Bethesda Painting Awards Finalists Announced

By Editorial Team on May 7, 2018

Eight painters have been selected as finalists for the Bethesda Painting Awards, a juried competition and exhibition produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. Nearly 300 artists from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. submitted work to the 14th annual competition created to exclusively honor regional painters. The work of the eight finalists will be on display at Gallery B from June 6-30, 2018.

The top prize winners will be announced and honored on Wednesday, June 6 at 7pm at a private reception held at Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E. The Best in Show winner will be awarded $10,000, second place will be honored with $2,000 and third place will be awarded $1,000.

The artists selected as finalists are:

  • Kim Abraham, Alexandria, VA
  • Sarah Boyts Yoder, Charlottesville, VA
  • Carolyn Case, Cockeysville, MD
  • Leigh Anne Chambers, Courtland, VA
  • Emma Childs, Baltimore, MD
  • Caleb Kortokrax, Baltimore, MD
  • Khanh Le, Washington, DC
  • Stephen Towns, Baltimore, MD

A public opening will be held on Friday, June 8, from 6-8pm. Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E in downtown Bethesda. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12-6pm.

The competition jurors are Sally Bowring, Professor of Painting and Director of Administration for the Painting & Printmaking Department, Virginia Commonwealth University; Laura Roulet, independent curator and writer and Bill Schmidt, artist and winner of the 2016 Baker Artist Awards and the 2015 Bethesda Painting Awards.

The Bethesda Painting Awards was established by local business owner Carol Trawick in 2005. Ms. Trawick has served as a community activist for more than 25 years in downtown Bethesda and established The Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation in 2007. She is the former Chair of the Maryland State Arts Council, Strathmore, Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. and founder of The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards.

Previous Best in Show winners include:

  • 2017 Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Washington, DC
  • 2016 Tanja Softic, Richmond, VA
  • 2015 Bill Schmidt, Baltimore, MD
  • 2014 Kyle Hackett, Baltimore, MD
  • 2013 Barry Nemett, Stevenson, MD
  • 2012 Ali Miller, Baltimore, MD
  • 2011 Alison Hall, Roanoke, VA
  • 2010 Nora Sturges, Baltimore, MD
  • 2009 Camilo Sanin, Jessup, MD
  • 2008 B.G. Muhn, North Potomac, MD
  • 2007 Matthew Klos, Baltimore, MD
  • 2006 Tony Shore, Baltimore, MD
  • 2005 Joe Kabriel, Annapolis, MD

2018 Bethesda Painting Awards Finalists
Kim Abraham, Alexandria, VA
Kim Abraham’s work has been shown throughout the country in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Seattle, Dallas and Miami. Abraham’s work is also in collections at the University of Pennsylvania, Whitman College and Ciurlionis Museum in Lithuania. After graduate studies at University of Texas and University of Pennsylvania, during which time he also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Abraham worked in New York and Washington, where he later taught painting at Whitman College. He received a fellowship award to the Ballinglen Art Foundation in Ireland, where he began to focus on paintings inspired from the night sky and deep space which he continues to explore today.

Sarah Boyts Yoder, Charlottesville, VA
Sarah Boyts Yoder is a mixed media painter based in Charlottesville, VA. She received her Master of Fine Arts in painting from James Madison University in 2006. Boyts Yoder’s work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions throughout the United States including the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been included in Fresh Paint Magazine, Studio Visit Magazine and Friend of the Artist. In 2014 she was awarded a professional fellowship in painting from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Sarah has twice been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She was awarded an artist residency at 100W Corsicana, in Corsicana, TX in 2017 and 2018.

Carolyn Case, Cockeysville, MD
Carolyn Case earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University in Long Beach, CA and her Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. She is represented by the Asya Geisberg Gallery in New York City, where she has been featured in two solo exhibitions. She has shown throughout the Mid-Atlantic area, with solo exhibitions at Loyola University, McLean Projects for the Arts, and the Art Registry in Washington, D.C., as well as numerous exhibitions throughout the East Coast. Her residencies have included the School 33 Art Center in Baltimore, the Kanoria Centre for the Arts in Ahmedabad, India, and most recently a full fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as a full merit fellowship at the Vermont Studio.

Leigh Anne Chambers, Courtland, VA
Leigh Anne Chambers received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from East Carolina University and Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts under scholarship. Her work combines stenciled and sprayed paint with flung enamel found over vinyl in an attempt to challenge traditional notions of painting. She has been featured in several solo shows across Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina including at the Chroma Arts Project, Blend Studio, Artspace and Richmond International Airport. She was most recently selected as the 2016/2017 recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship and is represented by Chroma Arts Project Laboratory in Charlottesville, VA and Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, VA.

Emma Childs, Baltimore, MD
Emma was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, where she lives and works today. She recently completed her senior year at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in general fine arts and a focus in painting. Throughout her time at MICA, Childs was featured in several on-campus exhibitions and awarded scholarship each year based on both her portfolio and academic performance. Her abstract pieces are both self- contained and reaching. Childs creates objects that physically interact with their environment in the hope of evoking an energetically emotional response from viewers.

Caleb Kortokrax, Baltimore, MD
Caleb Paul Kortokrax received his Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art’s LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Valparaiso University in studio art and art education. He has exhibited his work nationally and has lectured on his work at MICA, Towson University, Stevenson University, Anne Arundel Community College and Valparaiso University. Kortokrax will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition at Beacon College in Leesburg, FL along with a faulty exhibition at The Mitchell Gallery in Annapolis. He was also juried into a printed issue of New American Paintings. In 2014, he was chosen by Maryland Art Place for their annual meritorious exhibition Young Blood, featuring recent MFA graduates of the Baltimore area. In 2015, he completed a nine-month artist residency with Creative Paradox in Annapolis, MD.

Khanh Le, Washington, DC
Born in Mỹ Tho, Vietnam, Khanh Le graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Syracuse University in 2008. His work has been exhibited throughout the country including the Hunterdon Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Vox Populi, Honfleur Gallery, DC Arts Center, Hillyer Art Space, Transformer and Arlington Arts Center. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded Le the Artist Fellowship for the Visual Arts in 2011 and 2015. Le continues to live and work in Washington, DC, where he actively explores and questions the notion of identities through the lenses of culture and memories.

Stephen Towns, Baltimore, MD
Stephen Towns is a painter and fiber artist whose work explores how American history influences contemporary society. Towns received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of South Carolina and studied at Maryland Institute College of Art. His work has been exhibited locally and nationally, including solo exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Goucher College, Galerie Myrtis, Gallery CA and City Gallery at the Dock Street Theatre. His work has also been featured in publications such as the New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Style, Northern Virginia Magazine, BMore Art Magazine, Urbanite Magazine and Baltimore City Paper. Towns was honored as the inaugural recipient of the 2016 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore, Travel Prize and received the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Rubys Artist Grant in 2015.

(via Bethesda’s Arts & Entertainment District. Photo courtesy of Bethesda’s Arts & Entertainment District.)