The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Let's Save Michigan have issued an open call to artists, illustrators, and graphic designers for original posters to inspire Michiganders to revive their state. The new posters should be a call to action, and serve as part of a campaign to rally citizens to do the hard work that's necessary to position Michigan as a state that will thrive in the future. Ultimately, the posters should aim to be forward-looking, inspirational, and must include the phrase "Let's Save Michigan" in the design.
The hope is to highlight the actions and assets that are critical to moving our cities forward, whether that is renovating historic homes, planting community gardens, establishing extensive public transportation and bike lines, making public art—or whatever the artist believes will carry Michigan through the 21st century, and beyond.
Ideally, the new posters will be in the fashion of Works Progress Administration artwork of the 1930s, which is the subject of a DIA exhibition, and depict regional, recognizable subjects—ranging from portraits to cityscapes and images of city life that remind the public of quintessential American values such as hard work, community and optimism.
From December 15 to February 15, participants can submit their entries here on the Let's Save Michigan website. From this group, judges will select 25 finalists whose work will be featured on the site, and visitors will be able to vote for their favorites. The winners will be announced in early March.
The winner will be awarded $1,000 and the runner-up will receive $250. After the voting concludes on our website you will be able to see the finalists displayed in the lobby of Detroit’s Historic Fischer Building during the month of March.
Need inspiration? The DIA exhibition Government Support for the Arts is on view now through March 21, 2010 and features around 100 prints created under the Federal Art Project, a unit of the WPA. The era represents a very specific moment when art for the people was a true rallying concept that resulted in wonderful woodcuts, wood engravings, linoleum cuts, etchings, lithographs, and the then new "silkscreen" process. These prints speak to the essence of the times and document a significant phase in the printmaking history of the United States.