EL Art Festival Introduces "People's Choice" Award

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 9:51 am
Jessy Gregg

Visitors to this year’s East Lansing Arts Festival are invited to cast their ballots and help to select the winner in a new award category, The People’s Choice Award.

There are many awards that exhibitors in the Festival can be given, which are selected by a group of “on-site” jurors who tour the festival and select artworks which they find worthy of recognition.

The City of East Lansing has funded one of these awards since the first year of the Festival. The East Lansing Purchase Award has produced a collection of original artwork that is displayed in City Hall for public viewing.

This year, the East Lansing Art Commission and the Downtown Development Authority are contributing additional funds to the award to support a larger prize and allow additional artworks to be considered. The Arts Commission contribution is being funded by revenue generated through the Percent for Art Ordinance, which mandates that public capital improvement projects and private developments commit 1% of their budget to public art.

To select a winner for this new People’s Choice Purchase Award, on-site jurors will select five possible winners and the public will vote for their favorite.

Starting at noon on Saturday, artists whose work has been nominated for the Peoples Choice Purchase Award will display a “People’s Choice Nominee” sign in their festival booth, or visitors can stop by one of East Lansing Art Festival information booths for a complete list of the nominees. Ballots will be available in both in the artist’s booths and at the information tent, but must be turned into the information tent to be counted.

Usually the city-owned art pieces can be only be seen on the walls at City Hall, so visitors who don’t have occasion to visit the city offices might never have a chance to see them. This year the Festival will host a special “Pop-up” art gallery inside the Marriott Hotel and Event Center where past Purchase Award winners will be available for viewing,

We are excited to be partnering with the EL Arts Commission and the DDA on this project. It is wonderful that the public will be able to see the City's Art Collection and will be able to vote for this year's Purchase Award. It is fantastic to have these new offerings for festival attendees,” East Lansing Art Festival Director Michelle Carlson told ELi via email.

Artists whose work is selected for any of the juried awards are invited back to the Festival for the next three years, allowing them to skip the application and selection process.


[Editor’s note: Jessy Gregg serves on the East Lansing Arts Commission and will be a member of the on-site selection jury during this year’s Art Festival.]

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