Sophomore slump?

Some wonder where all the fuss was in the art community was in response to the Texas Biennial. I think we all needed some time for everything to sink in, to watch, wait and see what direction it would go. Although I have no doubt the Biennial will continue to grow and surprise in the years ahead, I am scratching my head about a couple things, with all due respect.

1) Where are the artists and visitors from the Rio Grande Valley, the Gulf Coast, West Texas (besides Marfa), the Panhandle, and the rural regions of our vast realm? It seems to me institutions and community organizers working in artistically marginalized areas should be notified of such a statewide undertaking with equal, if not more, effort as the Dallas-Houston-San Antonio triangle.

2) Was the selection of artists a blind process? It’s just a bit surprising to me that there were few surprises. I ask this partially because, not to accuse anyone of cronyism, but anyone who follows the Austin art scene with some dedication would know that the organizers, jurors and a handful of the artists are acquainted. It’s highly likely they would recognize each other’s work.

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