Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA) is proud to organize and support the 2016 Wisconsin Artists Biennial at MOWA. We thank all the artists who entered the Biennial; we were very pleased with the number and quality of the works entered, which prove that the visual arts are alive and well in Wisconsin. While we tried to make the entry process as stress-free as possible, it is not always emotionally easy for artists to enter works into juried exhibits — why one is selected or declined is often hard to communicate. Many strong works were not selected and different jurors may have resulted in different selections. 647 works by 335 artists entered and 52 works by 49 artists were selected. The competitive nature of juried exhibitions can sometimes be cruel. I congratulate all the artists whose work was selected to be included in the 2016 Wisconsin Artists Biennial. To be selected is an honor no matter how competitive the process. To be selected to receive one of the awards is an even greater honor. Over $5,000 in prizes were awarded. The Biennial is a long-standing, highly competitive statewide visual artists juried exhibit that WVA has organized for over 50 years. I was honored to lead the 2016 Biennial team and I thank them for their support, expertise and assistance. The Biennial team included: Doug Haynes who masterfully developed the WVA online entry system and gave technical support, Tori Tasch, Bonnie de Arteaga, and Gary John Gresl who gave ongoing help with proofing, insights, and entry management before and after the jury process, and myself as Biennial Chair. We are all volunteers and WVA is fortunate to have such unselfish and hard-working artist volunteers working to enhance and improve the visual arts in Wisconsin. WVA thanks Laurie Winters and Graeme Reid for their leadership in inviting the 2016 Wisconsin Artists Biennial exhibit to MOWA. Wisconsin artists are fortunate to have such a forward thinking and outstanding museum for Wisconsin art and artists. We thank MOWA for their support for the award they funded as well their exhibit and marketing expertise. We thank the jurors, Pete Olson, Tammie Rubin and Graeme Reid, for spending the necessary time to view the 647 works entered. It was not an easy task and hard choices were made. WVA is also fortunate to have the long-time support of Robert Ragir and the foundation he manages in memory of his parents.
The Meyer & Norma Ragir Foundation has helped WVA significantly grow the WVA Endowment with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. We are now to the point that WVA can use the funds to help create this book and further advance WVA programs. Thank you Robert Ragir. Thank you all. If you are not a WVA member, I hope you consider becoming one. WVA hopes you enjoy this book that features the art works juried into the 2016 Wisconsin Artists Biennial. A free PDF of this book is available at the WVA website or a print on demand book may be ordered from blurb.com