FOTOFEST 2012 BIENNIAL Program Overview

The FotoFest Biennial is the first and longest running Biennial of its kind in the United States, and one of the largest photography events in the world.

The 2012 Biennial is a citywide event, with over 110 participating museums, art galleries, non-profit arts organizations, universities, civic organizations and corporate spaces across Houston, Harris County and Galveston.

PUBLIC EVENTSThe FotoFest 2012 Biennial has ___ public events: 120 photographic arts Exhibitions, Artist and Curator Talks, Films, Workshops, Forums, Symposia, an International Fine Print Auction, opportunities to interact with artists, photography bookstores and book signings, guided bus and bicycle tours and programs for students. 

MAPS AND CALENDARS FotoFest publishes and distributes citywide, a free comprehensive Biennial Map and Calendar, available at exhibition venues, participating spaces, restaurants and other locations around Houston. The Biennial Map and Calendar are also available online. 

Friday, March 16, 2012, 8pm - midnight

The FotoFest 2012 Biennial  opens March 16 with a giant party at FotoFest Headquarteers in downtown Houston.

The free, public Opening Night Party draws well over a three thousand people to a celebratory kick off to the 2012 Biennial and the opening of the Contemporary Russian Photography exhibition The Young Generation, 2007-2012.

Complimentary refreshments are provided by Saint Arnold Brewing Company and La Fuente Winery. A selection of food truck vendors will be available onsite to service hungry partygoers.


March 16 - April 29, 2012

FotoFest's own exhibitions for the FotoFest 2012 Biennial focus on Contemporary Russian Photography through three multi-media, photography, and video exhibitions.

FotoFest's Russian exhibitions are joined by over 110 independent exhibitions at Participating Spaces across Houston, Harris County and Galveston.

All exhibitions are open to the public and almost all are free. Yellow and black street markers signal FotoFest events or the individual exhibitions organized by FotoFest. Red and black street markers mark clusters of Participating Spaces -- museums, commercial galleries, corporate and non-profit art spaces Many FotoFest Biennial exhibitions are clustered close to each other in various neighborhoods.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The FotoFest 2012 Fine Print Auction offers collectors the first opportunity to access leading contemporary Russian photography. Hand-picked vintage and later contemporary works by 30 Russian and Ukrainian artists will be featured in the 2012 Auction. Works by forty top contemporary artists from the U.S., Asia, Latin America and other parts of Europe are joining those from Russia.

The Fine Print Auction is one of the main events of the FotoFest Biennial and FotoFest's main fundraiser. Denise Bethel, Senior Vice President, Head of Department, Photographs, Sotheby's New York is leading the auction.

Table sponsorships and reserved seating are available and start at $3,000.


March 16 - April 3, 2012

The Meeting Place Portfolio Review presents the opportunity for photographic artists to meet and show their work to top arts professionals from around the world.

The event is literally a "meeting place" - a place where artists, arts professionals, collectors, and colleagues are able to network, collaborate, share ideas, and establish life-long connections. FotoFest invites some of the most important people in the field of photography from all over the world to come to Houston and review registered artists' portfolios. The Meeting Place provides the opportunity for artists to present their portfolios to a wide range of decision-makers who can help assist them in their future career development. This may mean an exhibition, a sale, an arts residency, or the publication of work in a magazine or book. Reviewers include museum curators, gallery owners, directors of non-profit organizations, magazine editors, representatives of photography agencies, collectors and publishers.

As part of the Meeting Place, FotoFest sponsors four public Evenings with the Artist - Open Portfolio Nights, where the
public is invited to meet with artists participating in the Meeting Place, view their portfolios, and possibly buy work.


March 16 - April 3, 2012

Throughout the first three weeks of the Biennial, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and photoEye in Santa Fe, NM, will have Bookstores with rare, vintage and contemporary photo books for sale. FotoFest will sponsor eight artist and curator Book Signings as well. The bookstores are located at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel with the Meeting Place.

March 16 - April 29, 2012

FotoFest is sponsoring a series of free talks by artists and curators. Several will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel in conjunction with the Meeting Place portfolio reviews.

March 20, March 25, and March 30, 2012

Media and Marketing Experts, Artists, Curators and other photography professionals bring their knowledge and experience of art, the internet, social media networks, multi-media platforms, and curating in the contemporary art world to the three 2012 Biennial Workshops. Experts will lead discussions on book publishing, intellectual property laws and business opportunities for artists.

Each of the four Meeting Place Portfolio Review sessions connects to one or more of the Workshops and discounts are offered for students and Meeting Place participants.


March 16 - April 29, 2012

In collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Film Department, the FotoFest 2012 Biennial, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Film Department and Russian Cultural Center "Our Texas" to present a series of contemporaray Russian Cinema.

Films will be presented at the Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Glassell School of Art and the Russian Cultural Center "Our Texas."

March 16 - April 29, 2012

FotoFest offers free guided tours of its exhibitions to groups of all ages and sizes.

The FotoFest Bike Scrambles are two free, docent-lead bicycle tours of FotoFest and Participating Spaces exhibitions in April. The leisurely rides are adequate for riders of all abilities.

FotoFest's Exhibition Expeditions, are guided evening bus tours designed for professional. The weeknight evening tours visit a number of spaces before ending the night with a prix-fixe dinner at a restaurant. Space is limited.

March 16 - April 29, 2012

As a platfor for art and ideas, FotoFest is always expanding the range of its programming. In 2012 the Biennial will feature a public Russian-themed celebration of Spring at Downtown's Discovery Green Park, classical music and contemporary dance performances, a poetry showcase, and a family-friendly activity day.

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