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 The 9th Northwest Biennial
January 31 - May 25, 2009

Tacoma Art Museum’s Northwest Biennial considers recent developments and accomplishments by Northwest artists. The 9th Northwest Biennial will focus on the current aesthetic and conceptual concerns addressed by regional artists. Through an increasingly complex matrix of influences, Northwest artists adapt and shed ideas, media, and imagery to define themselves as artists while reinventing or restating the core notion of a Northwest artist. Because the concept of “regional art” continually collapses and rebuilds, the subtle shifts in the imagery, stylistic impulses, and conceptual foundations reveal how the region’s artist community participates in the broad dialogue of contemporary art.




The exhibition is accompanied by a 108-page catalogue with essays by co-curators Rock Hushka, Tacoma Art Museum’s Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art, and Alison de Lima Greene, Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Projects at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and 71 full-color illustrations of work by participating artists. Available in the Museum Store or online at our e-store.

 Biennial Catalogue Cover

Selected Artists
Rick Araluce, Seattle
Gala Bent, Seattle
Michael Brophy, Portland
Jack Daws, Seattle
Eric Elliott, Seattle
Tannaz Farsi, Eugene
Sarah Hood, Seattle
Denzil Hurley, Seattle
Linda Hutchins, Portland
Robert C. Jones, Seattle
Michael Kenna, Seattle
Doug Keyes, Seattle
Isaac Layman, Seattle
Zhi Lin, Sammamish
Micki Lippe, Seattle
Margie Livingston, Seattle
Victor Maldonado, Portland
Debora Moore, Seattle
Susan Robb, Seattle
Stephanie Robison, Portland
Ross Sawyers, Seattle
Susan Seubert, Portland
Chang-Ae Song, Eugene
W. Scott Trimble, Seattle


Jurors for The 9th Northwest Biennial

Alison de Lima Greene is Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Projects at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she has been on the curatorial staff since 1984. Before moving to Texas, Ms. Greene worked in the department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She earned a master’s degree in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Among the numerous exhibitions she has organized are Czech Modernism: 1900-1945; Arman: A Retrospective; Twentieth-Century American Sculpture at the White House; and a survey of Kenneth Noland paintings. Her publications include Texas: 150 Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, a collection catalogue profiling the museum’s Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden designed by Isamu Noguchi, and a survey of the MFAH’s 25-year Core Program for resident artists and writers.


Rock Hushka is Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum. In 1994, Hushka earned a master of arts degree in art history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He worked at the Henry Art Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum and has worked at Tacoma Art Museum since 2001. At Tacoma Art Museum, he has curated Sparkle Then Fade and The New York School: The Politics of Abstraction. He has increasingly focused on the art of the Northwest, including the four-part Building Tradition: Gifts in Honor of the Northwest Collection; A Decade of Excellence: Celebrating The Neddy Artist Fellowship; and The Romantic Vision of Michael Brophy. He was a co-juror for The 8th Northwest Biennial in 2007.


Application Process

The 9th Northwest Biennial began with an online submission process using the CaFÉ (Call for Entry) application service. This is the first year Tacoma Art Museum utilized an online submission process. All applications  were required to be posted to the CaFÉ Web site (www.callforentry.org) by July 26, 2008, and include a resume listing exhibition history, publications and reviews, and gallery representation, if any; an artist statement of no more than 500 words; and eight digital images formatted according to CaFÉ’s requirements.


Artists working in a wide variety of media, including traditional forms, craft-based work, and digital projects were encouraged to apply, as well as artists exploring alternative visual forms such as conceptual and performance works and installations. Application was open to current residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Of the 543 applicants, 358 were from Washington (203 from Seattle), 155 from Oregon (123 from Portland), 20 from Idaho, and 10 from Montana. Only work created since January 2007 was considered. The next biennial is scheduled for 2011.


For more information, contact us at Biennial@TacomaArtMuseum.org.


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This exhibition is organized by Tacoma Art Museum. Exhibition support provided by Rebecca and Alexander Stewart, Ben and Aileen Krohn, and Gary Owen in honor of Rebecca and Alexander Stewart. The installation Wrecking Ball Cloud by artist Stephanie Robison is made possible by support from Shari and John Behnke. Generous sponsorship also provided by Safeco Insurance Foundation and

Union Bank of California

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