Ryan N. Dennis, curator of Houston’s Project Row Houses, and Houston-based writer and independent curator Evan Garza have been named curators and creative directors of the 2020 Texas Biennial.
Big Medium, the Austin non-profit that created and leads the Texas Biennial, announced the appointment of Dennis and Garza today.
A survey of contemporary art, the Texas Biennial will open to the public in fall 2020.
And for the first time since the Texas Biennial started in 2005, the curators will not only consider selecting artists living and working in Texas, but also artists with deep connections to Texas working in any part of the world.
Hence the open call is to “artists currently living and/or working in Texas;Texas natives/expats working anywhere in the world; and artists who have produced significant work in Texas over the last three years.”
Artists working in any media or discipline may apply online from Dec. 2, 2019 – Feb.7, 2020.
Also, while the seventh iteration of the Texas Biennial will have its central exhibitions and programming in Austin, the curators will expand the 2020 exhibition to include sites and cities across the Lone Star State, with satellite exhibitions, performances, panels, and programs.
Dennis joined Project Row Houses in 2012 and has organized and co-organized multiple programs there including the Social Justice symposiums and the creation of the 2:2:2 Exchange Residency Program with the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. In 2017, she launched the PRH Fellowship with the Center for Art and Social Engagement at the University of Houston’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts. Previously she worked at the Museum for African Art in New York City as the traveling exhibition manager. Her curatorial credits have included “El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa,” “Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria” and “Jane Alexander: Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope).”
A Houston native, Garza was director of Public Art at Rice University from 2016–2019
where he oversaw major acquisitions of work by Sol LeWitt and Ursula von Rydingsvard and curated solo presentations by Nina Katchadourian, Erika Blumenfeld, Frederik De Wilde, and Jarrod Beck. Previously, Garza was assistant curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Blanton Museum of Art where he was managing curator of the exhibitions “Warhol By the Book, Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s “(2016), and “WITNESS: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties” (2015). Garza was co-founder of Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), a New York nonprofit and the first LGBTQ artist residency in the United States, where he was assistant director from 2011-2015.
Said Dennis: “This exhibition and its subsequent program will share a Texas-tale that is sure to illuminate the many ways that artists are working now, and highlight the important conversations that Texas artists want to have now and shape the dialogue in the future.”