Call Detail
Zip US Up! Collaborative Art Project - Public Exhibition and Sale
Entry Deadline: 6/27/21
Application Closed

Entry Fee (Zip US Up! at Baldwin Public Library): $35.00
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 5
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 5
Call Type: Exhibitions
Eligibility: National
State: Michigan

OVERVIEW: Zip US Up!™ is a challenging and experimental diversity-based project. 40 artists from around the country will be selected to collaborate on a 40-panel (one for each artist) canvas mural to be exhibited in the windows of the newly opened Youth Wing of the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan, a city located in Metro Detroit. The windows are in a very prominent and visible location overlooking Shain Park, Birmingham’s centrally located downtown park.  The project is initiated and organized by private individuals for public benefit and to benefit the artists selected to participate as the art will be for sale.  (Click on the View Site Details link above for photos of the library and the location the project will be exhibited.)

 THE VISION: 40 artists will be selected from the Call for Entry to create their own canvas panel provided by the Project Team (details below). Artists are required to collaborate with the adjacent artist to the right and left of them to make a cohesive piece that uniquely represents their own artistic style while using the predetermined connecting points provided on the canvas. (The collarboration is assumed to be virtual with each artist working from their current location.) Upon completion, the canvases will be zipped together (using multicolored Riri metal zippers) to create a 175-foot mural and be exhibited between October 2021-May 2022.

 PROJECT STATEMENT: Zip US Up! is an artistic statement that affirms when we all come together, we can create something more meaningful than each of us individually. One of the things that makes our country special is that is it a giant melting pot of people, cultures, beliefs, and ideas. This past year has shown that we all need to reach out and respectfully collaborate with each other if our society is going to collectively improve itself and prosper for everyone’s benefit.

THE JURY PANEL: A diverse and exciting panel of judges will review the artwork and select participants:

·         Barbara Heller (Captain) Director and Conservator of Special Projects at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Birmingham Public Arts               Board Member

·         Laura Host (Captain) Artist, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center instructor and Lawrence Gallery owner

·         Ilham Mahfouz – Syrian American artist whose artwork has been shown in the US and abroad

·         Gerard Marti – Owner/Artist Townsend Street Gallery

·         Aaron Cohen – Library consultant and architect/Artist

·         David Chung – University of Michigan MFA Program Director/Artist

·         Doran Brooks – Executive Chef/Operator of White Wolf Patisserie in Clawson, MI.

·         Chad Smith – Musician, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, and philanthropist.

·         Izegbe D. N’Namdi – Executive Director, N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit  

·         Joyce Riamando – Artist-Author; Founding Director, Imagine That! Art Education; Education Coordinator, Pollock-Krasner House             and Study Center 


  • Prizes - Each of the 40 selected participating artists will receive the following items from Birmingham, Michigan businesses:

            ◦          Zip Us Up! T-shirt designed by Caruso Caruso

            ◦          Zip Us Up! silver pin created by Grinstein Jewelry

            ◦          Premium coffee beans roasted by Seven Daughters – 8 oz.

            ◦          Traverse City Cherry Festival Tea by Eli Tea – 2 oz.

  • Awards:

       ◦          Collaborative 1st Prize - $2,100 (or higher based on additional fundraising) equally divided between the 3 artists with the best                      collaboration

       ◦          2nd and 3rd prizes (TBD based on additional fundraising)

  •      ​  SEE sunglasses will be raffled to one of the selected artists


•             Eligibility: National, Anyone over 18.

•             Entry Amount: $35 (nonrefundable)

•             Submission Requirement: all artists are required to submit 3 to 5 jpeg photos of current or past work. Artists may also include a website link to other portfolio work for the jurists to view. Artists must also submit a 500-word max (up to 3,000 characters) artist statement of why this project is meaningful to them. All applicants need to review and accept the terms and conditions of the legal agreement.

•             Art Creation: Selected artists will be assigned and mailed their own 18” H x approximately 56” L primed canvas panel that has been prepared for hanging with half of a Riri multicolor metal zipper sewn along each side. Participating artists are expected to collaborate with adjacent artists and challenge themselves in this project. Therefore, artists need to share their contact information with the artists directly adjacent to them. There is no requirement on theme, genre, colors, or style as long as there is some visible form of cohesion/transition and/or flow between their adjacent panels. The reverse side of the canvas will have matching measurements to guide the connection between the panels. It is up to the artists to determine how this will be accomplished. This artwork will be displayed in the library’s Youth Wing so please be mindful of the content you are creating and the legal agreement for participating in this project with respect to subject matter.  Offensive, vulgar or nude artwork is unwelcome. While this is a private event, and not a City of Birmingham organized event, in the event it is necessary, the Project Team, the Library Board, and jurors reserve the right to reject applications and submitted artwork for any reason which is a basis for this project being permitted to occur in a very prominent and public location with 24/7 viewing access through the glass windows.

