Event Description: Washington Avenue Arts District will host an exhibition of contemporary sculpture, installation, street art, muralists, and artists working in interdisciplinary media at the Silos at Sawyer Yards. The goal of this exhibition is to showcase Houston based artists and their ability to create site-specific, conceptual, and forward thinking artwork in a location as unique as the Silos. This event will also serve as an opening exhibition for Washington Avenue Arts District, raising awareness of the organization and its mission to support a strong Houston community based around art, education, and social engagement.

In order to guarantee the success of the exhibition, artists will be selected by a panel of curators, peer artists, and Washington Avenue Arts District stakeholders. Selections will be made based on examples of past work and the strength of their proposal for new work to be created for the exhibition. Once selected, artists will be given one of 32 rounded spaces at the base of each silo to create and install their work.

The exhibition will feature a public opening reception event with music, food, and drinks, as well as a separate preview night “Meet the Artists” event. After opening weekend the exhibition will be open to the public again on every Saturday from 2-5pm, except holidays, for the duration of three months from November 6th to January 31st, or by appointment. Washington Avenue Arts District will be responsible for all promotion and media exposure for the exhibition, with the aim of creating as much awareness and coverage as possible. All avenues of media and social media will be utilized and sponsors will receive recognition and gratitude in all event publications.


Jurors: SITE Submissions will be juried by Bill Arning, Director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and Jillian Conrad, Professor of Sculpture at University of Houston. 

Bill Arning is the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. After arriving in Texas in 2009, Arning organized solo exhibitions of Marc Swanson, Melanie Smith Matthew Day Jackson, and the late Stan VanDerBeek. Jackson and VanDerBeek were jointly organized with the MIT List Visual Arts Center where Arning was exhibitions curator from 2000-2009. At MIT he organized shows of AA Bronson, Cerith Wyn Evans, and a retrospective of the work of Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler. From 1985 to 1996, Arning was director of White Columns in New York City where he organized groundbreaking first solo shows for many of the best known artists of his generation including John Currin, Marilyn Minter, Andres Serrano, Richard Phillips, Cady Noland, and Jim Hodges, among many others.  In 1993 Arning organized the first exhibition about gender and sexuality in South America, Maricas at the Center Cultural Ricardo Rojas at the University of Buenos Aires.  

Arning has written on art for journals such as Artforum, Art in America, Out, and Parkett, and multitudes of international museum publications, including texts for retrospectives of Jim Hodges, Keith Haring, Christian Jankowski, and Donald Moffett as well as other writing for books by Elmgreen and Dragset and Lawrence Rinder. He has written an essay on the art market and AIDS for the upcoming publication ArtAIDSAmerica being organized by the Tacoma Art Museum.  Arning co-organzied with curator Elissa Auther and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver a survey exhibition Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty and also the first large scale museum exhibition of Mark Flood, entitled Gratest Hits in 2016.

Jillian grew up in New Mexico. She has a BA in Classics from St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM (1995), and an MFA in Sculpture from RISD (2004). Jillian moved to Houston from NYC to participate in the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at The University of Houston. She has participated in numerous residencies, including LMCC Process Space, Headlands Center for the Arts, Art Omi, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Recent solo shows include Exact Nature (Devin Borden Gallery in Houston, TX), Sites and Settlements (Behal Fejer Institute, Prague, Czech Republic), and On Tenterhooks, (Curated by Marie Heilich at Hunt Gallery, St. Louis, MO).


Work Media:  This exhibition will focus on site-specific installation, artists working in Sculpture, Painting, Photography, Video, Performance Art, and all other forms of 2D and 3D art are encouraged to apply. Proposals with a focus on site-specific installation and treatment of an individual silo space will be more successful. The aim of this exhibition is to create unique artistic environments and experiences, not to simply display work by hanging it on the wall. Work should be either created for the individual silo space given to the artist, or presented in a way that highlights the unique architecture or characteristics of the silo spaces. Artists may paint directly on silo walls as well as build within the silo spaces themselves. Performance based proposals should consider how the work may be represented in the silo space for future viewers.


Funding:   The Washington Avenue Arts District will supply selected artists with $500 to complete their work.   Additional stipends may be available on a case to case basis as funding allows, please note any specific needs in your proposal.


About the Silos: Each silo is connected to a neighboring silo by one to three doorways, creating a honeycomb pattern of exhibition spaces. As a viewer moves through the event they will walk through one space in order to get to the next. Silo walls are concrete and will be primed white before installation begins. Silos may be fitted with wood paneling or studs to help anchor any artist construction. Artists may paint directly on the walls. Floors must be protected from paint. Each silo space has at least one light source, which may be altered on a case-to-case basis.   Silo sizes are either 15 or 11-foot diameters, with 15 foot conical ceilings.  (SEE VIDEO BELOW).

Entry Requirements:

1.     Maximum 1,000 word exhibition proposal - each selected artist or team of artists will be given one of the 32 silo spaces for the exhibition. In your proposal please describe the scope of your work, and what you would do with the given silo space. Please consider how your work will create a unique immersive experience for the viewer and be able to articulate that in your proposal. Installation considerations and plans should also be considered.

2.     Ten (10) digital images of past work or sketches of proposed work.  All submissions must include an image list.

3.     Artist Resume (include contact information)

Materials will be submitted at:


·       July 15th through September 1st- open call for artists

·       September 15th - Artists notified

·       Mid October (date TBD) - Installation

·       November 5th-  Artists Preview

·       November 6th- Public Opening

·       Jan 31st- Show closes

·       Feb 1-7th de-install work


Notification to artist: Selected artists will be notified by the Arts District one week after entry closing date.   All artist information and proposals will be saved for consideration for future Arts District events.

Accepted Artist:  Artist included in the exhibition will be responsible for the installation of their own work and any supplies needed. Special arrangements of display needs will be met on an individual basis.

Funding:   The Washington Avenue Arts District will supply selected artists with $500 to complete their work.   Additional stipends may be available on a case to case basis as funding allows.

Delivery: Work must be fully installed two days before event date.

See a video of a typical Silos space. All silos and ceilings will be primed with fresh white paint and contain lighting capability and 1 electrical outlet.