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The Artist's Way Project - Call for Artists

Cultivate is excited to announce a call for artists for "The Artist's Way Project," a groundbreaking initiative inspired by the creative principles outlined in Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way." This project aims to foster an inclusive and vibrant arts scene in Grand Rapids, engaging local artists in creating public art that reflects and enriches our community's cultural landscape.

Project Overview:

"The Artist's Way Project" will unfold over 12 weeks, with each week dedicated to a specific theme drawn from Cameron's work, ranging from Recovering a Sense of Safety to Recovering a Sense of Faith. We seek to commission artists to lead workshops and create guerrilla art that resonates with these themes, encouraging public participation and dialogue.


Artists are invited to:

Propose original, site-responsive art workshops and guerrilla art initiatives for public engagement in Grand Rapids between specific dates.
Engage with themes that promote mental well-being, community engagement, and cultural inclusivity.

Themes for each week: 

Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Unveiling Inner Landscapes" - This workshop invites participants to explore and express their inner fears and safe spaces through digital art and projection mapping. Artists who work with digital media, projection art, and immersive installations would find this theme particularly resonant.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Projection of anonymous submissions of "safe spaces" onto city buildings at night. 

Suggested Location: Downtown city area

Week 2: Recovering a Sense of Identity
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Myriad Selves" - Participants create and present short pieces that explore their multifaceted identities through performance art. Performance artists and those interested in exploring identity through movement and storytelling would find this theme compelling.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: A dance or performing troupe in various public spaces. 

Suggested Locations: Public squares, parks, busy street corners

Week 3: Recovering a Sense of Power
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Art as Activism" - Participants create politically charged art using graffiti and stencil art to express personal and collective power. Artists passionate about social justice, street art, and activism would be drawn to this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Curated guerrilla art installations around the city addressing community issues and empowerment. 

Suggested Locations: Urban neighborhoods, community centers, public parks

Week 4: Recovering a Sense of Integrity
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Authentic Expressions" - Participants engage in spontaneous art creation using abstract painting and live music to explore and express their current emotional states. Artists interested in intuitive art-making and emotional expression would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Creation of a communal tapestry in a public park, symbolizing the collective integrity of the community. Fiber artists, weavers, and those interested in community art projects would be suited for this initiative.

Suggested Location: Central park or green space

Week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Exploring Boundless Creativity" - Participants delve into experimental art techniques such as mixed media collage and found object sculpture. Artists interested in experimentation and unconventional materials would thrive in this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Installation of interactive art pieces in public spaces, inviting passersby to contribute and manipulate the artwork. 

Suggested Locations: Pedestrian plazas, outdoor markets, public transit stations

Week 6: Recovering a Sense of Abundance
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Artistic Abundance and Generosity" - Participants explore abundance through collaborative art projects such as community murals or collective storytelling. Artists interested in collaboration and community engagement would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Facilitation of art-making stations in public parks or squares, providing free art supplies and guidance for passersby to create and contribute to a communal artwork. 

Suggested Locations: Public squares, recreational areas, farmer's markets

Week 7: Recovering a Sense of Connection
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Art as Communication" - Participants explore art's role in fostering connection and communication through collaborative art projects. Artists interested in relational aesthetics and participatory art would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Creation of interactive art installations in public spaces encouraging dialogue and interaction among community members. 

Suggested Locations: Community centers, libraries, public transit stops

Week 8: Recovering a Sense of Strength
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Artistic Resilience and Empowerment" - Participants engage in art forms promoting resilience and empowerment such as expressive writing, self-portraiture, and body art. Artists interested in art therapy and personal empowerment would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Display of affirming messages and empowering artwork in public spaces, serving as visual reminders of strength and resilience. 

Suggested Locations: High-traffic areas, public squares, popular walking paths

Week 9: Recovering a Sense of Compassion
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Art as Healing" - Participants explore art forms promoting self-compassion and compassion towards others such as mandala creation and mindful coloring. Artists interested in art therapy and mindfulness practices would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Creation of anonymous art installations featuring messages of kindness and compassion in public spaces.

