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Location Hours
2 Fulton West
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Gallery Admission Film Admission
Under Five

Apply for a Show

Calls for artist applications for UICA exhibitions.

Apply for a Show

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) is located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. For over 37 years, UICA has remained a regionally focused institution bringing world-class contemporary culture to Michigan. By exposing the public to national and international art, we fulfill our organizational mission to build creative community by fostering new forms of expression, promoting collaboration, and providing genuine experiences with contemporary art.

UICA is always seeking proposals for works that address contemporary issues and concerns, and/or work that pushes traditional boundaries in its treatment of materials or subject. We offer several open calls per year that are posted to this webpage. Exhibitions are planned several months to a year in advance. Please keep this in mind when proposing shows.

For more information and to complete an application, visit:

Diagrams of interior UICA exhibition spaces can be found here.

Eligibility: Must be 18 years or older. Exhibition opportunities are for emerging, mid-career, and established artists.

UICA strongly encourages artists to review gallery specifications and include a site-specific diagram with their proposal.

Artprize 2015 — Sense

UICA is currently seeking proposals for Sense, an exhibition in association with ArtPrize 2015. This year, UICA will showcase 5 site responsive projects, in 5 distinct locations in UICA’s exhibition space. Sense looks to engage that which is at the root of all experience, the things that make us who we are, that allow us to experience and learn from the world around us: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.

Projects can activate any number of the senses, but artists are encouraged to focus on one particular sense. Due to the scale of the project locations in relation to the number of projects themselves, proposals are expected to hold an adequate presence and use of space.


“For ourselves, who are ordinary men and women, let us return thanks to Nature for her bounty by using every one of the senses she has given us.” ― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

Click here for a .pdf containing details on the project spaces.

Submission Deadline
11:59 PM, May 18, 2015
Exhibition Dates:
Sep 12–Oct 11, 2015

Visit to fill out an entry application and post images. Mail-in applications cannot be accepted.

Exit Space Project - Mural Project 2015

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Michigan’s largest contemporary arts center, is host to the Exit Space Project, a dynamic experiment investigating ideas, images, and conversation that are conveyed by contemporary artists whose practice is anchored within public space. The first volume of The Exit Space Project featured contemporary street/public artists from the Midwest whose work was featured on a uniquely public, but protected, venue at UICA facing Fulton Ave in downtown Grand Rapids. The essence of the Exit Space Project is now moving into other public spaces of the city, to include public property, privately owned buildings, and construction sites.

With respect to the somewhat indefinable genres of street art and public art, all mediums will be considered in mural formats, including paint, spray paint, wheat pasted prints and posters, and 3D installations. Artists are welcome to explore the variety of concepts and complexities that is street art, and the idea of it as an art movement. We do not seek to define street art, but hope to showcase all that it is and can be. 

Artists will retain copyright for their artwork. These murals can be expected to have a life span of 3 – 5 years.

The UICA curatorial staff and the property owners will evaluate the proposals, and selections will be based on artistic merit, dynamism, and an inclusive representation of viewpoints. 

To Apply

Check out this .pdf for a list of locations, then go to to fill out an entry application and to post images. Applicants must submit proposals for at least 2 of the available project locations.  


All entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST March 16, 2015.  Selected artists will be notified by April 6, 2015