•             Prepared Canvas - A primed and unstretched medium weight 11.5 oz Blick cotton duck canvas will be provided unless the artist requests unprimed.

•             Media Selection - Acrylic paint is recommended. Since the completed canvases will need to be shipped back to the Project Team in the same mailing tube it was sent in, artists should be mindful of the media and technique, so it is not damaged when the painting is rolled face up. No oil paint or very high impasto is allowed due to the possibility of damage during shipment. If a selected artist wishes to use a medium other than acrylic, please contact the Project Team for approval.

•             Zipper Care - So that the zippers can be fully functional, the artist is responsible for making sure the zipper teeth and path are not covered by paint or other materials. Please do not remove the protective green tape.

•             Kick off and Check in Meetings – Selected artists will need to attend virtual Artists Kickoff and Midpoint Check-In meetings with the Project Team.

•             Bio/Website/Social Media Links - After acceptance into the project artists may provide website and social media links for inclusion in the Project Website.

•             Insurance/Liability – Submitted art will be handled with all possible care. The Baldwin Public Library, The Library Board and staff, the City of Birmingham, Project Team members, jurors, and the Townsend Street Gallery will not be responsible for loss or damage from any cause, including, but not limited to transit, hanging, deinstalling, removal and while on display. Please make your own arrangements if you want your artwork to be insured.

•             Shipping – Each artist will be sent their canvas panel in a reusable tube at the Project Team’s expense. Costs for shipping to the Project Team and the return of unsold art at the end of the exhibition are the responsibility of the artist.

•             Artist Statement – Upon completion of their canvas panel, each artist is also encouraged to share a project statement of up to 500 words to be used on the Project Website.

•             Sale of Art - The art will be listed for sale on the Townsend Street Gallery website:  ( Art sold during the exhibition will be shipped to the buyer at the conclusion of the exhibition at the purchaser’s expense. Payment to the artist shall be 70% of the artist’s specified sale price and shall be made by The Townsend Street Gallery within 30 days of the exhibition closing. The Townsend Street Gallery shall retain 30% of the sale price as a commission related to managing sales, packing and shipping coordination, and for hosting the project on its website.

•             Exhibition Participation - Artist may not remove art during the exhibition.


·         June 20 – Submission deadline at midnight EDT.

·         June 26 – Artists to be notified they were selected.

·         July 1 - Selected artists will be required to attend the virtual Artists kickoff meeting. Canvases will then be mailed to the artists.

·         July 7 – Optional virtual Creativity Workshop to foster team building and tour of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in New York given by Joyce Riamando.

·         July 23 – Artist Mid-point Virtual Check-In Meeting. A Google Photo account for the project will be set up with an individual album for each artist so they can share the progression of artwork with their peers. This Photo account is only for use by participating artists and the Project Team during the project.

·         August 30 - JPEG photos of completed art must be sent to the Project Team for final review, approval, and judging. Due to the highly public and prominent nature of this project, if necessary, artists will need to resubmit an alternative panel to be completed by September 15th.

·         September 15 – Artists are responsible for shipping the completed and approved art back to the Project Team. The original mailing tube can be reused for the return shipment.

·         October 1 - Unveiling ceremony and exhibition opens. Artists may be asked to participate in potential opening weekend ceremonies to talk about the project and their work.

·         May 31, 2022 – Exhibition closes.

·         June 1-7 – art panels are deinstalled


Please direct questions, inquiries and correspondence to @


·         Riri

·         Caruso Caruso

·         Grinstein Jewelry and Design

·         Seven Daughters Coffee Company

·         Eli Tea

·         SEE

·         Detroit Guitar

·         GDC

·         Wolverine Contractors Inc.

·         Ahn and Han CPA’s

·         Avid Payment Solutions

·         Pacific Trimming

·         Parks Tailoring

·         frangipani + teak

·         Anonymous Donors

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria