What is the Texas Biennial?
The Texas Biennial is an independent survey of contemporary art in Texas, founded in 2005 to provide an exhibition opportunity open to all artists living and working in the state. The survey exhibition curated from the open call for art remains the central feature of the project. Over time, the Biennial has also grown to include a range of other exhibitions and programming, all in celebration of contemporary art in Texas. The fifth edition of the exhibition will take place in the fall of 2013, making the Texas Biennial the longest-running state biennial in the U.S. A recent overview of the Texas Biennial in the Austin American-Statesman is available here.
Who organizes the Texas Biennial and how is it funded?
The Texas Biennial is a program of Big Medium, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art throughout Texas, funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division. The Biennial is also supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts, private foundations and other nonprofits (including our wonderful venue partners), in-kind sponsorships, generous contributions from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth and other donors, and the talent and hard work of many volunteers.
What is the Open Call for Art?
The Open Call for Art is an invitation to all artists living and working in Texas to have their work considered for inclusion in the curated group survey exhibition. Any artist living and working in the state can enter work in any media. Since the first Biennial in 2005, the Biennial has brought the work of nearly 200 artists to new audiences.
The 2013 Texas Biennial Open Call for Art is now closed. A record number of artists entered the 2013 Open Call, submitting works of all kinds. Details on entering the 2015 Open Call will be announced next year.
When and where will the 2013 Texas Biennial take place?
The 2013 Texas Biennial will take place September 5 ‒ November 9, 2013 with a range of exhibitions and other programming in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Marfa and San Antonio. Showcasing the excellence and great diversity of contemporary art in Texas, during the run of the Biennial exhibition, arts organizations around the state will also participate with their own independent programming focused on art produced in Texas.
The 2013 curated group survey exhibition will be installed in a single venue ‒ Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio ‒ and will represent all artists selected from the open call. The 2013 Texas Biennial will also include a special commissioned artist project, to be presented by Ballroom Marfa. Additionally, in celebration of the Biennial’s fifth anniversary, Lawndale Art Center in Houston and Big Medium in Austin will host special exhibitions of work by selected past Biennial artists August 23 ‒ September 28, 2013.
Details on all these projects and additional programming will be announced as they become available. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/texasbiennial) to keep up with the latest information on the Texas Biennial.
How are artists and their work selected?
For 2013, the selection of art will be made by a stellar group of curators. You can read about the TX★13 curators on our “TX★13” page. Each TX★13 curator will independently select works from the Open Call for Art. The 2013 Biennial will also include a special commissioned project. Artist selections will be announced in late spring 2013.
What are the anniversary exhibitions?
In celebration of the fifth Texas Biennial, Lawndale Art Center in Houston and Big Medium in Austin will simultaneously host special anniversary exhibitions from August 23 - September 28, 2013. The exhibition at Big Medium will feature selected works from previous Biennials. The exhibition at Lawndale will include current work by selected past Biennial artists, nominated by past Biennial curators and jurors.
Where can I find more information about the Texas Biennial?
Please check our “Past Biennials” and “TX★13” pages for more information. Also, our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/texasbiennial) has lots of information about current plans and future events.
If you have a question about the Biennial that is not answered by this FAQ, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Press inquiries can be directed to email@example.com.
What makes the Texas Biennial different?
The Texas Biennial is artist-started and geographically focused. From the project’s beginnings, its objectives have been to provide an exhibition opportunity for all artists living and working in Texas, and to showcase the excellence and diversity of contemporary art being produced in the state. The central feature of the Biennial is a group survey exhibition curated from an open call for art -- all Texas artists working in any media are eligible to enter. While the Biennial is now a program of the nonprofit Big Medium, it has remained “independent” in the sense that it is unaffiliated with the curatorial vision of any one organization or institution. Instead, the Biennial has worked with many different curators, some of whom have chosen to expand the exhibition format to include invited Texas artists for some editions of the project. The Biennial is also the longest-running state visual arts biennial in the U.S.
What’s next for the Texas Biennial?
Help us figure it out! From its beginning in 2005, the Biennial has explored a variety of exhibition formats and curatorial models, and we have always worked collaboratively with a range of partners. We've grown with the aid of enthusiastic and generous supporters, and we would like to be able to do even more to help promote and celebrate contemporary art in Texas. Over the course of 2013, we will be hosting a series of public conversations about the future of the Texas Biennial. You may be interested to read some others' thoughts in this recent article in the Austin American-Statesman.
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How can I participate in the Texas Biennial?
The 2013 Texas Biennial Open Call for Art is now closed. Details on entering the 2015 Open Call will be announced next year.
How are artists and artworks selected from the Open Call?
Artists will be selected on the basis of actual works entered. There is no predetermined number of artists or artworks that will be selected for the 2013 Texas Biennial. Each 2013 curator will make an independent selection from a database containing every work entered in the Open Call for Art.
When and where will the selected works be exhibited?
The 2013 Texas Biennial will take place September 5 ‒ November 9, 2013 with a range of exhibitions and other programming in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Marfa. The curated group survey exhibition drawn from the open call will be installed at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio.
Work must be received at Blue Star and be ready to install by August 26, 2013. Unless other arrangements are made in advance, installation will be handled by the exhibition venue and Biennial personnel. All installation will take place August 27 ‒ September 4, 2013. Artists who will be completing site-specific installations will need to work within this timeline.
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For Arts Organizations
How can my organization participate in the Texas Biennial?
The Texas Biennial invites all non-profit arts organizations and artist collectives to participate in TX★13 with their own independently curated exhibitions and programming. Participation can mean any recognition of contemporary art created by artists living and work in Texas. In 2011, participating organizations highlighted exhibitions featuring contemporary Texas artists, installed temporary exhibitions of work(s) by one or more local artists, designated works by Texas artists on display in their permanent collections, and programmed special artist talks and lectures. Please see our “Past Biennials” page for the list of organizations that participated in 2011. TX★13 participating organizations will be recognized and promoted on the Texas Biennial’s website and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/texasbiennial), as well as in the TX★13 exhibition catalog.
If your organization is interested in participating in the 2013 Texas Biennial, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many arts organizations will be participating in the 2013 Texas Biennial?
The list of terrific arts organizations joining TX★13 is growing fast. Details on programming will be announced in late spring. Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/texasbiennial) for the latest news and announcements.
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Who should I contact with questions about the Texas Biennial?
Please direct all press inquiries to Lauren Gehrig at email@example.com or 512.765.5892.
Are images available for press?
Images of many works from previous Texas Biennial exhibitions are available on our “Press” page. If you would like a publication-quality version of an image from one of our catalogs or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/texasbiennial), please contact Lauren Gehrig at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.765.5892. Images of 2013 Texas Biennial works will be available after artist selections are announced in late spring 2013.
How can I find out more about previous Texas Biennials?
Please visit our “About” and “Past Biennials” pages. Catalogs from all past Biennials are available; please contact Lauren Gehrig at email@example.com or 512.765.5892 for more information.
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