Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Announces Open Call for Regional Artists

by Jessica Fuentes December 5, 2023

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) has released details about its upcoming Delta Triennial, a juried exhibition featuring artists born or currently working in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. 

A photograph of the exterior of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts.

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, park entrance, 2023. Photo: Iwan Baan.

Named after the floodplains surrounding the Mississippi River, the first Delta exhibition was held in 1958 with the goal of amplifying artists working in the Mid-South. Since the inaugural show, AMFA has continued to collect art by and support artists from the Mid-South region. In 2022, while the museum was under construction, the Delta shifted from its original format as an annual juried exhibition to a series of videos titled Delta Voices: Artists of the Mid-South, made in collaboration with other regional museums. 

Guest jurors for the 2024 Delta Triennial are Amy Kligman, the Executive Director of Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City; Alexis McGrigg, a former Delta Voices artist from Mississippi who received her MFA in Painting and Transmedia from Texas Tech University; and Takako Tanabe, the founding director of Ulterior Gallery in New York City and who previously worked for the Chinati Foundation in Marfa and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth.

In a press release, Ms. Tanabe noted, “The voice that the Delta Triennial explores is essential in this dramatically complicated, contemporary American art culture and it will play an important role in its interpretation. After leaving Japan, I spent 11 years in Texas. Though Ulterior Gallery is in New York, the Delta Triennial represents a region that is my second home. I’m excited to rediscover the aesthetics and visual culture nurtured by this scene with this opportunity.” 

Though Texas sees its fair share of biennial-type shows — the Texas Biennial is an opportunity to bring together artists across the state, and the Border Biennial, organized by the El Paso Museum of Art, features artists working within a 200-mile radius of the U.S./Mexico border — the Delta Triennial is a rare opportunity to showcase artists working in the Mid-South. Notably, during the 2021 iteration of the Texas Biennial, co-curators Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza opened the call to Texas natives living outside of the state, in an attempt to expand the show’s regional narrative. Smilarly, last fall, Project Row Houses launched its inaugural Southern Survey Biennial, open to artists living and working in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Selected artists for the AMFA’s exhibition will receive a stipend to offset the cost of artwork delivery to the museum. The jurors will select a Grand Award winner who will receive $5,000 and also, during the run of the exhibition, the public will have the opportunity to vote for a People’s Choice Award winner, who will receive $1,500. 

Artwork submissions will be accepted between January 1 and February 11, 2024. Artists will be notified by March 29, 2024 and the exhibition will run from June 28 through August 25, 2024. Learn more about the Delta Triennial and submit your work via AMFA’s CaFÉ submission page

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