2023 Trawick Prize Winners Announced

By Editorial Team on September 18, 2023
Images are provided courtesy of the Bethesda Urban Partnership

$10,000 Best in Show Prize Awarded; Exhibit Open Through Oct. 1

The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, a juried art competition produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, announced the 2023 prize winners during last night’s awards reception. Rex Delafkaran of Washington, DC was awarded the prestigious “Best in Show” title and received the $10,000 top prize. Charles Mason III from Baltimore, MD was named second place and given $2,000; Stephanie Garon from Baltimore, MD was bestowed third place and received $1,000; and Megan Koeppel from Hyattsville, MD was awarded the Young Artist Award and received $1,000.

Rex Delafkaran is an Iranian American interdisciplinary artist and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. She uses movement and objects to explore ideas of failure and hybridity among bodies, objects, identities and language. Delafkaran has exhibited and staged performances at the NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY; Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Panoply Performance Lab, Brooklyn, NY; Platform Art Fair, Athens, Greece; Satellite Art Fair Miami Miami; Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., among others. She recently received a NARS Foundation International Artist Residency Fellowship and a Warhol Foundation Wherewithal Research Grant. She is also the co-founder and co-director of an artist-run project empowering artists to be both self-sustain and experimental through selling artist-made products and curating exhibitions.

2023 Trawick Prize Finalists

  • Rush Baker IV, Riverdale, MD
  • Rex Delafkaran, Washington, DC
  • Stephanie Garon, Baltimore, MD
  • Kei Ito, Baltimore, MD
  • Megan Koeppel, Hyattsville, MD
  • Giulia Livia, Baltimore, MD
  • Charles Mason III, Baltimore, MD
  • Fanxi Sun, Richmond, VA

Entries were juried by the following artists and art educators: Brandon Morse, Associate Professor and Chair of the Art Department, University of Maryland; Jon-Phillip Sheridan, Chair of the Photography and Film Department, Virginia Commonwealth University and Naoco Wowsugi, Associate Professor of Art, American University.

Founded by Carol Trawick in 2003, the regional competition is one of the largest prizes to annually honor visual artists. Ms. Trawick, a longtime community activist in downtown Bethesda, also established the Bethesda Painting Awards in 2005. She has served as the Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Strathmore and the Maryland State Arts Council. She founded the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation in 2007 to assist health and human services and arts non-profits in Montgomery County, MD. The Foundation has awarded grants to more than 90 nonprofits in Montgomery County and funds the annual Trawick Prize and the Bethesda Painting Awards.

To date, The Trawick Prize has awarded nearly $300,000 in prize monies and has exhibited the work of more than 160 regional artists.

The work of the finalists will be on exhibit at Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, until October 1, 2023. Gallery hours for the duration of the exhibit will be Thursday-Sunday, 12 – 5pm.

For more information, please visit www.bethesda.org or call 301-215-6660.

From award-winning theatre to independent films, downtown Bethesda’s Arts & Entertainment District is filled with inspiring artists and art venues. The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is managed by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc., and is the producer of The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, Bethesda Painting Awards, Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards, Bethesda Film Fest and Play In A Day.

Established by Montgomery County in 1994, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. (BUP) is a downtown management organization that markets and maintains downtown Bethesda. The BUP team works in marketing, maintenance, transportation and administration to produce cultural events and community festivals and attend to landscaping and maintenance needs. BUP also manages Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS), the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, and the Bethesda Circulator as well as the non-profit art spaces, Gallery B, Studio B and Triangle Art Studios. For a closer look, please visit www.bethesda.org.

[Source: Bethesda Urban Partnership]