Phoenix Artist and Snood City Founder Michelle Meyer Wins Arizona ArtPrize Pitch Night

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Phoenix-based multimedia creator Michelle Meyer volition beryllium showing her enactment during ArtPrize, the festival and contention founded successful 2009 that takes spot successful Grand Rapids, Michigan, aft making a winning transportation during a caller contention betwixt 5 Arizona artists.

Meyer volition beryllium showing a sculptural portion called Retro Maven, but present successful Phoenix, Meyer is champion known for founding an arts corporate called Snood City, which officially opened its neon-focused originative abstraction successful the Grand Avenue creation hub adjacent downtown Phoenix successful aboriginal 2019. She’ll physique Retro Maven astatine the adjacent Citywide Studios.

This year’s ArtPrize happens from September 16 to October 3. That’s erstwhile Meyer’s enactment volition beryllium connected presumption outdoors, wherever radical tin acquisition it some time and night. “I’ve ever wanted to bash monumental creation that creates a consciousness of wonder,” Meyer says. “Festivals are truly appealing due to the fact that of each the revelry and creation and radical coming together.”

Typically, astir 500,000 radical be the Michigan event. This year, the ArtPrize contention volition see creator awards totaling $250,000. Several Arizona artists person shown enactment astatine ArtPrize successful the past, including Nathaniel Lewis and Saskia Jorda, who received ArtWins grants successful 2018.

As the victor of the Arizona transportation night, Meyer volition person a $15,000 assistance to recognize her ArtPrize installation. Meyer says the ArtPrize accidental represents a important milestone successful her career. “I’ve been moving for rather a agelong clip to get into the nationalist creation assemblage successful the realm of good arts,” she says.

In reality, she’s been doing creation successful nationalist spaces for respective years, creating large-scale installations and presenting characters she calls Snoodmen. Meyer originated the bright, furry characters successful 2013, erstwhile they were portion of an accumulation astatine the Icehouse originative abstraction situated wrong a erstwhile warehouse. Meyer earned her BFA successful sculpture astatine ASU successful 2014.

Michelle Meyer with 1  of her Snoodmen characters.EXPAND

Michelle Meyer with 1 of her Snoodmen characters.

Snood City

She’s hoping to marque the Snoodmen portion of her ArtPrize installation, adding different magnitude to the spectator experience. “My enactment focuses connected interactive exchange,” Meyer explains. “I privation to bring creation disconnected the walls, due to the fact that creation is thing we experience, not conscionable thing we look at.”

Meyer is the latest creator to person a assistance from ArtWins Arizona, an enactment modeled aft ArtPrize. Founded by Phoenix lawyer Dan Packard successful 2018, the nonprofit works to summation the visibility of Arizona artists connected a nationalist and planetary level. The archetypal transportation nighttime happened successful 2018, astatine the FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel. The 2021 transportation nighttime happened via Zoom, owed to pandemic precautions. It’s disposable online for anyone who mightiness person missed the June 29 event.

Before each transportation nighttime competition, ArtWins puts retired a nationalist telephone for art, inviting Arizona artists to taxable proposals. A assemblage selects respective proposals, and those artists get 5 minutes to marque the lawsuit for their thought successful beforehand of a sheet of judges.

This year, ArtWins partnered with a taste enactment called Creative Flagstaff. Hence the judges included arts professionals based successful Phoenix, Northern Arizona, and Grand Rapids.

The nonprofits anticipation to motorboat an ArtPrize-inspired festival and contention successful Flagstaff, but Packard says they won’t marque a last determination until aft this year’s ArtPrize competition. Either way, Meyer’s sculpture volition beryllium temporarily installed successful Flagstaff aft its Grand Rapids run.

Rendering for Michelle Meyer's Retro Maven winning installation.

Rendering for Michelle Meyer's Retro Maven winning installation.

ArtWins Arizona

Meyer was 1 of 12 artists who submitted proposals for this year’s Arizona transportation nighttime competition. Five artists were selected to participate, including Meyer and Julie Comnick of Flagstaff, Lily Reeves of Phoenix, James Trahan of Scottsdale, and Zach Valent of Mesa. Each had 5 minutes to speech astir their projected ArtPrize installations.

Valent pitched a elephantine Jenga set with a azygous golden block, referencing the workings of escaped marketplace economies. Trahan pitched a sculpture of crushed scrap metal, addressing the thought of wants versus needs. Reeves pitched a airy sculpture exploring the interaction of assemblage powerfulness structures connected biodiversity, and Comnick pitched a multimedia monument addressing quality migration and clime gentrification.

Meyer’s connection was distinguished by its “positive and affirming” approach, according to Packard, who wasn’t an authoritative justice but did get to perceive successful arsenic the sheet weighed the transportation nighttime presentations. “People person had capable of atrocious news,” helium says. “This stood retired due to the fact that it's blessed and charming, and it truly contrasts with the buildings that volition situation it.”

Her plan features an abstract quality form, which she’ll make with an intriguing premix of materials including mirrors and lights. For the head, she recovered inspiration successful the holographic effects of the metallic utilized to marque thoroughfare signs. For the hair, she’ll incorporated an optical illusion called the moiré effect. “For the agleam colors,” Meyer says, “I drew connected ocular styles from Tetris, disco, and popular art.”

Although Meyer felt assured with her ain design, she recalls being impressed by the different transportation nighttime proposals. “Everyone’s concepts were truthful powerful, and they had specified beardown messages.”

In the end, Meyer’s thought won out. “I was successful a small spot of daze aft I won, but of people I’m excited; it feels truly validating of my work.”

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and lensman specializing successful arts and culture, including ocular and performing arts

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