Great Rivers Biennial

Established in 2003, the Great Rivers Biennial is a collaborative exhibition program presented by CAM and Gateway Foundation. This initiative identifies talented emerging and mid-career artists working in the greater St. Louis metro area, provides them with financial assistance, and elevates their profile across the Midwest and national arts communities. Winners will receive a grant of $20,000 and will be featured in the Great Rivers Biennial 2014 exhibition at CAM.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is pleased to announce the three artists selected for the Great Rivers Biennial 2014: Brandon AnschultzCarlie Trosclair, and Cayce Zavaglia.


A panel of distinguished jurors—Lynne Warren, Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Mel Chin, artist; and Lowery Stokes Sims, Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design—reviewed all submissions that meet the eligibility requirements and selected the three winning artists.

winners bios

Brandon Anschultz’s paintings and sculptures emphasize the tactile qualities of paint as a material substance. In doing so, they demonstrate the possibilities of the medium to go beyond its conventional two-dimensional use. Anshultz has presented work in both solo and group exhibitions at such venues as Kunstlerhaus Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria; Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles; Longue Vue House and Garden, New Orleans; Columbia College, Chicago; The Hills Esthetic Center, Chicago; La Esquina, Kansas City; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis; Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis; and Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, St. Louis. He holds an MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis (2002) and a BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing from Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana (1997).

Carlie Trosclair’s work aims to bridge the gap between the human body and the built environment by re-creating and manipulating existing spaces. Using pliable and decorative materials, such as fabric and wallpaper, she creates new topographies and narratives through site-specific interventions in abandoned domestic spaces. Trosclair has exhibited at the Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy; The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; 6612 Art Space, St. Louis; and The Luminary Center for the Arts, St. Louis. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis (2010) and BFA from Loyola University, New Orleans (2008).

Originally trained as a painter, Cayce Zavaglia now works in embroidery, having developed a sewing technique that allows her to blend colors and establish tonalities that resemble the techniques used in classical oil painting. Her work focuses exclusively on the portraits of friends, family, and fellow artists and has been exhibited at Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn; Nicholas Robinson Gallery, New York; Lyons Wier Gallery, New York; Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA; and the Craft Alliance, St. Louis. Zavaglia received her MFA with a concentration in Painting from Washington University in St. Louis (1998) and her BFA in Painting from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL (1994).

Jurors bios

Artist Mel Chin was born in Houston, Texas, and received his BA from Peabody College in 1975. He is known for his broad approaches to art, which range from drawing and painting to sculpture and installations. Many of his works require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. Chin has exhibited most recently at Galerie Steinek, Vienna; Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne Germany; Blume and Poe Gallery, Los Angeles; the Andrew Freedman Home, Bronx; Museum Het Domein, Sittard Netherlands; and Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York. His work is represented in public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and The Menil Collection, Houston. Chin has held academic appointments at Stanford University, Cooper Union, and the University of Michigan, among others, and has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nancy Graves Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Public Art Network.

Lowery Stokes Sims is the Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design. She has organized numerous exhibitions, including Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design (2013); Fritz Scholder (2008); Llewellyn Xavier (2007); Richard Pousette-Dat (1997); and Ida Applebroog (1990). Sims received her MA in art history from Queens College of the City University of New York and is an expert in the work of African, Latino, Native, and Asian American artists and was the co-curator of The Global Africa Project. She was a visiting professor at Queens and Hunter Colleges in New York, a fellow at the Clark Art Institute and, in 2013, she was appointed Distinguished Professor to the Art Department at the University of California at Irvine. She has held curatorial positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as directorial positions at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Sims is the recipient of grants and awards including the Frank Jewett Mather Award, as well as the Achievement in the Arts from the Queens Museum of Art. 

Lynne Warren is Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago where she has organized over 25 solo exhibitions of artists ranging from Robert Heinecken: Photographist of 1999 and 2004’s Dan Peterman: Plastic Economies. She served as the project director for the Art in Chicago, 1945-1995 exhibition of 1996, which produced the first comprehensive book of Chicago’s unique art history; project director and curator of the H.C. Westermann exhibition and catalogue raisonné projects; and curator for the 2010 exhibition Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy and edited the book of the same name. A number of her over 30 exhibition catalogues published by the MCA and such publishers as Harry N. Abrams and Thames and Hudson are collector’s items, including Alternative Spaces: A History in Chicago. Warren has contributed to Masterpieces of 20th Century Art, The Art Institute of Chicago (1988); the Encyclopedia of Chicago, Newberry Library, Chicago and University of Chicago (2004); the Groves Dictionaries Dictionary of Art (1995); Photography After Photography, Siemans AG, Munich, (1999); and is the editor for the three-volume reference book The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photographypublished by Taylor and Francis Books, London and New York.


  • Artist must currently reside in the metro area, including St. Louis City and the counties of St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles in Missouri, or St. Clair and Madison in Illinois.
  • Artist may be a degree-seeking graduate student in his or her final year of study.
  • Artist must have lived in the St. Louis metro area (six counties) for at least one year prior to the application deadline (August 26, 2013).
  • Artist must continue to reside in the St. Louis metro area during the designated planning, production, and exhibition period (September 2013–August 2014).
  • Artist’s work must fall within the areas of drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, and/or multi-media.
  • Artist may not have previously exhibited as part of the Great Rivers Biennial.

Six tips for the application

Click here to download tips provided by Midwest Artist Project Services (MAPS).


The application process is officially closed for Great Rivers Biennial 2014. 


The Great Rivers Biennial is generously supported by Gateway Foundation.