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Every artwork on this page is copyright 2008 by the originating artist. No reproduction or approximation of these works
may be created in any medium for any commercial or nonprofit use without specific written permission from the artist.

Other TX BI stories:

The Big Texas BIennial 2009 Page with 55 pictures, lots of art criticism about the Pieces, Places and Spaces of the TX BI 09
The Dallas & North Texas Artists in the 2009 Texas Biennial - featuring the Dallas & North Central Texas area artists in TX BI 09
The 2005 Texas Biennial — 7 pages of coverage and commentary
The 2007 TX BI - Putting the Bi in the Biennial

TeXas BIennial 2009:
The ARTARAMA Page

Story + Photographs by J R Compton

Lil' Jerry - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Like the other illustrations on this page, so far
Artarama's Lil' Jerry in North Austin has
almost nothing to do with TX BI '09
and may even be inimical to it.

The 2009 TX BI

Anna and I spent the weekend (March 6, 7 and 8 2009) in Austin exploring the third Texas Biennial. Stories from that trip are and will be linked above on this page, which will serve as the index for this year's BI. Biennial organizers have switched to calling this one TXB, probably to avoid the sexual inuendi. But I don't care. It makes more sense to call it TX BI, as it always has been.

Linked names below are not DARts Members but they link to DallasArtsRevue pages. Some of these names are linked to page full of links to that artist's mentions on DallasArtsRevue pages.

Christie Blizard (Lubbock), Justin Boyd (San Antonio), Leigh Brodie (Austin), Susan Budge (San Antonio), Marc Burckhardt (Austin), Jeanne Cassanova (Houston), Susan Cheal (Denton), Catherine Colangelo (Houston), Beau Comeaux (Houston), Andy Coolquitt (Austin), Paula Cox (San Antonio), Adrienne Cullins (Austin), Celia Eberle (Dallas), Heyd Fontenot (Austin), Angela Fox (San Antonio), Kana Harada (Dallas), Jeannette Hernandez (San Antonio), Juan J. Hernandez (Dallas), Simeen Ishaque (Dallas), Jules Buck Jones (Austin), Kathyrn Kelley (Houston), Natalie Kleinecke (San Marcos), Helen Kwiatkowski (Belton), Ryan Lauderdale (Austin), Jane Lawrence (San Antonio), Paula Leighton (Austin), Anne Longo (Lubbock), Ivan Lozano (Austin), Christa Mares (Austin), Mona Marshall (Austin), Tom Matthews (Edinburg), Carolyn McAdams (Valley View), Mary Morse (Austin), John Mulvany (Austin), Olga Nicalaevna Porter (Houston), Katy O’Connor (Austin), Dawn Okoro (Houston), Kim Cadmus Owens (Dallas), Harmony Padgett (Arlington), Jamie Panzer (Austin), Justin Parr (San Antonio), Katie Pell (San Antonio), Gladys Poorte (Austin), Anila Quayyum Agha (Houston), William Rosshirt (Austin), Winter Rusiloski (Ft. Worth), Cody Scrogum (Austin), Charlotte Smith (Dallas), Morgan Sorne (Austin), Keith Allyn Spencer (El Paso), John Spriggins (Dallas), Mary Stengel (Austin), Raychael Stine (Dallas), Barry Stone (Austin), John Swanger (Austin), James Talbot (Austin), Terri Thomas (Austin), Raymond Uhlir (Austin), Paul Valadez (Edinburg), Kelli Vance (Houston), Marilyn Waligore (Dallas), Jade Walker (Austin) and Vivian Wolfe (Austin)

Just entering was a tech-heavy booger taking hours of my time and energy as I tried to figure out what the hell they were trying to say with the words they used. How'm I supposed to know if I'm entering a group show or a solo show? Do I even get to decide?. I hope it'll be easier as they ease into online entering technology, and that they figure out terminology that means something to those who enter as well as those who booger up the entering process. My congratulations to anyone who entered and actualy got in.

If their notification that I did not get in is any indication, they ran a full 6 weeks behind schedule notifying artists of their status.

I also hope that some day they will finally put me on the P R list, but I won't hold my breath.

It's in a gallery, it must be art? - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

It's in a TX BI gallery, it must be art, right?
 

Stories + snippets from before

J R thinks this is more interesting a show than most. The Texas Biennial opens 2-4 March 6, through April 11 at the Mexican American Cultural Center at 600 River Street in Austin, Texas. When it began, TX BI was Austin-based, so it was diverse and funky. Its worker bees were artists and art workers in Austin. So were its jurors. So, in fact, were most of its artists, a condition which continues, because they're still not good at promoting the show all over the state, although nominal progress has been made to represent North, South, East, West and of course Central Texas.

