While we New Yorkers are keen to avoid the chaos that is Times Square, the exposure the bustling nerve center offers is second to none. Esteemed emerging talent tastemaker Artists Wanted (the five-year-old brainchild of Brooklyn creatives Jason Goodman and William Etundi Jr.) will take full advantage of the hub this summer when it teams up with the Times Square Alliance and Chashama (Anita Durst’s non-profit dedicated to scoring real estate for artist presentations) to underwrite Art Takes Times Square, an art competition with a larger-than-life grand prize: an exhibition mounted on the blazing billboards at the core of the Big Apple.
Anyone can enter by submitting a free portfolio of work on the Artists Wanted website and sharing it via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or just about any other social networking platform. Viewers can “collect” portfolios on the Art Takes Times Square page, increasing the chances that a given entry will move on to the final stage. A portfolio needs to be collected at least seven times to appear on the public voting system, and if it’s collected seventy-seven times, it receives a guaranteed showing at the event’s after-party hosted by Questlove. Chashama and Artists Wanted will select the winner of the $10,000 honor, along with a dozen runners-up, from the top two hundred most-collected artists. The video screens at Times Square will showcase work from these thirteen portfolios.
While having your work reach half a million viewers daily whilst plastered across more than twelve twenty-three-story-high digital signboards is a pretty amazing opportunity, Artists Wanted created an incentive for voters too, to the tune of a $2,500 holiday in New York paired with $2,500 in spending money. So far, thousands of hopefuls from more than 168 countries have logged on to create their application. Voting is in full swing until the end of the month and winners will be announced in June, culminating with the top dogs going on view from June 18.