Texas Biennial 2017 Details Released

by Glasstire February 13, 2017


The arts organization Big Medium in Austin has announced some details for the 2017 Texas Biennial, including dates for its open call. This will be the sixth edition of the Biennial, which will take place this fall “with a series of exhibitions focused on relevant conversations around the state, and parallel programming at venues across the state.”

The Biennial originally grew out of a 2005 gathering of artists in Austin, and eventually spread to venues all across the state, aiming to be a survey of contemporary art happening in Texas. The last Biennial was in 2013. Last fall Big Medium announced the Biennial’s return.

Open call dates are Feb. 21- May 31, and there is an application fee. Here are the guidelines. Concerning eligibility, there has been some geographical extension into the surrounding states and Mexico. Via Big Medium: “The Texas Biennial is open to all artists living and working in Texas. Artists attending Texas-based residency programs are eligible to apply, as long as the work was completed during the time spent in Texas. Artists living and working within 10 miles of a Texas border are also eligible to apply (Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Mexico). Artists will be selected on the basis of works entered. Works completed before 2015 should not be entered, and works shown more than twice in Texas since 2015 should not be entered.”

Leslie Moody Castro will serve as the artistic director and curator of the 2017 iteration of the Biennial.

For more info, please go here.


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joel Sampson February 14, 2017 - 18:55

Is this a big deal and worth entering?

Iva February 15, 2017 - 08:43

This is good question to ask of any group shows with application fees.
Years ago, Peter Doroshenko gave a lecture on this (application based group shows) and had the advice – young artists may be better off just putting on their own show at a house or wherever and inviting all their friends and everyone they know.

I think it’s worth entering.
I don’t know how many people apply and it doesn’t say in my 2013 rejection letter. 😛

Leslie Moody Castro February 24, 2017 - 13:54

Hello! This reply is intended to respond to Joel and Iva, but should also apply to anyone considering submitting an entry to the open call. Also many apologies I’ve not seen this sooner than today!

Joel, to answer your question, The Texas Biennial is reviving this year after a hiatus in 2015. We have a lot of plans and changes that are really exciting. I have accepted the position of curator and artistic director, which means that I will be reading all the submissions, which also means that YES, this is a big deal and worth entering…though I might be a little biased on that!

However, I also encourage both of you (and everyone else) to read the guidelines carefully before applying (http://texasbiennial.org/files/Texas_Biennial_2017_Open_Call_Guidelines.pdf). I would also never encourage an artist to do anything they are uncomfortable with or have doubts about. That said, if you do have any doubts please feel free to email me personally, I am always happy and available for questions: [email protected].

The opportunities for exposure are really wonderful this year, and personally I’m excited about seeing the work of so many talented artists across the state. Since I am also extremely aware that no one pays the bills with exposure, we are also allocating funds to provide equitable artists stipends according to WAGE certification. THAT is probably what I’m excited about the most, and more info will be coming out about that in the coming month.

Thank you both for your questions, and input (Iva!). Don’t hesitate to message if you have questions, I encourage it!

Glasstire, thank you for the nod!

Iva Kinnaird February 25, 2017 - 09:10

WAGE is awesome! Happy to hear the Biennial is going by those standards.

For people who don’t know, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (WAGE) is an “activist organization focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by nonprofit art institutions and establishing a sustainable labor relation between artists and the institutions that contract our work.”

Their website – http://www.wageforwork.com/

Shout out to the organizations already working with WAGE in Texas – Blue Star in S.A. and Art League and Diverseworks in Houston.

Leslie Moody Castro February 26, 2017 - 11:59

Thanks, Iva! Everyone with the Biennial is so excited to join the organizations setting this standard for artists!


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