Great Rivers Biennial

Great Rivers Biennial

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Lyndon Barrois Jr., Equilibrium, 2014. Photocopies on newsprint, wooden stool. Courtesy the artist.

Nanette Boileau, Corralled, (still), 2015. HD video, color, sound. Courtesy the artist.

Tate Foley, The Fears of White Men, 2010. Letterpress printed artist’s book, edition of 24, 15 x 10 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Lyndon Barrois Jr., Equilibrium, 2014. Photocopies on newsprint, wooden stool. Courtesy the artist.Nanette Boileau, Corralled, (still), 2015. HD video, color, sound. Courtesy the artist.Tate Foley, The Fears of White Men, 2010. Letterpress printed artist’s book, edition of 24, 15 x 10 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Established in 2003, the Great Rivers Biennial is a collaborative exhibition program presented by CAM and the Gateway Foundation. This major initiative identifies talented emerging and mid-career artists working in the greater St. Louis metro area, provides them with financial assistance, and elevates their profile across the Midwest and national arts communities. Up to three winners receive $20,000 and will be featured in the next Great Rivers Biennial exhibition at CAM in summer 2018.


CAM is pleased to announce the 2016 Great Rivers Biennial artists: Lyndon Barrois Jr., Nanette Boileau and Tate Foley.


Drawing, film and video, installation, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture.


  • Artist must currently reside in the metro area, including St. Louis City and the counties of St. Louis, Jefferson, and St. Charles in Missouri or St. Clair and Madison in Illinois.
  • Artist must have lived in the St. Louis metro area (six counties) for at least one year prior to the application deadline.
  • Artist must continue to reside in the St. Louis metro area during the designated planning, production, and exhibition period.
  • Artist may not have previously received a Great Rivers Biennial award.
  • Artist may be a degree-seeking graduate student. All other students are ineligible.
  • Artist must be available for studio visits with the jurors. Alternative spaces may be arranged if artist does not have a studio. The jurors will choose ten semi-finalists who will receive these visits. Visits must be in-person, not by phone or video. 


A panel of distinguished jurors will review all submissions that meet the eligibility requirements. 

The jurors will choose ten semi-finalists and visit these artists’ studios. Afterward, the jurors will select up to three winners. CAM curatorial staff may also attend the studio visits; however the selection process will be made exclusively by the three jurors.

Registration information will be available spring 2017. 



Questions? Email



Once the jurors have selected the artists, all exhibition communications, logistics, follow-up studio visits, and installation of artwork will be with the CAM curatorial department. Chief Curator Jeffrey Uslip will act as the organizing curator of the exhibition, and artists will work closely with Uslip for the successful implementation of their exhibition.



Valerie Cassel Oliver

Valerie Cassel Oliver

Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. In 2014 she opened a major traveling survey of drawings by Houston-based and internationally recognized artist Trenton Doyle Hancock entitled Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing. In 2012 she mounted the project Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, currently touring through 2015. Cassel Oliver has organized numerous other exhibitions, including the survey Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein (2011); a major retrospective on Benjamin Patterson, Born in the State of Flux/us (2010); Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft (2010); Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art (2007); the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); and Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (2003). Prior to her tenure at CAMH she was director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000 she was one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Anne Ellegood

Anne Ellegood

Anne Ellegood is the Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum. Prior to joining the Hammer, Ellegood was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, from 2005 to 2009. She has also served as the New York-based curator for Peter Norton’s collection of over 2400 works of international contemporary art and as Associate Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Recently, she has curated the exhibitions Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology (2014), co-organized with Johanna Burton, which explored the overlapping strategies of appropriation and institutional critique in American art; Black Forest, an exhibition of the work of Kelly Nipper; the Hammer Invitational All of this and nothing (2011); and the Hammer’s first biennial of Los Angeles-based artists, Made in L.A. 2012, which included the work of 60 artists working in a wide range of mediums. Ellegood was selected by the Australian Council for the Arts to curate Sydney-based artist Hany Armanious’s 2011 Venice Biennale exhibition, and she is currently working on exhibitions of the work of Kevin Beasley and John Outterbridge as well as the first North American retrospective of the work of Jimmie Durham, scheduled to open at the Hammer in 2017. Ellegood has contributed texts to a number of journals, including Artforum, Tate Etc, Mousse, and The Exhibitionist, and has written numerous catalog essays, including on the work of Matthew Day Jackson, Charles Gaines, Hubbard & Birchler, Kerry Tribe, and Sara VanDerBeek.  

Paul Pfeiffer

Paul Pfeiffer

Paul Pfeiffer is a sculptor, photographer, and video artist who lives and works in New York City. Often appropriating footage from such public sporting events as professional basketball and hockey games or the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, Pfeiffer uses recent computer technologies to examine the role that mass media plays in shaping human consciousness. Several of Pfeiffer’s sculptures include eerie, computer-generated re-creations of props from Hollywood thrillers and miniature dioramas of sets from such films as The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror. His work is represented in numerous collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Santa Monica, California. Pfeiffer is the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including a Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany (2011); the Alpert Award in the Arts, Visual Arts (2009); and the Bucksbaum Award, the world’s largest award given to an individual artist, presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art (2000). In 2003 a traveling retrospective of his work was organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s List Visual Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.