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Monday 08.07.06

« inClover Report | Main | Saturated Pasture »

8th Northwest Biennial at Tacoma Art Museum

8th Northwest Biennial at Tacoma Art Museum

The wait is over, the artists have been chosen. Out of 900 submissions (a 100% increase over previous biennial submissions), 41 artists were selected for the “visual impact of the images, the scope of each artist’s contributions, and the stage of the artist’s career.”

Here is the final list (and congratulations!):

Victoria Adams
Juan Alonso
Daniel Attoe
Jay Backstrand
Justin Colt Beckman
Nicholas Brown
Cris Bruch
Buddy Bunting
Sally Cleveland
Judy Cooke
Claire Cowie
Mark Danielson
Susan Dory
Joe Fedderson
Ellen Garvens
John Grade
Victoria Haven
Patrick Holderfield
Denzil Hurley
Sarah Jane Lapp
Anya Kivarkis
Mack McFarland
Mark Takamichi Miller
Steven Miller
Jeffrey Mitchell
Brian Murphy
Natalie Niblack
Nicholas Nyland
Mary Ann Peters
Jim Riswold
Phil Roach
Alex Schweder
Michael Spafford
Juniper Shuey
Lisa Sweet
Keith Tilford
Marie Watt
Sherrie Wold
Robert Yoder
Claude Zervas

Posted by Melia Donovan on August 07, 2006 at 20:50 | Comments (6)


That is a good list, pretty Seattle heavy and savvy (example: Buddy Bunting is a great and unexpected pick), which makes a lot of sense. But 41 artists? Many were hoping for 20 with a lot of focus.

Maybe, it's a way to guarantee people show up for the opening? Maybe that's just my PDX read?...those from elsewhere should understand people in Portland are so burnt out on "name crammed" group shows that produce a nullifying and anonymous effect where nothing stands out. Maybe TAM can avoid that effect?

Hopefully the Northwest Biennial at TAM will have legs beyond the opening? In Portland the Oregon Biennial with 34 artists seems overfull and I already sense it's impact is fast fading past the opening, probably due to the sheer # of already familiar works. (the 1999 biennial was big news for months) Hopefully the TAM bound work will be all new... I think that might help it a great deal.

Right now the show that everyone is talking about is James Lavadour at PDX, not the group shows.

That said 900 paid entries for TAM is very good... the latest Oregon Biennial (with a free entry) was only in the 700's this year... due to intense dissatisfaction over the 2003 iteration, which had nearly 1000.

A strong curatorial take vs. a juried show with 30+ artists is what the region really requires. Of course TAM's biennial is fine and if the show is outstanding it will draw people beyond opening night. It's a challenge and TAM might be up to the task, its just a lot harder to do with 41 artists.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 7, 2006 11:09 PM

I am not familiar with some of the names, so I can't tell the gender really. But just curious: out of the 41 artists, how many are women?

Posted by: lsd [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 09:53 AM

It would seem that the Oregon quotient that ended up surfacing is quite small in this Northwest Biennial cache. Since the Oregon Biennial only covers our fair state (and a lil' corner of WA), and this version in Tacoma is open to artists in four separate states, it would seem the return of nearly 800 entries here far outweighed the response in Tacoma per capita. I think the electronic submission format certainly aided in the process of boosting participation, and the entry fee (which seems so cosmetic, and more commercially based than institutional) is really not something to tout!

Posted by: TJ Norris [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 11:36 AM

I didn't intend to sound like I was touting the entry fee... simply the fact that its existence certainly dampened the response. Often these pay to audition shows include a lot of artists because they feel they need to reflect a pool which agregately has plunked down a lot of money.

Last year for "Inertia" I selected 13 artists, instead of 25 because I felt that was all the more the space could support with any coherence. The cuts from 25 to 13 were pretty agonizing and brutal.

Re Oregon's representation: Portland does have the most active art scene in the region so many critics will latch onto the lack of young A-list contemporary artists from portland. Only Riswold really qualifies.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 11:47 AM

I'm placing my bets on Mack Mcfarland. In addition to the Tacoma Biennial, he's also doing a project with Dennis Nyback for TBA. Alll of which are happening in his first year since graduating from PNCA.

The list seems particularily Seattle heavy, which probably has more to do with juror's familiarity with the work and artists, than anything else. It's also a little curious that no one is featured in both the Oregon Biennial and the Tacoma Biennial. Which probably points out that the jurors are considering themselves and their positions in addition to the works submitted.

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 12:07 PM

I personally was never a huge fan of Mack McFarland's work, but that is just more personal preference over anything. He was always precide and focused with his projects.

Plus, I have to cheer him on, he's a PNCA punk like myself.

Posted by: Calvin Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 01:58 PM

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