Call for new works of art for Calgary’s Third Annual Beakerhead event September 14, 2016

Net Blow Up Photo courtesy of Neil Zeller Photography.
Net Blow Up Photo courtesy of Neil Zeller Photography.

Artists, designers, engineers and technicians are invited to submit proposals to create a new multidisciplinary work of art that will be supported through a program called the Big Bang Residency. The work will be built over the course of a year by a team of four or five, with backgrounds ranging from art and design to science and engineering, and will premiere on September 14, 2016 at Beakerhead in Calgary, Alberta.

Beakerhead is more than a series of amazing events – it’s a time and place “where engineers show their creative sides and artists get technical. It’s where science hits the street and everyone gets ingenious.” Featuring hands-on entertainment, Beakerhead advances the understanding of science and engineering as part of everyday life through art and culture. It creates “a world of collision and collaboration where sparks do fly when things technical meet things creative.”

Beakerhead is both hands-on and citywide, immersing participants and onlookers in engineered art, international ingenuity competitions, public performances, community challenges, backyard-built “contraptions” and creations of your own making. “You will learn something new” say organizers. In 2013, 62,500 people experienced Beakerhead by scaling a 40-foot tall rocketship, jamming with Berlin’s most famous robot band, getting shocked by 1,000,000 volts from Arc Attack, sampling Engineered Eats at Calgary restaurants, singing with Commander Chris Hadfield, and learning from one of the dozens of pop-up presentations over the course of five days.

The 2016 year of building will include two one-week periods in residence, provided by The Banff Centre in support of this event. A globally respected arts, cultural and educational institution, The Banff Centre will be providing expertise and oversight to the selection and creative development process. The successful team will also be provided with a materials budget of $24,000 (CAD), additional support for space and equipment rentals, and an artist fee for each team member (up to five) of $ 5,000 through funding from the Remarkable Experience Accelerator – a joint initiative of Calgary Arts Development and the Calgary Hotel Association. The selection jury is made up of art and engineering professionals from around the world.

The deadline for proposals is October 9, 2015, and the successful team will be notified by November 6, 2015. For more information please visit:




Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.