Visual Art

Another Art Competition For Dallas?

Frank Artsmarter isn't here to judge you. He wants the general public to judge you. Which is why he has partnered with Glasstire to create the ArtSmarterPrize, an open call contest that has been described by some as "an artist invitational in which every artist, no matter his or her status or practice, just fucking cuts to the chase and makes art that panders to the very idea of a populist art 'competition.'” The press release that hit the web yesterday says artists who participate might receive publicity, they might receive fame, they will probably receive a trophy and they might receive money. Glasstire even implied they will be hosting a press conference. A press conference.

Before I go any further, let me just say that like other appearances by Frank Artsmarter (who may or may not masquerade as Fort Worth-based artist Christopher Blay), this should only be taken as seriously as you want to take it. Is that an unclear message? I guess what I'm saying is that Artsmarter is a facetious rabble rouser deliberately poking fun at ArtPrize, the enormous money grab, populist competition coming to Dallas next year. (I've vacillated between skepticism and enthusiasm.) But while he's teasing us about that, from the sound of it he's actually creating something real. Or, at least the trophies sound real. 

Anyway, we applaud your efforts, Mr. Artsmarter. And we look forward to reading your coverage of your own event on your partner website Glasstire. The full release with submission information is below: 

For immediate release:

Acclaimed Fort Worth Artist Frank ArtSmarter to Partner with Texas Non-Profit Art Publication Glasstire to Launch Independently Organized ArtSmarterPrize 2016.

Dallas, TX, August 10, 2015 – Glasstire is pleased to announce a unique partnership with artist Frank ArtSmarter for a Texas-wide initiative called the ArtSmarterPrize 2016, with the award ceremony to be hosted in Dallas in April of 2016. Cash prizes and artist-designed trophies will be presented to winning artists, or maybe to every artist—we don’t know—and the blockbuster event is expected to draw perhaps dozens of online views. This is a themed invitational, and the theme for artists to consider when creating incredibly pandering work for the ArtSmarterPrize 2016 is: “What Would You Do For Love?”

The ArtSmarterPrize is a remarkable step in some direction for Texas artists and the North Texas region in particular, as the DFW greater metropolitan area continues its (relentless) bid for art world greatness.

Says Frank ArtSmarter of the Prize:

As the foremost authority on the arts and with years of experience in the thrift arts, I have benevolently agreed to leave that prestigious world behind and bestow this very generous prize on the struggling Dallas and Fort Worth art scene. I’m a scene-maker nonpareil and now the Dallas area gets to be famous. It will be the biggest thing since galleries moved from Dragon street.

And Rainey Knudson, founder and publisher of Glasstire, says this:

I really don’t know what the hell is going on here. I’m on my way to a coffee meeting. Call me later.

This is the first such partnership Glasstire has initiated in its 14-year history, and the publication was surprised and honored to be approached by the enigmatic ArtSmarter with his proposal to originate an artist invitational in which every artist, no matter his or her status or practice, just fucking cuts to the chase and makes art that panders to the very idea of a populist art “competition.”

In the coming months, Glasstire will exclusively publish text and video content and updates by Frank ArtSmarter as he goes about soliciting artists and honing the Prize. (Also stay tuned to Glasstire for the official video press conference, slated for Fall ‘15.)

ArtSmarter and Glasstire will, in the coming weeks, send invitations to selected artists to participate in this one-of-a-kind opportunity for Texas artists to garner weird and uncontrollable exposure and having one’s not-very-good art judged harshly and gleefully by the often-misguided Frank ArtSmarter and the general public. As of this writing, the basic framework of the ArtSmarterPrize 2016 is as follows:

Artists may participate in one or any combination of the following ways:

1). Submit a video or allow Frank ArtSmarter himself to shoot a video of you, the artist, in your studio (or wherever) relaying what the ArtSmarter Prize 2016 means to you.

2). Reinterpret/modify a thrift store trophy (possibly provided by the ArtSmarterPrize organization) that will be employed as prize material and/or traded and/or auctioned at the Prize ceremony in April. (Location TBA.)

3). Submit an artwork, in any medium, that directly panders to the ArtSmarterPrize 2016 and its theme: “What Would You Do for Love?”

The ArtSmarterPrize will culminate in April, with a live ceremony and auction of artworks and trophies, with bids starting at 50 cents. 100% of the proceeds from the auction, which could obliterate previous auction records for art, will be awarded to the three artists who pander the most.

Watch this space for updates and news. And artists: watch your inboxes for your invitation to participate in the groundbreaking ArtSmarterPrize 2016!

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Lauren Smart
Contact: Lauren Smart

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