CAM presents the eighth edition of the Great Rivers Biennial featuring new work by St. Louis-based artists Addoley Dzegede, Sarah Paulsen, and Jacob Stanley. The artists work in varied media, with their project proposals involving textiles, animation, and sculpture, respectively. The award winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of jurors following individual studio visits of ten semi-finalists. More than 150 artists applied for the Great Rivers Biennial Arts Award Program, a collaborative initiative between CAM and Gateway Foundation designed to recognize artistic talent in the greater St. Louis metro area. Generously funded by Gateway Foundation, the program awards each artist with $20,000 and a major exhibition in CAM’s galleries, on view May 11 through August 19, 2018.
The jurors—Martin Kersels, multidisciplinary artist and associate professor and director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at Yale University; Lauren Haynes, scholar in modern and contemporary American Art and curator of contemporary art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art; and Christine Y. Kim, associate curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art—selected artists through each stage of the process. In conjunction with the 2018 Great Rivers Biennial opening, the jurors will return in May for a public conversation with the artists
Addoley Dzegede investigates notions of belonging, home, migration and location, and hybrid identities.Using cloth as a means for storytelling, Dzegede plans to create a body of handmade batiks at CAM that “speak to the current social climate of this country—a merging of personal and collective history, both within St. Louis and beyond.”
Sarah Paulsen says she has been exploring the statement, “Whiteness means not having to think about it.” The results of those explorations come together in the form of an installation that reflects the artist’s “attempt to answer my own questions about the formation of racial identity.”
Jacob Stanley says his sculptures live in a “dynamic stasis—a state between collapse and construction, tension and balance, refinement and rawness.” For the Great Rivers Biennial he plans on making a series of machines that explore the nature of labor and how we define work in the 21st century.
The 2018 Great Rivers Biennial is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator.