People’s Biennial Opens on Campus

The People’s Biennial, a traveling exhibition of artists outside the “mainstream” art world organized by Independent Curators International, opened at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, replete with Philly cheesesteak-flavored homemade ice cream.

Friday, Jan. 27, the People’s Biennial, a traveling exhibition organized by Independent Curators International, opened at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. The Biennial features 36 artists who work outside the “mainstream” art world in Portland, Oregon; Rapid City, South Dakota; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Haverford, Pennsylvania. Featuring work by artists from each city (who were found through a series of local open calls, studio visits, and serendipitous encounters by curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffman), the show reaches beyond the the traditional boundaries of art, questioning existing curatorial practice and the established avenues and institutions of the art world.


Artist Laura Deutch talking to visitors including Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities Director Israel Burshatin in the Messages in Motion Van.


Artist Howard Kleger checks out work by Joseph Perez at the opening.

The well-attended opening featured food from each of the regions represented in the show, including unusual homemade ice cream (Philly cheesesteak, anyone?) by Portland artist Rudy Speerschneider.


Visitors investigate Rudy Speerschneider's Junior Ambassador Ice Cream display.
Artist Rudy Speerschneider and CFG staff member Emily Mayer prepare to serve Junior Ambassador ice cream.

The show will be up in the gallery through March 2, and there will be many more Biennial-related events on campus (and off) in the coming weeks. A full schedule is below:

Artists Conversation
Thursday, February 9, 2012, 4:30 p.m.
Haverford College, Cantor Fitzgerald Galley, Whitehead Campus Center
People’s Biennial Project Liaison David Richardson and Campus Exhibitions Coordinator Matthew Callinan will lead a conversation with Haverford area People’s Biennial Artists

Screening and Conversation with Artist Laura Deutch
Thursday, February 9, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Haverford College, Sharpless Auditorium, KINSC
Deutch’s film El Sol Sale chronicles the rapid growth of the Mexican community in the historically immigrant neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Told through the first hand experiences of the main subjects who have been a formative part of this development over the last 20 years, a collective story of the community unfolds. (US, 2010, 40 minutes)

Screening and Conversation With Artist Howard Kleger and Brandon Joyce
Monday, February 13, 2012, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Haverford College, Humanities Center, Stokes Hall 102
Artist Howard Kleger will screen and discuss his film Howard2Go featured in the People’s Biennial exhibition. This discussion will be led by Brandon Joyce.

People’s Conference with Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffman
Friday, February 24, 2012, 4:30 p.m.
Haverford College, Sharpless Auditorium, KINSC

Saturday, February 25, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania
Ask questions about display, structures of support, regionalism and under-recognized artists as raised by the People’s Biennial Exhibition. Friday program at Haverford with Fletcher and Hoffmann will be led by Renaud Proch, Deputy Director, Independent Curators International (ICI).

In collaboration with Independent Curators International (ICI), Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and with support from the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative

All photos by Lisa Boughter.