Suggested Locations: Urban parks, community gardens, street corners

Week 10: Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Boundaries and Self-Care" - Participants explore the concept of boundaries through art forms such as sculpture and journaling, creating visual representations of personal boundaries and self-care practices. Artists interested in personal boundaries and self-care would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Installation of boundary-themed art pieces in public spaces, highlighting the importance of self-protection and self-advocacy in fostering mental and emotional well-being. 

Suggested Locations: City squares, cultural institutions, public libraries

Week 11: Recovering a Sense of Autonomy
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Empowerment Through Artistic Expression" - Participants explore art forms promoting autonomy and self-expression such as abstract painting and improvisational theater, reclaiming agency and self-determination. Artists interested in self-expression and empowerment would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Creation of guerrilla art installations celebrating individuality and freedom of expression. 

Suggested Locations: College campuses, public gardens, community centers


Week 12: Recovering a Sense of Faith
Suggested Art Workshop Theme: "Art as Spiritual Practice" - Participants explore art forms evoking a sense of spirituality and transcendence such as sacred geometry and contemplative photography, reconnecting with their inner faith and sense of purpose. Artists interested in spiritual exploration and contemplative art would resonate with this theme.

Suggested Guerrilla Art Initiative: Creation of ephemeral art installations in natural settings, incorporating elements of spirituality and reverence for the environment. 

Suggested Locations: Nature reserves, botanical gardens, hiking trails


Selected artists will receive a stipend of $500 for their participation, encompassing both workshop facilitation and the creation of guerrilla art.

Selection Process:

A jury composed of local arts professionals, past project participants, and Cultivate staff will review submissions based on the criteria below. 


Selection Criteria:

  • Artistic excellence

  • Visual and conceptual impact

  • Demonstrated ability to realize projects

  • Feasibility within the project's context

  • Alignment with Cultivate's curatorial vision and community responsiveness

Submission Requirements:

  • Artist Bio and Statement

  • Portfolio of Recent Work: A selection of 8-10 images or video links of recent works that demonstrate the artist's ability to create impactful, relevant art. The ideal portfolio should showcase a range of projects, emphasizing any that engage with public spaces, community interactions, or explore themes similar to those in "The Artist's Way Project."

  • Proposal for Art Workshop: A detailed proposal for the art workshop, including the workshop's theme (aligned with one of the weekly themes of "The Artist's Way Project"), objectives, expected outcomes, and the format. The proposal should outline how the workshop will engage participants and contribute to their understanding or experience of the weekly theme. If desired, artists may also submit sketches of the space for a visual representation. 

  • Proposal for Guerrilla Art Initiative: A conceptual outline for the guerrilla art initiative, detailing the proposed location(s), the conceptual framework, the materials and techniques to be used, and how the project addresses the chosen weekly theme. The proposal should also consider the community's engagement and the initiative's visibility and accessibility to the public. If desired, artists may also submit sketches of the space for a visual representation. 

How to Apply:

Artists are encouraged to submit their proposals via the application below. It is essential for the review process that all elements of the application are submitted and finished - artists are encouraged to double-check their work and all areas.  


For questions or further details about the project or submission process, please contact


Join us in this exciting opportunity to contribute to Grand Rapids' cultural vitality and community well-being through your art. We look forward to your innovative proposals and the chance to collaborate on "The Artist's Way Project."

Local Indie Bookstores to Buy the Book

See impact and work of the 2023 Artist's Way Project

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the timeline? 

February 19: Call for artists opens.

April 2: Applications due by 11:59 p.m. EST.

April 24: All artists selected for "The Artist's Way Project" are notified. This includes artists for all thematic weeks from June 10 to August 19.

May 1: Contracts with selected artists are signed, ensuring all parties are in agreement with the terms and timelines.

Mid-April (exact date TBD): A one-day orientation for selected artists will be held in Grand Rapids, MI. This orientation is crucial for outlining project expectations, discussing logistical details, and fostering a sense of community among the participants.

