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The Biennial of the Americas Opens Public Submissions for “Americas COVID-19 Memorial”

COVID-19 Memorial

The Biennial of the Americas invites the public to submit memorial artworks to be featured as part of “Americas COVID-19 Memorial,” an artist-driven memorial project to acknowledge the grave impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Americas.

Individuals or collaborative groups of any age or nationality, who reside within the boundaries of the Americas (including Canada, the United States, Central & South America and the Caribbean), are invited to submit artworks through May 31. Submissions should focus on exploration of how the artistic imagination conceives a memorial to a contemporary tragedy that transcends national borders. Artwork may be accompanied by a 300-word narrative describing the work and any details about inspiration, materials used or additional context.

“The ‘Americas COVID-19 Memorial’ seeks to create a space to come together in our individual and collective grief and healing processes, providing an opportunity to reflect on the complexities of a global pandemic through art,” said FloraJane DiRienzo, deputy director, Biennial of the Americas. “We hope that many members of the public will submit artworks, conveying varied experiences and insights from across the Americas.”

In addition to soliciting artworks from the public, the Biennial of the Americas is working with curators Derrick Velasquez and Maria Paz Gaviria to identify more than 30 artists from across the Americas. An artist selection committee will then invite 20 of the artists to contribute to the “Americas COVID-19 Memorial” through submitting artworks and participating in project programming. Each artist will receive $1,000 for their commissioned drawing. Participating artists will be announced in May.

The Biennial will feature the artworks of the 20 commissioned artists alongside the public submissions (that meet entry requirements) through a virtual exhibition on the Biennial website, launching in June. In August, the Biennial will announce awards, determined by the artist selection committee, to three of the artists for their artworks (juried first place, juried second place and juried third place). The Biennial also will announce the “public favorite” in August, a $2,000 award for the public artwork receiving the highest number of votes through the virtual exhibition on the website.

The following is a general timeline for the project.

– March 3 – project announcement

– March 30 – open call for public submissions

– May – announcement of 20 featured artists

– Late May – public submissions close

– June – online exhibition launches, and public voting begins

– July – public voting closes

– August – awards announced

Throughout the project, the Biennial is featuring complementary virtual programming, through monthly “Coffee Chats,” to engage the public around topics such as grief, memorials and social memory. On April 16, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (MDT), the “Coffee Chat,” titled “Americas COVID-19 Memorial” will feature a discussion with the curators, Velasquez and Paz Gaviria and Arielle Julia Brown (Monument Lab, performance curator and cultural producer).

For more information about the “Americas COVID-19 Memorial” and complementary programming, visit the Biennial of the Americas website

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