Thirty U.S. artists who have used Red Bull cans to create sculptures will compete in the Red Bull Art of Can in Chicago Nov. 7-16 at the Chase Promenade South in Millennium Park. More than 300 artists submitted concepts, and after creating their masterpieces all summer, a panel of six judges selected 30 pieces, representing 13 states.
On Nov. 7, the panel of judges will reveal the top three pieces, and a people’s choice winner will be announced after the exhibition concludes Nov. 16.
Noelle Allen, one of this year’s judges and head of the sculpture department at Dominican University in Chicago, had many pieces to select from, but ultimately, only one sculpture could be chosen to be on top.
“The artists who could conceptually integrate the function and materiality of an aluminum can, an energy drink and a commercial product in their sculptures, along with innovative design ideas and meticulous construction, were the ones that stood out,” said Allen.
Other judges include Rachel Handler, senior managing editor of Chicago Sun-Times Splash magazine; Angela Bryant, owner of Abyant Gallery; Matt Eaton, curator and director of Red Bull House of Art in Detroit; Michelle Grabner, curator for the prestigious 2014 Whitney Biennial; and Hebru Brantley, a Chicago-based and world-renowned multimedia artist.
Bryant, who also is curator for Design Cloud and the O’Connor Art Gallery, was looking for creativity and structure in the selected pieces.
“Original ideas always stand out,” says Bryant. “My selections came from a direct response to artwork that surprised me in both content and craft.”
Artists showing their sculptures during the 10-day exhibition in downtown Chicago hail from across the country, including Texas, Michigan, Iowa, Florida, Colorado, Kansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Arizona, New Jersey, Ohio, New York and Illinois. Seven out of the 30 artists are from Chicago.
The exhibition is free and open to the public.