Much anticipated, often reviled... it's baaack. In many ways it is less important than some make it (it has no pull outside of Oregon and many Portland artists are active internationally). Then again, it has really launched the careers of serious talents like; Amanda Wojick, Sean Healy, Brenden Clenaghen, Storm Tharp, James Boulton, Melody Owen and Jacqueline Ehlis, etc. Artists are always looking for validation and a museum biennial does offer that. Personally, I hope for surprises.
Once again it will be in the Maribeth Wilson Collins Gallery space (like the 2001 and 2003 biennials). One thing is certain though, it will get a lot of scrutiny. Although one really important detail is still missing, the curator.
Word is the biennial is supposed to be curated by the yet to be announced Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art (but yah never know). Actually, it's a nice opportunity to get introduced to this very dynamic art ecosystem and gives the curator some time to dig around. Word is we may hear something about who that curator is before year end but one thing is certain, if the show doesn't meet expectations the loathing will be extreme (making the 2003 hate fest seem tame). If the 2006 is great the Museum and the curator will have the goodwill of the omnipresent art community in Portland.
Jan 6 2006: Slides, CD's and DVD's are due, so get on it.
March 10th 2006: "The List" is announced... this date is often pushed back a bit and it probably will be because the show occurs in late July not May or June. Why rush?
The show runs July 29th - October 8th.
to the official prospectus
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