<em>Nanette Boileau: Dakota Territory</em>, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: David Johnson.
Nanette Boileau: Dakota Territory, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 6–August 21, 2016. Photo: David Johnson.

Great Rivers Biennial

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. Every two years, three winners are selected to receive $20,000 and are featured in the Great Rivers Biennial exhibition at CAM in the following summer.


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

Selection Process

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.



2018 Great Rivers Biennial

  • Applications open: March 15, 2017
  • Application deadline: April 28, 2017, midnight
  • Ten semi-finalists chosen: June 9, 2017
  • Studio Visits: June 19–20, 2017
  • Winners announced: June 30, 2017
  • Exhibition on view: May 11–August 19, 2018

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. A member of the department will act as the organizing curator of the exhibition, and artists will work closely with CAM curator for the successful implementation of their exhibition.


CAM Floor Plan
Questions? Email grb@camstl.org.

Past Recipients

2018 Jurors

Martin Kersels’ work ranges from collaborative performances to large-scale sculptures to photographs of performative actions to kinetic and sound producing sculptures. Through these varied disciplines he explores the dynamic tension between failure and success, the individual and the group, and the thin line between humor and tragedy. Kersels’ objects and projects have been exhibited at museums both nationally and internationally, including the 1997 and 2010 Whitney Biennials, Pompidou Center, MOCA Los Angeles, Tinguely Museum, Kunsthalle Bern, MAMCO in Geneva, and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His work is represented by the galleries Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, Redling Fine Art in Los Angeles, and Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois in Paris. Kersels is Director of Graduate Studies at the Yale School of Art.

Lauren Haynes is Curator of Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to joining Crystal Bridges, Haynes spent nearly a decade at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where most recently she was the Associate Curator for the permanent collection. As a specialist in African-American modern and contemporary art, Haynes curated dozens of exhibitions at the Studio Museum and contemporary art institutions in New York. At the Studio Museum, Haynes oversaw the care and collection of the permanent collection as well as acquisitions and exhibitions. She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Curators and serves on the Nomination and Governance Committee. Haynes is a recipient of a 2016 Gold Rush Award from Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

Christine Y. Kim joined the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as Associate Curator of Contemporary Art in 2009. Prior to her position at LACMA she was Associate Curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York. At LACMA, Kim co-organized Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection (2011), with Franklin Sirmans; James Turrell: A Retrospective (2013–14) with LACMA’s director Michael Govan; Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination (2015–17) with Lynne Cooke; and My Barbarian: Double Agency (2015) with Rita Gonzalez. Kim also organized the installation of Untitled 2010, an outdoor sculpture project by Mexican artist Teresa Margolles, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Nomadic Division, a non-profit organization for public art co-founded by Kim in 2009.