Canvas Pontiac




9 years of artistic enterprise

In its eighth season, 2020, Canvas Pontiac continues its efforts to bring art and culture to the community. Last year one hundred artists submitted their works for display. Twenty-five of those made it through the initial jury to be showcased on large 8×10′ canvases on buildings throughout Downtown Pontiac.

The arts are alive in downtown Pontiac. For our contributing artists it has always been a sense of pride to have their art enlarged to large 8’x10′ canvases, but this year, thanks to the partnership with the DIA, the artists were validated even further by having the DIA logo placed on their canvassed art.

Through a partnership program, the Main Street Pontiac “Canvas Pontiac” program has fostered the arts throughout Downtown. For two years running Pontiac welcomed the DIA Inside|Out program showing the masters of the DIA to Pontiac thanks to funding from the Kauffman Foundation. With incredible passion, the program has continued to foster, and for the third year in 2017, the DIA has outreached through Canvas Pontiac to demonstrate how tax funding can bring arts to a community like Pontiac.

Art-related business ventures are also seeing their rise as part of our artistic community returning such as artist lofts and art businesses. You may have heard of some of the most recent projects including the development of the PLAT (Pontiacs’ Little Art Theater) at 47 N. Saginaw. You can feel the arts coming back.
Last year’s programs invited over 500 people to walk our downtown on several tours to explore what we have to offer, and the art we display is seen daily by 18,000 commuters. Canvas Pontiac’s art awakening is doing its job in helping people “Discover the Spirit of Pontiac”.



An Interactive Street-Side Art Gallery

Canvas Pontiac brings art and culture to downtown Pontiac.  Inviting artists from Michigan and beyond to submit and display their art to be shared on public display throughout downtown Pontiac, Michigan!

Canvas Pontiac is inspiring the community to be involved.  The vision is to become an international program.  Last year our call for artists was seen by over 1000 people. The contest, pulling artists from as far away as Florida and Arizona, as well as those right here in our own neighborhoods. Everyone can be connected to Pontiac, so if you know of an artist who would be interested, but is not in the local area, SPREAD THE WORD!

In 2016, Canvas Pontiac created sub-contest for the Pontiac school system, of which only the Pontiac High School submitted entries. With the participation in the contest last year, it was decided to continue the scholastic competition, and this year we are approaching all 5 of the high schools in the Pontiac geographic area through a collaborative effort with the DIA.



$30,000 has been awarded to the program winners.

Elektricity nightclub has hosted the awards program to honor our top artists of the season over the last four years of competition and we are looking forward to holding the awards ceremony there again this year in June (date to be announced). In a great Circus and Classical entertainment production, we honored the artists for making themselves vulnerable to public opinion and beautiful displays of public expression.


2021’s Canvas Pontiac is still open for entries.

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