Texas Biennial

TX★13 Group Survey Exhibition, Blue Star Contemporary

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the Texas Biennial?

The Texas Biennial is a geographically-led, independent survey of contemporary art in Texas. The program was founded in 2005 to provide an exhibition opportunity open to all artists living and working in the state. The seventh edition of the Texas Biennial will take place in the fall of 2020, with a series of programs focused on relevant conversations from around Texas, and parallel programming at venues across the state. For the first time in the history of the biennial, the scope of the project will also include Texas natives and artists with deep connections to Texas working in any part of the world.

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 National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and foundations and individuals.

What is the Open Call?

The 2020 Texas Biennial Open Call will be open to artists currently living and/or working in Texas, Texas natives/expats working anywhere in the world, as well as artists who have produced or exhibited significant work in Texas over the last three years. Artists working in any media or discipline may apply online from December 2, 2019 – February 7, 2020. Since the first Biennial in 2005, the Biennial has brought the work of over 300 artists to new audiences.

The 2020 Texas Biennial Open Call will run from December 2, 2019 - February 7, 2020. Artists may apply online at texasbiennial.org/opencall.

When and where will the 2020 Texas Biennial take place?

The 2020 Texas Biennial will take place in the fall of 2020 with central exhibitions and programming in Austin. The 2020 Biennial will include sites and cities across Texas, with satellite exhibitions, performances, panels, and programs to take place throughout the duration of the biennial.

How are artists and their work selected?

Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza are the curators and creative directors of the 2020 Texas Biennial. The creative direction for the 2020 Texas Biennial will be released in spring/summer 2020, following a period of studio visits, planning, and engagement with invited artists and partner institutions. As Open Call artists consider which artworks would be most appropriate to submit for consideration, the biennial curators would like to consider the following issues and questions:

  • What are the historical, political, ecological and social conditions that impact the work artists are currently producing?
  • What social or cultural impact are artists from Texas making?
  • What identity politics are at stake in Texas? How are those issues reflected in contemporary art produced here and by Texans elsewhere?
  • What formal or material concerns are currently being investigated by artists presently? What relationship do these concerns have to social, political or environmental concerns?
  • What does it mean to identify as Texan in the present moment?
Artists working in any media or discipline may apply online from December 2, 2019 – February 7, 2020

Where can I find more information about the Texas Biennial?

Please check our Past Biennials for more information. Also, visit the Texas Biennial on Instagram for information about current plans and future events.

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 both invitations and an open call for art—all Texas artists working in any media are eligible to enter. While the Biennial is 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, asking them to guide the programming and set the creative direction for each iteration of the project. The Biennial is also the longest-running state arts biennial in the U.S.


For Artists

How can I participate in the Texas Biennial?

The 2020 Texas Biennial Open Call will be open to artists currently living and/or working in Texas, Texas natives/expats working anywhere in the world, as well as artists who have produced or exhibited significant work in Texas over the last three years. Artists working in any media or discipline may apply online from December 2, 2019 – February 7, 2020.

How are artists and artworks selected from the Open Call?

Artists will be selected on the basis of actual work entered. There is no predetermined number of artists or artworks that will be selected for the 2020 Texas Biennial. The 2020 curatorial team will make an independent selection from work entered in the Open Call and from personal invitations.


For Arts Organizations

How can my organization participate in the Texas Biennial?

The Texas Biennial invites all non-profit arts organizations and artist collectives across the state to participate in TX★20. Participating organizations highlighted exhibitions featuring contemporary Texas artists, installed temporary exhibitions of work by one or more local artists, designated works by Texas artists on display in their permanent collections, and programmed special artist talks and lectures.TX★20 participating organizations will be recognized and promoted on the Texas Biennial's website and Facebook page, as well as in the TX★20 exhibition catalog.

If your organization is interested in participating in the 2020 Texas Biennial, please email info@texasbiennial.com.


For Press

Who should I contact with questions about the Texas Biennial?

Please direct all press inquiries to Coka Trevino at trevino@bigmedium.org or 512.939.6665.

Are images available for press?

Images of many works from previous Texas Biennial exhibitions are available upon request. If you would like a publication-quality version of an image from one of our catalogs or our Facebook page, please contact Coka Trevino at trevino@bigmedium.org or 512.939.6665. Images of 2020 Texas Biennial works will be available after artist selections are announced in early summer 2020.

How can I find out more about previous Texas Biennials?

Please visit our About and Past Biennials pages. Catalogs from the 2011, 2013, and 2017 Biennials are available; please contact Coka Trevino at trevino@bigmedium.org or 512.939.6665 for more information.