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Saturday 03.11.06

« In Case You Somehow Forgot... | Main | Saltz of the earth »

Oregon Biennial 2006 update

Rejection letters for the 2006 Oregon Biennial are out and artists in the Portland area received them today (may take a few days depending where you are). If you didn't receive a rejection letter that's a good sign but doesn't insure you are in. Through our sources we hear the final list will be published in a few weeks.

I find it pointless to publish a list of rejections right now (but you can post comments). Still, the list of who isn't in will surprise some. Although we have known for several weeks that obvious art stars who have already been in biennials didn't receive studio visits. I think that's fine, new blood I say, put the spotlight where it can do some good. Besides, the city is full of a staggering amount of talent. Also, the museum has to prove its relevance to the boiling contemporary art scene here and just emphasizing the big players gives shows like this an air of stale inevitability. The museum can't afford that and still make a bid for relevance.

Really, another group survey show doesn't help anyone who is already a big deal and hopefully this new Biennial will push the galleries to really take stock of their rosters and be more adventurous.

There is some new news though; the next biennial in 2008 will combine both invitations and artist submissions (this is really the only way to go). This is important since the actual # of submissions is down this year (over 760). The last one was pushing 1000. Possible reasons for the decline are the requirement of antiquated slides (the museum has hopes for digital submissions in 2008), rather successful artists being annoyed by the rejection process and the intense unpopularity of the last biennial (it did have some good work but didn't reflect the energy of the scene). The 2006 Oregon Biennial needs to address and add to the discussion in order to be relevant to a scene that is already getting international attention (it looks like it may do just that but the proof is in the pudding). As soon as the final list is available we will let you know.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 11, 2006 at 17:46 | Comments (5)


"I'm not going to publish a list of rejections right now "

how would you know this information?

Posted by: daniel [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 10:15 AM

Yes, I find it odd that an independant site could announce rejections or have that kind of info.

Also, doesn't the mail act differently from day to day? Are you saying here that you might not have gotten a studio visit but if you did not get your rejection letter, there is 'hope?'

Also, what about all of the budding (and not so budding but in total full bloom) art stars, regardless of age, who were never in a biennial? You don't have to be young or on the edge of something to be in that catergory.

Posted by: lsd [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 10:50 AM

dont be silly... I know a large list of the rejections simply because my inbox is full with that sort of info. Also, the scene is VERY connected and as notes are compared info is shared quickly. Also, it makes no sense to publish a list of rejections until an actual list of accepted artists is out (at that point it's best to publish those who are in anyways). This is a grey area intermediary post, it tells our readers something but because the situation is still in flux it isn't conclusive. Also, if you didn't get a studio visit dont hold yer breath.

As far as the mail... yes it is variable... that said a huge # of people recieved rejection notices on satuday in the Portland area. Some who had good to "difficult to read" studio visits did not recieve rejections and they live just doors down from those who have rejections, so it means they have made it to the next round.

Look, it's ok to post comments of relevance here but questioning how I know things is asinine. I get it from the horse's mouth.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 08:44 PM

Where and how you get it is not the question really. We all have friends actually, all in the same ballgame!

The appropriateness of posting the 'rejections' ( "right now"' or any other) on this site is something to ponder. It is not fodder for a site like this and I would think there could even be legal ramifications.

Concern over what you would do with such information is not asnine at all.

Posted by: lsd [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 09:27 PM

Your concerns are really out of place.

Im not going to post some list of 700+ artist that got rejected (nor do I care to obtain one), you are reading way too much into it. I simply noted that a lot of the most obvious art stars in town were passed over and I think that's fine! Being so touchy doesn't help though.

All Im saying is being rejected puts someone in very good company because of who they are. Portland isnt the one-horse art town it used to be and the biennial doesnt break careers at all... it only makes 1 or 4 artists careers on a very local level. There are tons of artists it didn't help at all and the game in town is increasingly international, not local.

Oh yeah and you definitely won't see people like Bruce Conkle, Paige Saez or Peter Burr in the biennial because they didn't enter...

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 09:42 PM

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