A call for artists: innovative installation proposals wanted for BLINK 2019

In 2017, a premier four-day art and light festival downtown wowed an estimated one million viewers. This year, from October 10–13, that event — officially titled “BLINK™, illuminated by Artswave” — makes a return appearance.


BLINK 2019 expects more than 1.25 million visitors to the festival that will extend over 20 blocks from Findlay Market in downtown Cincinnati to Covington in Northern Kentucky. More than 125 artists will be selected to participate from across the United States and over a dozen countries.


BLINK consists of four aspects: a parade, murals, projection mapping (turning unusual shaped objects such as buildings into video projection surfaces), and interactive light-based installations.


For this last category, the local art organization ArtWorks, as curator for the light-based sculptural installations, has put out an artist call for innovative installation proposals. The deadline to submit applications is January 29th.


“In 2017, there were so many mesmerizing installations where audiences of all ages engaged with the art,” says Colleen Houston, chief programming officer for ArtWorks. “This year, we’re excited to be crossing the river into Northern Kentucky, and we’re hoping to get lots of concepts from local artists that delight and inspire all who attend.”


Applicants must take into consideration how light can transform their works of art and must address one or more of the three event goals: collaboration crossing creative disciplines, audience engagement, and achieving transformative experiences for both participants and event attendees.


Jurors will be looking for work that is fun and visually compelling, using such elements as design, color, and scale. Pairing light-based installation proposals with music and performance is highly encouraged.


Artists with special accessibility requirements are urged to apply and should specify their needs in their application.


“With BLINK being the largest event of its kind in the nation,” says Houston, “ArtWorks is looking for artists from around the region and around the globe to submit interactive and innovative concepts for light-based sculptural installations.”


ArtWorks emphasizes that there are no crazy ideas, including using kinetic, interactive, and engaging works that integrate tactile elements and/or social media.


“This is a chance to put Cincinnati on the map and for local talent to shine,” Houston says.

All works and performances will be free, accessible, and open to the public during the entire four-day BLINK event.


To apply to be an artist for a light-based sculptural installation, visit https://www.blinkcincinnati.com/artistapplication. Applications are due by January 28, 2019, and selected artists will be notified at the end of February.

Read more articles by Connie Springer.

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