The jurors got egregiously less funky last time and the 2009 show may be even more polished. Desperate to have artists believe they are legit, they've distorted their values by becoming so unfunky they are barely recognizable, except of course that there's still more artists from Austin than anywhere else.

In a joyous burst of community, the first show was scattered all over Austin. Seeing everything in the bi meant visiting a variety of venues all over the city, thereby beginning to understand the Austin art scene — its spaces, if not its people. The second BI continued the practice with fewer spaces but less funk. This upcoming third iteration continues in a full dozen spaces around Austin.

It's the best biennial Texas has, so we go down there every couple years and check it out. My first story — The 2005 Texas Biennial — comprised seven pages of coverage. Two years ago, I eagerly covered the art, if not all the events in Putting the Bi in the Texas Biennial, a more concise documentation. This spring I hope to cover it in more detail, with even more attention to the art, artists and — cringe — the politics.

All that crap on the 09 Texas Biennial that was on this page far too long is now on its own page, and it still hasn't changed. Probably won't till we go down there and see it. Then it'll grow substantially.

Meanwhile, the TX BI site continues to grow, and although it goes on and on about who chooses the work — one guy now — I was unable to find a full list of exhibiting artists. Must not be all that important, but I did find a page of jumpy videos that show juror's visits.

 

After the first exciting, Austin-area centric, community-based TX BI, they dumped all their community-involved curators (and most of their worker bees) and skyrocketed to have only veddy professionals judging by a Big-Time Art Guy from Out of State.

Big disappointment for this writer. I loved the dynamics of true community involvement. Thought they should have stayed funky, free and unique. Keep Austin Weird, indeed.

Tom Orr   LOCHWINNOCH (detail)   steel and mirror  
10 x 20 x 7 feet   at the TX BI 2007

The Texas Biennial Again

The Texas Biennial has announced their "Solo Artists," a term that baffled me throughout their abstruse online, digital application process (and a term never explained that I could find). Apparently, they've selected "more focused, solo shows awarded to individuals representing North, South, East and West Texas.

Their curator "took a concentrated examination of the art making in Texas and culled [sic] a list of 35 artists to seriously consider for the solo exhibitions." picking "artists who, in one way or another, embody the creative ingenuity that makes our state so exceptional."

Included are North - Lee Baxter Davis, Greenville; South - Jayne Lawrence, San Antonio; East - Kelli Vance, Houston and West - William Cannings, Lubbock.

This is too weird to synopsize: "The Texas Biennial is delighted to introduce these new [sic] artists and their specific modes of working with the Texas community. In response to the number of studio visits conducted with artists in all stages of their career, the Texas Biennial sought fit to pay homage to one great, pioneering artist who has made significant contributions to Texas art."

"Michael Duncan has chosen Kelly Fearing for this 2009 honor. During our grand opening in March, the Biennial will introduce and re-familiarize some with this artist’s life, work and process in juxtaposition with the 72 other selected Biennial artists." Wonder who he is.

J R thinks this is more interesting a show than most. The Texas Biennial opens 2-4 March 6 at the Mexican American Cultural Center at 600 River Street in Austin, Texas. The only way I know that is because I entered their competition, hoping they would finally communicate with me about openings and other associated TX BI events. I didn't get in, but I'm sure somebody from around here did, and I know that I cannot depend on the TX BI people to tell me. I've written extensively about the TX BI exhibitions, interviewed the event's founders, publicized every morsel I've found, pleaded with them to send me regular PR, all to naught. So this is a giant step forward, despite me not getting accepted, which was an awe-fully long shot anyway, through April 11
 

Probably Not Art - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Probably Not Art, But In Many Ways More Interesting
than some of What Was Called Public Art at the 09 Bi


Keep the Bi Funky

After the first exciting, Austin-area centric, community-based TX BI, they dumped all their community-involved curators (and most of their worker bees) and skyrocketed to have only veddy professionals judging. Big disappointment for this writer. I loved the dynamics of true community involvement. Thought they should have stayed funky, free and unique. Keep Austin Weird, indeed.

They never have, unfortunately, got anywhere near professional quality publicity, which task continues to escape them. What I see of their PR is indifferent. They called recently asking if I thought they should do a press conference here and maybe in Houston to announce the local winners. I doubted any local press would attend such an event. I doubted even I would. Seemed like a big waste of time and money, which has to be in short supply. I suggested next time they instead do a press party to announce the statewide competition, maybe scare up more local entrees.

