The first winners of the competition were hosted in 1986, so this season the Museum of Fine Arts celebrates thirty years of intriguing works by ingenious artists. A few seasons after the inauguration of the series entitled “The Tallahassee National,” the annual juried exhibition morphed into “Combined Talents” with “Florida” in a subtitle because some advisors thought a city designation in the title was too localized and that Tallahassee sounded too provincial. It wasn’t until 2003 that, in order to reflect entries from outside the US, the competition became “The Florida International.”
In 2008, the competition was re-christened once again to “The Tallahassee International” because we discovered that to the rest of the world, our Southern locale has a certain cachet, after all, and as the campus for Florida State University, there’s no other place like it.
The show has often been the venue for ambitious works of art since there is no restriction on size or medium. The Museum covers the cost of shipping most artworks home to the artists; some artists hand-deliver, particularly those who have heroic-scale installations. Two modest prizes are given: the first award is one thousand dollars and the second award is half that, while the true allure of the competition is to those artists who enter for the exposure is the published catalogue that accompanies each exhibition.
Tallahassee International Exhibition: 8/24 – 10/4