In November 2018, Downtown Dallas will become the canvas for AURORA: the biennial public art exhibit focused on the art of light, video and sound. For our fifth edition, we are excited to introduce a new location, theme and curatorial team for AURORA, which is described by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings as “a cornerstone event for the arts in North Texas”.

‘Inc’ video installation by Tramaine Townsend at AURORA’s preview event, ‘PRELUDE’


To support its exponential audience growth, AURORA will debut an exciting new urban footprint that centers on the iconic I.M. Pei designed Dallas City Hall and stretches throughout Dallas. This convergence of art, architecture and innovation is perfectly timed to give prominence to Dallas’ standing as an international contemporary art destination.

“Our aim is to be a city-wide project that expands through and beyond the scope of downtown Dallas. By shifting the central exhibition footprint, the artist will have a fresh canvas to work with, while bringing attention to an iconic public space in the city,” says AURORA Co-Founder, Joshua King.


The AURORA 2018 theme will be ‘Future Worlds’, a forward-looking invitation for artists and visitors alike to imagine a series of possible futures. As large scale, technological advances and environmental and political shifts are presenting us with new historical possibilities, the public will be engaged—through a series of artistic propositions—to think about the direction our world might take and to actively participate in its creation. Whether dystopian or utopian, sci-fi or retro-futuristic, the contributions to AURORA 2018 will aim to open a dialogue about how we collectively envision our Future Worlds.


AURORA 2018’s curated exhibition will present a fresh lineup of local, national and international contemporary artists selected by three prestigious guest curators hailing from Dallas, New York and Berlin. Each curator brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in institution-level public art and international exhibitions and has worked with a spectrum of emerging to established contemporary artists.

The curators for AURORA 2018’s biennial contemporary art exhibition are Justine Ludwig (New York) and Danielle Avram (Dallas), DooEun Choi (New York), and Nadim Samman (Berlin). They will carefully select and invite local and international artistic contributions, which will aim to open a dialogue about how we collectively envision our ‘Future Worlds’.

DooEun Choi_profile-website2
Dooeun Choi

Justine Ludwig

Nadim Samman

A homegrown exhibition, AURORA was founded by Dallas artists Shane Pennington and Joshua King, along with veteran Dallas arts supporter Veletta Forsythe Lill. The Dallas Morning News has also played a pivotal role in Aurora’s formative years as the Founding Media Partner. 
AURORA has quickly become a local favorite and internationally-recognized art event since its inception in 2010, and it is currently the largest event of its kind in the United States.

In the lead up to the biennial event in 2018, auxiliary AURORA events and programming are planned to take place throughout Dallas. Stay tuned to our website and social media for ongoing updates, and join our newsletter to have updates sent directly to your inbox!

To get a taste of past events, check out our AURORA 2015: ‘All Together Now’ trailer: