Draft Proposal

Duluth Biennale

for the Duluth Art Institute (7-15-2012)

by Lee Zimmerman



Right now there is a call for The Arrowhead Biennial. This is a juried art show that happens every two years. The exhibition will be held in the Depot (Maybe the Galleries?) from December through January.

The Arrowhead Biennial Exhibition is a showcase for Midwest art and artists.  For our 59th exhibition we continue to cast our net wide—artists residing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada are all eligible to submit work.


Venezia Biennale

The Venezia Biennale is an international art show that takes place every odd year in the city of Venice. It is different than other biennial events, in that the art being shown is spread across the city - in empty apartments, in exterior gardens, in churches, empty store fronts… There are a few public buildings, pavilions, and museums that also hold artwork  created by artists from around the world. To see the work, you would have a map, or you might just wander around until you saw the distinctive flag that indicates that your location had Biennale art. Here is a link to the Venezia biennale http://www.labiennale.org/en/art/

Could you do a similar thing in Duluth?

The Duluth Preservation Alliance is very strong in the city. They will often hold open house days where people are invited to explore some of the fine mansions in the city. The Duluth Art Institute in conjunction with the Duluth Preservation Alliance, The Downtown Council, The publics Arts Commission, could create a Duluth Biennale modeled after the Venezia Biennale. Selected artwork could be placed in mansions and in public buildings all over the city.

During the Biennale
month, people would be invited to tour the city, see the artwork, and experience some of the grand historic spaces. This works for the mission of the Duluth Preservation Alliance because it raises the awareness of our own regional history. This works for the mission of the Duluth Art Institute because it would connect the artist, the artwork, directly with the community. The Downtown Council could be used to access empty storefronts, ARAC and the Duluth Public Art Commission might be pressed to help with fund a portion of the event.

Not everyone would see all of the art presented because it would be distributed across the city, but many more people would see some of the art and know that it was connected to the Duluth Art Institute.

Also, this would have the most impact on the artists involved. Art, especially expensive art, is sold more readily when the art patron can see it in their home. The people that own the mansions have the space and often have the discretionary funds to purchase art.