The 10th Northwest Biennial

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© Courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum
The 10th Northwest Biennial

1701 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
January 21st, 2012 - May 20th, 2012
Opening: January 21st, 2012 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

United States
(253) 272-4258
Wed-Sun 10-5; Third Thursday 10-8 with free Admission from 5-8 PM


In honor of Tacoma Art Museum’s 75th Anniversary and to commemorate the milestone of two decades of biennial exhibitions, The 10th Northwest Biennial will examine the vital questions of who we are as residents of the Pacific Northwest, what we look like, and what are our aspirations for our communities. The Biennial will seek artworks that address the critical issues that underpin the larger issues of identity and community including the fluidity of regional identity in an age of global capitalism, increased urban migration, and the virtual diffusion of a discernible regional style. Because of the extraordinary complexities of these issues, The 10th Northwest Biennial will focus on the newly revitalized and resurgent forms of interdisciplinary art practices.

Although its antecedents may be traced back to artists as early as the 1960s, interdisciplinary art practice has increasingly demanded the attention of a surprisingly broad range of artists, who eagerly mix traditional art and craft forms with conceptual structures borrowed from a dizzying array of disciplines. These artists and collaborative teams have greatly expanded their expressive vocabularies through a voracious appetite for alternative materials and forms. The artists engage in the construction of experiential moments, which expand the possibilities of art’s discursive spaces beyond the traditional expectations of the artist/audience exchange.

“Interdisciplinary art” for the purpose of The Biennial will be broadly defined to include all art forms encompassing mixed media installations, video and sound works, performance, and social practice as well as traditional formats such as painting and sculpture. The unifying conceptual framework of The Biennial will be that art works will be deeply informed by disciplines and areas of studies in addition to the visual arts.

As Tacoma Art Museum seeks to broaden its geographical definition of the Northwest to encompass artists working in British Columbia, The 10th Northwest Biennial will offer a provocative look at the divergent practices of artists on both sides of the international border.

A major change in the selection process from previous Northwest Biennials is the inclusion of a select number of artists by invitation. The co-curators invited artists to participate in The Biennial to create the foundation of an exhibition that captures the richness and variety of artistic practice and accomplishment within the scope of The Biennial’s theme.

Applications were juried by Renato Rodrigues da Silva, PhD, independent curator and art historian, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Rock Hushka, Director of Curatorial Administration and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum.