FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art opened its 2022 event with a press conference at the Cleveland Museum of Art on July 14, 2022, which will be the last iteration. | Photo / Amanda Koehn

By Amanda Koehn

FRONT International has canceled its 2025 Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art and plans to wind down operations permanently, according to a statement posted to its website Feb. 9.

According to the website, “a realistic analysis of the support FRONT 2025 can gain from local, regional and national funders has led the FRONT board to conclude that it is impossible to produce FRONT 2025 at the same high standards it established for its prior editions.”

“The world is a very different place in 2024 than it was when our founder, Fred Bidwell, launched this ambitious initiative in 2016,” the statement reads. “Public and private funding priorities have changed to focus on the critical needs of our communities.”

The FRONT board chose to cancel the triennial 18 months ahead of its planned opening, doing so before entering agreements with artists and partners, the statement noted. Contributions to the 2025 event will be returned to stakeholders and supporters, the website said, and it will “satisfy all our obligations to our staff, vendors and contractors.”

FRONT International’s first arts triennial iteration was held in 2018, and its 2022 event was its second and final iteration, after being postponed from 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is incredibly disappointing that we will not be able to realize the vision of FRONT’s 2025 artistic director, Asad Raza. Raza has outlined a thoughtful and relevant plan for our 2025 exhibition and has been in dialog with a brilliant group of artists,” reads the statement, signed by board chair Helen Forbes Fields, executive director Fred Bidwell and the FRONT Exhibition Company board of directors. “We would also like to thank the leaders of our small staff team, Sarah Liska, managing director, and Magdalena Moskalewicz, chief curator, for their dedication and professionalism.

“FRONT could never have been possible without the efforts and enthusiasm of scores of donors, volunteers, interns and loyal supporters,” the statement continued.

This is a developing story.