People's Biennial presents 36 contemporary artists who work in and near cities not traditionally considered American "art capitals": Portland, Oregon; Rapid City, South Dakota; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Haverford, Pennsylvania. Finding artworks through a series of local open calls, studio visits, and serendipitous encounters, curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffman present a diverse body of drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, films, schematics, collections, and other works, questioning existing curatorial practice and the established avenues and institutions of the art world.

Schedule of Events

Friday, January 27, 2012, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Haverford College, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Whitehead Campus Center

Artist Maiza Hixson will be on-hand to conduct interviews with visitors from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Artist Laura Deutch will give a tour of her Messages In Motion mobile media studio at 6:30 p.m. People’s Biennial Portland-area artist, Rudy Speerschneider will be in attendance and serving homemade ice cream from his Junior Ambassador’s Food Cart: A Mostlandian Venture during the opening.

Rudy Speerschneider’s visit is made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

Thursday, February 9, 2012, 4:30 p.m.
Haverford College, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, 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

Program made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

Thursday, February 9, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Haverford College, Sharpless Auditorium, KINSC

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. However with growth and assimilation, come problems, resistance and efforts to organize. El Sol Sale presents stories from the subjects’ memories, reflections and perspectives about the complexity of searching for a better life in a country that is not one’s own. (US, 2010, 52 minutes)

Program made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

Monday, February 13, 2012, 4:30 – 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 program will be led by Brandon Joyce.

Program made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

People's Conference


In conjunction with the exhibition’s last stop at Haverford College, a two-day conversation has been organized to delve deeper into questions about regionalism, display, and structures of support for under-recognized artists in ways that push the boundaries of curatorial, artistic, and institutional innovation.

Participants include Harrell Fletcher, Tom Finkelpearl, Jens Hoffmann, Paula Marincola, John Muse, Peter Nesbett, John Ollman, Renaud Proch, J. Morgan Puett, Julien Robson, Ingrid Schaffner, Andrew Suggs, Astria Suparak, Nato Thompson, and Transformazium.

Friday, February 24

Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery

Haverford College
Sharpless Auditorium, KINSC
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041

Exhibition co-curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann reflect on the process of making the first People’s Biennial, as well as its potential for future iterations.

Moderated by Renaud Proch, Deputy Director, ICI.

People’s Biennial will be on view following the conversation until 7:30pm.



Saturday, February 25

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
University of Pennsylvania
118 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This day-long conversation proposes a question in two parts: How can one contextualize and display art that exists outside the norms of the mainstream art world in an innovative manner, and how can structures of display transform into ongoing systems of support for artists?

Ingrid Schaffner and Renaud Proch

Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann

Exploring curatorial innovation in regional communities

This discussion will examine the role of curatorial practice and exhibition-making in fostering meaningful cultural impact in regional communities

Speakers include Nato Thompson, Chief Curator, Creative Time; Andrew Suggs, Executive Director, Vox Populi; and Astria Suparak, Director, Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University

Official responses by Christopher Cook, Director, Salina Art Center; Peter Nesbett, Senior Program Specialist, Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative; Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and Ingrid Schaffner, Senior Curator, ICA University of Pennsylvania

Moderated by Jens Hoffmann

Developing ongoing systems of support for art and creativity

The discussion will address the realities of living and working in regional communities, and how artists and institutions have addressed the complexities of working in these contexts

Speakers include Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, Queens Museum of Art; J. Morgan Puett, artist; and Transformazium, artist collaborative
Official responses by John Ollman, Director, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery; Paula Marincola, Executive Director, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; and John Muse, Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Haverford College

Moderated by Harrell Fletcher


This program is free of charge and open to the public. For questions or more information about People’s Conference, contact Chelsea Haines at

In collaboration with Independent Curators International (ICI), Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), and with support from the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative The People’s Conference is funded, in part, with a professional development grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative.

© Copyright 2021 | People’s Biennial All Rights Reserved