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Visual Art ,
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Terrain Exhibitions

Terrain Biennial 2021

Terrain Biennial, initiative of Terrain Exhibitions, was founded in 2013 by artist Sabina Ott. The biennial was created on a volunteer basis in the spirit of community building through free and accessible public art installations and events staged in residential neighborhoods across the U.S. and worldwide.

This act of radical decentralization takes art from privileged urban centers and brings it into everyday spaces where it is most needed and least expected: yards, front steps, windows, porches, and roofs. The 2021 Terrain Biennial aims to find spaces of joy and community essential for collective healing in these times of isolation, public reckonings, and mourning. Sharing much of the same sentiment as yearbook signatures and pen pal letters, we bring you K.I.T. (keep in touch)...


Each biennial, artists/curators are paired with a host to produce residential public art installations. We ask that artists/curators do not host themselves at their own home or place of residence, but rather work with fellow community members within the Terrain network to host your installation.

Artists/curators and hosts are welcome to submit proposals to work with partners they have existing relationships with. Artists/curators and hosts who would like to participate but do not have existing relationships will be matched to partners within the Terrain network. All participating artists/curators and hosts are required to fill out an open call form for proposed projects. Applicants are able to propose up to two projects and will need to submit an individual form for each project and/or host space.

Link to form:

Participation in the Terrain Biennial is on a voluntary basis and may vary from place to place due to COVID-19 restrictions in each area. We ask all participants to respect the public health guidance in their areas and plan accordingly. Terrain Exhibitions reserves the right to modify and adjust the Biennial as public health guidance requires. Terrain Exhibitions requires all participants to sign and submit exhibition or host agreements. This year all agreements will be processed electronically without the need to scan anything in.

Terrain Biennial opens on Saturday, October 2 and concludes on Monday, November 15, Sabina Ott day, to honor her life and legacy.

Apply for Terrain Biennial


  • Open Call Applications: May 1- July 15th, 2021
  • Notifications: August 15, 2021
  • Public Announcement: September 1, 2021
  • Installation Dates: September 26-October 1, 2021
  • Biennial Dates: October 2-November 15, 2021
  • Opening Reception + Block Party: October 2, 2021
  • Closing Date + Sabina Ott Day: November 15, 2021
  • Deinstallation: November 16-20, 2021
Deadline: 07.15.2021
Name: Tom Burtonwood
Address: 1155 Lyman, Oak Park, IL, 60304
Phone: 7738379809