9 artists were accepted from Dallas, and 1 each from Arlington, Denton, Ennis and Fort Worth (!), 6 from San Antonio, 8 from Houston and 27 from Austin proves they're still getting the word out in their own bailiwick, and failing miserably everywhere else.

There are not three times as many good artists in Austin as in Dallas or Houston. Houston, for those who may not know, is Texas' largest and most art-intense city (and also happens to be the fourth largest city in the United States). Dallas is second in Texas. Austin may be fifth.

Who got accepted into this elite exhibition is less surprising than who did not. Hard to know who did not enter, of course, or who got in last time but didn't think the process professional enough to subject oneself to the ordeal again.

That I recognize names for all but two artists from this area is disquieting. If this exhibition were successful at attracting artists beyond Austin, there should be many more unknown DFW-area artists revealed thereby.

A Google Instant [this] Site Search for any but one of the bold names below, reveals many mentions — some quite laudatory and with extensive images — on these pages. Only two of the DFW-area artists have not been seen on DallasArtsRevue.

Linked names below are not DARts Members but they link to DallasArtsRevue pages. Some of these names are linked to pages of links.

Christie Blizard (Lubbock), Justin Boyd (San Antonio), Leigh Brodie austin Susan Budge (San Antonio), Marc Burckhardt (Austin), Jeanne Cassanova (Houston), Susan Cheal (Denton), Catherine Colangelo (Houston), Beau Comeaux (Houston), Andy Coolquitt (Austin), Paula Cox (San Antonio), Adrienne Cullins (Austin), Celia Eberle (Dallas), Heyd Fontenot (Austin), Angela Fox (San Antonio), Kana Harada (Dallas), Jeannette Hernandez (San Antonio), Juan J. Hernandez (Dallas), Simeen Ishaque (Dallas), Jules Buck Jones (Austin), Kathyrn Kelley (Houston), Natalie Kleinecke (San Marcos), Helen Kwiatkowski (Belton), Ryan Lauderdale (Austin), Jane Lawrence (San Antonio), Paula Leighton (Austin), Anne Longo (Lubbock), Ivan Lozano (Austin), Christa Mares (Austin), Mona Marshall (Austin), Tom Matthews (Edinburg), Carolyn McAdams (Valley View), Mary Morse (Austin), John Mulvany (Austin), Olga Nicalaevna Porter (Houston), Katy O’Connor (Austin), Dawn Okoro (Houston), Kim Cadmus Owens (Dallas), Harmony Padgett (Arlington), Jamie Panzer (Austin), Justin Parr (San Antonio), Katie Pell (San Antonio), Gladys Poorte (Austin), Anila Quayyum Agha (Houston), William Rosshirt (Austin), Winter Rusiloski (Ft. Worth), Cody Scrogum (Austin), Charlotte Smith (Dallas), Morgan Sorne (Austin), Keith Allyn Spencer (El Paso), John Spriggins (Dallas), Mary Stengel (Austin), Raychael Stine (Dallas), Barry Stone (Austin), John Swanger (Austin), James Talbot (Austin), Terri Thomas (Austin), Raymond Uhlir (Austin), Paul Valadez (Edinburg), Kelli Vance (Houston), Marilyn Waligore (Dallas), Jade Walker (Austin) and Vivian Wolfe (Austin)

Just entering was a tech-heavy booger (and I am a little web savvy) taking hours of my time and energy as I tried to figure out what the hell they were trying to say with the words they used.

How'm I supposed to know if I'm entering a group show or a solo show? Do I even get to decide?. I hope it'll be easier as they ease into online technology, and that they figure out terminology that means something to those who enter as well as those who booger up the entering process. My congratulations to anyone who entered and actualy got in, and I wonder how many worthy artists gave up trying.

If their notification that I did not get in is any indication, they ran a full 6 weeks behind schedule notifying artists of their status.

I also hope that some day they will finally put me on the P R list, but I won't hold my breath.
 

Other TX BI stories

Art Here Lately now featuring the North Central Texas area-related artists in TX BI 09

The 2005 Texas Biennial — 7 pages of coverage of the first TX BI (and the original text for my editorially corrupted Glass Tire article on that Bi)

Putting the Bi in the Texas Biennial — Full commentary on The Second Texas Biennial

All Contents of this site are Copyright 2008 and 2009 or before by publisher J R Compton.
All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in any medium without specific written permission.