramos