Big Money Grantees Announced/Seed Money Round(Closed)

We are excited to announce the grant recipients of the BIG MONEY Art Grant Round. CATS received 43 grant applications for over $155,000 in requested funds for this round. While budgetary constraints keep us from funding every artistic dream, we are excited to announce 9 BIG MONEY artistic endeavors have been funded this year. We look forward a great year of BIG ART (it’s gonna be yuge) at Apogaea!  

Reminder: The Seed Money Grant Round (projects requesting funding $599 and under) opens on Tuesday, 2/28/17 and closes on Tuesday, 3/14/17.  There’s still time to fund your creative visions, follow this link to create your profile and start your application on February 28th. Looking for tips on how to write a winning grant application? Check out our FAQ here (link to: or email the committee at with any questions.

Stay tuned for details on this year’s   Effigy and Temple they will arrive in their own very special announcement in a few days. For now, without further ado, allow us to present the rest of this year’s 2017 BIG MONEY GRANTEES!

Speleo Mountain
Artists: Piper Merriam, Ian Bates, Seth Herd, Pete Lyons, David Pichara, Diana Sabreen and Fractal Tribe

A whole mountain of cubes for you to climb, dance, and play.


Outside In

Artists: Jeff Merkel and the Signal-to-Noise Labs sci-art collective

Outside In is a unique audio immersive environment that envelops the artists and audiences in three dimensional audio soundscapes, transporting visitors, artists, and musicians on acoustic journeys overlain upon the real-world local environment.

Outside In is about merging and blurring environments, people, and experiences. There is no audience and artist separation; the artist/performer becomes part of the audience and the audience participates in and sometimes is the performance. There is no separation of the performance from external environments; sights, sounds, and smells are invited in and becomes part of the unique and transient performance, never to be exactly repeated. The outside is brought in…

The Queen of the Night
Artists: Caitlin Morris and Joshua Birkmaier

With this installation, we offer a space where shamanistic healing can be explored.  A place where we can take ahold of our journey together by provide a catalyst to our shared experience with this representation of the unique beauty that exists within our temporal boundaries. The center piece of this installation is an artistic representation of a Selenicereus Grandiflorus, a desert flower that only blooms for one night once a year commonly known as “The Queen of the Night.” This plant will be depicted in steel with a low-poly design and will feature flame effects in the blossom and in the stems in the center of the plant.  This short-lived plant articulates the ephemeral nature of our experience with this place and time and we seek to inspire a sense of immediacy. The flower will sit atop a large steel mandala podium. We would like to further set this intention of immediacy with ornate designs as well as phrases that will be hand plasma-cut into the sides of the mandala. This installation will also bring back two sculptures from Apogaea 2016, The Crystalline Obelisks but with a new explosive and interactive twist.

Club Smash Club
Artists: Todd Oliver and Metal Camp

A cathartic release through carnal expression. To smash hate, smash prejudice, and disposable culture. To hone human form with new tools. To provide a unique and immersive environment. Long live metal! (just got domain, site to come)

Mercury Touchstone
Artists: Bad Asstronauts , Brian Weatherhead (artist)

12’ Interactive space rocket covered in 6,000 LEDs.

Artists: John English, Austin Glaser, Kevin McWilliams, and crew

SoundPuddle is an interactive space of visual-acoustic synesthesia. This spectrographically colorful dome illuminates sound on an immersive canopy of light. Visualize spectral shapes of sound with any noise you can make.

This established art installation is being redesigned from the ground up, with a much larger LED array and entirely new custom circuit boards. The updated installation will be roughly eight times greater in LED resolution, 32 times faster in its visual update speed, and 100 times faster in its audio analysis rate. This performance upgrade will reveal rich and meaningful features of sound that have have been missing from SoundPuddle until now, such as the subtleties of vibrato, the first crash of percussion, or musical harmonics that span the full frequency range of human hearing.This is the perfect place to bring your musical instruments and selves for a unique and mind-warping sensory experience. You will laugh, shout, and sing as thousands of solar powered LEDs unify your ears and eyes.

Photo by Bri Erger

Artist:  Evan Beloni

Bon*fire is a series of small fire sculptures that come together to form an array of LPG fire, dazzling lights and most importantly: Water.  A clear plenum houses a column of water with propane bubbles rising from the bottom. The propane bubbles burst at the surface, mix with air then burn off. This bubbling also creates a calming sound, somewhat like a flowing creek. Further mesmerizing display is provided by color changing lights illuminating through the bubbling water.  Large flame poofing and interactivity will also be involved.

All of You
Artists: Mike Lustig

All of You is a semi-circle arrangement of 6 mirrored-mosaics. Participants can experiment with distance, angle, and motion to experience fragmented expansion, separated replication, and strobing of movement. As a viewer moves further from the installation, their reflection inverts, and then disintegrates into an abstract arrangement of light. All of You will be continuously influenced by sky light and its surrounding environment. My goal is to catalyze the consideration of an expansive, shared, ever-changing existence.

Almighty Lite-brite
Artists: Jill Katzenberger and Piper Merriam

Remember building unicorns and rainbows on your lite brite, sequestered from the sunlight (and your siblings) in the closet, back when life was simple and cough syrup tasted like candy?  Well get ready to relive your fondest childhood memories on the ALMIGHTY LITE BRITE…a souped up and super scaled up lite brite for Apogaea’s young and young at heart.  Larger than a grown man…more pegs than you could moop in a drunken stupor…and enough light to power a very (very) small village.  

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