<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.


The application for the 2020 Great Rivers Biennial will open on March 4, 2019.


  • 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 4, 2019
  • Application deadline: April 26, 2019, midnight
  • Exhibition on view: May 8–August 16, 2020

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

2020 Jurors

Coming soon.