No Thanks ArtPrize (UPDATED)

October 2014

I’m not keeping the money.

Last week I learned I was a jury pick for ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Shortly after I found out I was on the short list for the public vote as well. At that point I had a shot at the $200,000 public vote prize, the $200,000 juried prize, and a 1 in 4 chance of winning a $20,000 jury prize for my category.

It’s a lot of money.

I didn’t enter ArtPrize with the hope of winning. I was curated into a show during ArtPrize. I had heard a bit about the contest and decided to give it a chance and have the piece reach an audience it may not otherwise. I was certain I had no shot at winning. I liked that my piece was understood and appreciated by critics and the public alike.

ArtPrize is hard to explain. It’s a project of Rick DeVos, who comes from a very wealthy family. How did they make that money? Founding Amway – Multi-Level Marketing, which is a polite term for a pyramid scheme. They’re married into the family behind Blackwater, the private military outfit. They’re against unions and advocate for school voucher programs. They’ve been major donors to Focus on the Family, Acton Institute, Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich’s campaigns. You may have read that article I sent last week, or about their unionbusting and plan to defund the Left in Mother Jones. (I encourage you to read them. It made my choice much easier.)

What bothers me the most is the DeVos family has, for generations, been on the wrong side of the fight for civil rights for LGBT people. And they back their opinions with millions in political money against civil rights. It’s a long story, but the end is: they haven’t changed.

Tomorrow night, I may win tens of thousands of dollars of their money. Read on…


Unrest: Art, Activism, & Revolution at the Helen Day Art Center

October 2014

Through Nov 23rd, the New York Times Special Edition is part of  Unrest: Art, Activism, & Revolution at the Helen Day Art Center

About the show:

Artists have been at the forefront of revolutions for centuries, producing work that has an immediate political impact, or is responding to civil unrest. This exhibition takes its inspiration from the Arab Spring, and looks at the impact that artists have on political and social reform in countries like Egypt, Yemen, Israel, Palestine, Iran, and the United States. Unrest looks at artists as activists, revolutionaries and visionaries.

Participating Artists:

  • Lara Baladi
  • Because We Want It (Steve Lambert, The Yes Men, and many others)
  • Murad Subay
  • Public Studio
  • Packard Jennings
  • Shirin Neshat
  • Michael Rakowitz
  • Claire Fontaine
  • Pedro Reyes

Pizarra Urbana del Capitalismo

An artist collective in Santiago did a remix of my “Capitalism Works For Me! True/False” project and Candy Chang’s “Before I Die” project.

They sent me the video, but my spanish is pretty bad. I asked them to subtitle it so I could share it with you. And they did!


Capitalism Works For Me! True/False crashes the Labour Party Conference

September 2014

Upper Space crashed the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, UK with the Capitalism Works For Me! True/False on the back of a flatbed. Watch the video:


Oxfam Australia’s Design for Change and Steve Lambert

September 2014

Video by Lindsay Harris

Nestled in the basement of an abandoned high school in Beacon (New York) Design for Change found itself in artist Steve Lambert‘s studio chatting about art, his parents (a former Franciscan monk, and mother, an ex-Dominican nun), drumming circles and his recent project with ‘The Public Energy Art Kit’ (P.E.A.K), a collaboration with the Post Carbon Institute.

The Public Energy Art Kit is a large broadsheet of 14 posters specifically designed to help tackle climate change, energy inequality and fossil fuel dependency. Curated by Steve, the project asked 12 artists to interpret and visualise new climate change realities.

Originally posted on the Oxfam Australia Design for Change site


People’s Climate March “Warm-up” at La Casita Verde

September 2014

People’s Climate March “Warm-up” at La Casita Verde
Saturday, September 20th, 1-4pm
La Casita Verde, 451 Bedford Ave. at Division, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Join artists, scientists and activists at La Casita Verde for an afternoon of making the day before the People’s Climate March. We will collaborate on eye-catching signs to carry in the march based on your concerns, interests, hopes and dreams. Fun for all ages. Sign-making materials will be provided but donations encouraged.

Featured guests include: Steve Lambert, Natalie Jeremijenko, Marina Zurkow, Ricardo Miranda Zuñiga, Valerie Tevere, Angel Nevarez, Cynthia Lawson-Jaramillo, Laura Nova, Heather Davis, Ann Fink among others.

Organized by Brooke Singer and Stefani Bardin of La Casita Verde.

La Casita Verde Warmup


United Nations report on advertising published

September 2014

The United Nations has published their report on advertising and it’s effect on cultural rights. (Download PDF). Last October I was invited to a meeting at the United Nations to contribute to the development of this document. The Special Rapporteur will present it in late October of this year.


WBHM Interview: Art Walk | Public Forum

September 2014

By Andrew Yeager

Steve Lambert WBHM Radio Interview

Artist Steve Lambert likes to say his medium is “trouble.” That’s a creative way of saying he’s less interested in pretty pictures than in artwork that challenges the audience. Or in the case of his latest, work that forces them to examine their own views.

The New York-based artist is currently an artist in residence at Birmingham’s Space One Eleven gallery. This weekend he brings his work called “Public Forum” to Birmingham’s Artwalk. Steve Lambert spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager about the piece.

Listen online…


“The Fine Art of Democracy” in WELD, Birmingham’s alt-weekly

The fine art of democracy - Steve Lambert in WELD Birmingham

by Walter Lewellyn

The police are here to protect us — true or false? Mass transit only helps poor people — true or false? Slavery is over — true or false? Jesus is more important than football — true or false?

These are just a few of the questions that form the centerpiece of a striking exhibition — part art installation, part game show, part town-hall meeting — that’s coming to downtown arts nonprofit Space One Eleven (SOE) for Artwalk weekend (Sept. 5-6). PUBLIC FORUM, the brainchild of conceptual artist Steve Lambert, blends the boundaries between art and democracy.

Read the rest.


Capitalism is behind at Art Prize in Grand Rapids, MI

September 2014