Tucson Museum of Art features innovative new work by 86 artists in Arizona Biennial 2020
September 18, 2020
Tucson, AZ – Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (TMA) celebrates experimentation and innovation by Arizona’s outstanding artists in Arizona Biennial 2020, a much-anticipated showcase for contemporary art. The exhibition is scheduled for October 1, 2020 to January 10, 2021.
Arizona artists over 18 years of age working in any media were invited to submit works by March 6, 2020 for consideration for Arizona Biennial 2020. From 1,351 entries, 91 works were selected for exhibition by guest juror Joe Baker, Executive Director, Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. The exhibition contains a variety of media, including painting, installation, photography, sculpture, textiles/fiber arts, video and works on paper.
Arizona Biennial is the oldest running state-wide juried exhibition featuring exclusively Arizona artists. TMA began Arizona Biennial in 1980 as a way to amplify the artistic diversity of the state, and it remains an important part of the museum’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access outlined in the recently-released IDEA Plan. “At this time of a global pandemic, as the very fabric of the American dream unravels, the artist’s voice sounds the alarm for what may be a very different world,” said Baker. “Many of the participating artists address the challenges we face as a nation, including cultural inequities, domestic violence, gender politics and environmental threats.”
Baker’s juror’s statement emphasizes the importance of the Biennial for Arizona in spite of the new challenges introduced by organizing and presenting a major group exhibition during the closures and restrictions of COVID-19: “Art is a path to freedom, emancipation and equity. At other times, it is simply a comfort in an upside-down world.”
Prior to assuming is role as executive director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, artist, curator and educator Joe Baker (Delaware) served as the CEO/executive director of Palos Verdes Art Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and as co-founder and executive director of Lenape Center, New York. At the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Baker was the Lloyd Kiva New Curator of Fine Arts, where he pioneered new opportunities for emerging and underrepresented artists through innovative international exhibitions and programming. His work has recently focused on addressing issues of identity and global cultural equity. His artwork is in TMA’s permanent collection.
Artists selected for inclusion in Arizona Biennial 2020:
Mia B. Adams
Laura Spalding Best
Mary Theresa Dietz
Amanda Margaretha DuPlooy
James M. Huffer
Alan Bur Johnson
Benjamin M. Johnson
Joseph Labate and Laura LaFave
Jessica James Lansdon
Serge J-F. Levy
Mary A. Nation
John Randall Nelson
Elizabeth Z. Pineda
Anna Brooks Ramsey
Lisa M. Robinson
Kaitlyn Jo Smith
Lisa Galloway Sprietsma
The exhibition is supported by a series of virtual public programs, including:
- The Critical Eye: What Curators of Contemporary Art Look For, with exhibition juror Joe Baker and panelists Miki Garcia and Erin Joyce (October 4, 2 p.m.)
- Arizona Biennial 2020 Artists Spotlight: Food, with artists Sam Fresquez and Kazuma Sambe (November 5, 6 p.m.)
- Arizona Biennial 2020 Artists Spotlight: Activism, with artists Julia Arriola and Perla Segovia (December 3, 6 p.m.)
- Arizona Biennial 2020 Artists Spotlight: Figuration, with artists Kareem-Anthony Ferreira and Rigo Flores (January 7, 6 p.m.)
All programs will be delivered online through Zoom. RSVP is required to receive connection information prior to the event. RSVP on the museum website (https://TucsonMuseumofArt.org/events) or contact the admissions desk: 520-616-2684 or mooney@TucsonMuseumofArt.org.
Arizona Biennial 2020 is presented by Dr. Peggy Jones and Alan Willenbrock with additional support from BeachFleischman PC.
High-resolution images and a list of works in the exhibition are available upon request.