Image of Walker Art Center's crinkled skin by Star Tribune photographer Stormi Greener.


Minnesota artists are invited to a Q & A session Tuesday evening at Walker Art Center where officials from ArtPrize, a Michigan organization, will lay out the ground rules for the ArtPrize Pitchfest. Described as a "competitive grant program," the Pitchefest sounds more like speed dating.

Five artist finalists will be picked by a Twin Cities jury and given five minutes each to show five slides to five jurors in hopes of getting $5,000.The initial phase is open to all artists; the five finalists will give their pitches to the jury on "ArtPrize Pitch Night" sometime in June.

Winner of the local event will then go on to the big deal ArtPrize competion held annually in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That event was founded five years ago by Rick DeVos, a "social media entrepreneur" who, naturally, has built audience participation into the deal. Viewers get to vote on their Top 10 favorites who also get prize money.

 Last year's grand prize winner, Adonna Khare, got $200,000 for a mural-sized drawing, "Elephants." A $75,000 second prize went to Martijn van Wagtendonk for a kinetic sculpture, "Song of Lift," and Frits Hoendervanger took home a $50,000 third prize for a painting, "Rebirth of Spring."

The 2012 competition attracted 1,517 entrants. Six of those entrants shared an additional $200,000 in prize money.

An offshoot of the Grand Rapids program, Minnesota's event is co-sponsored by Walker Art Center, and ArtPrize. For more details check out the info session at 7 p.m., Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Av., Minneapolis. 612-375-7600.

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