May 10: Final proposals from artists are due. This allows artists sufficient time after the orientation to refine their concepts and submit detailed plans for their workshops and guerrilla art projects.

June 10: Project start date. From this date, "The Artist's Way Project" officially begins, with activities planned according to the thematic weeks.

June 10 - August 19: Each workshop and guerrilla art project will occur in the designated week per the artist's theme and work. The schedule will vary per artist or group, ensuring a dynamic and diverse range of activities throughout the project duration.

Payment Schedule: Payments will be made to artists within one month of the workshop being held. This ensures that artists are compensated in a timely manner for their contributions to the project.

Is there a fee to apply? 

No. As an artist-run space, Cultivate understands that admin fees create an inequitable system, and therefore will never charge entry fees. 

I have an idea for a theme that is outside of the lines of what is suggested above. Can I propose something outside of those parameters or outlines? 

Absolutely!  These are only suggestions to be able to provide some guidance to the project.  We encourage artists to take the themes of the chapter of that week, for example, "Recovering a Sense of Possibility" and creating from there.  Think outside the box!  Think big! 

Can I apply if I've never done work like this before? 

Yes. We are designating up to two spots for emerging artists or artists who are experimenting for the first time with new forms in their practice. These spots are for artists who have excellent proposals, but are making a leap in scope and scale, and are unable to document (via past work) their capacity to realize a large-scale outdoor project.

Any advice for the application? 


We encourage artists to select one of more weeks of themes of this project that they are interested in. Familiarize yourself with that week theme, and, for additional research, consider the nature of the theme within the book itself.  Think big.  Think interdisciplinary.  Think levels of engagement and interactivity for the community members.  Create from there.  We can always help you refine work later in the orientation. 


Can I apply for more than one week? 


Absolutely, artists can submit for as many weeks as they like!  However, to ensure fairness, we will only award an artist one week. If you do want to apply for multiple weeks, artists must submit a separate application for each week that they are applying for.  

What about materials for the project?  Do I have to supply those? 

We are happy to provide all materials needed for this work.  We will discuss materials and budgets at the orientation. 

Can we apply as an art collective, art duo, or group? 

Yes, we are happy to share this invitation to individual artists or groups.  However, the designated stipend remains the same. 

What is the orientation?  What can I expect? 

The orientation day, set for mid-April, offers artists a unique chance to connect directly with the event organizers, community members, and peers involved in "The Artist's Way Project." It's structured to do site visits, enrich participants' understanding of Grand Rapids' urban and cultural environment, highlighting the interplay between art and community spaces.


This event will include guided explorations of potential art sites, fostering a deep dive into the local context and the project's thematic aspirations. Shared meals will provide informal settings for discussion, allowing artists to exchange ideas, seek advice from those with prior experience in similar projects, and pose questions to organizers and community stakeholders. Beyond logistical planning and proposal development, this orientation is designed to be of intrinsic value, offering insights and inspiration that benefit artists' broader practices. Following this immersive introduction, artists will be given until May 10 to finalize and submit their detailed proposals, incorporating the insights and inspirations gained during the orientation.

Where is this event and where will the guerilla art activations occur? 

The art workshops will be hosted on Monday nights, from 6-8pm.  The guerilla art activations will be all over Grand Rapids, and their location is dependent upon the weekly theme. These may include any of the following - Downtown city areas, Parks, Busy street corners, Public transit stations, Farmer's markets, Coffee shops or local stores, Public libraries, College campuses, Hiking trails, etc. 

Do you have more questions? 

Happy to help!  Please email

Our Partners
Thank you to our project sponsors and partners for your invaluable support and commitment to
The Artist's Way Project.
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​Your contributions are instrumental in advancing contemporary art and fostering community engagement, allowing us to create accessible, innovative workshops and public art initiatives that celebrate diversity and creativity. Your partnership ensures that art remains a vital, inclusive force for dialogue and connection within our communities.

If you'd like to support this work and join us in our mission to enrich the cultural landscape through art, we warmly invite you to explore partnership opportunities with us. Together, we can continue to make a meaningful difference in the arts and beyond.
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