Thursday, June 04, 2015

Bethesda Painting Awards prize winners

The Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District announced the top three Bethesda Painting Awards prize winners on Wednesday evening during the exhibition’s opening at Gallery B.  Bill Schmidt of Baltimore, MD was awarded “Best in Show” with $10,000; Thomas Dahlberg of Baltimore, MD was named second place and was given $2,000 and Cavan Fleming of Blacksburg, VA received third place and was awarded $1,000.
Bill Schmidt has been a finalist in the Bethesda Painting Awards three times before, in 2008, 2013 and 2014. He’s exhibited his artwork extensively in the Mid-Atlantic region. He has received numerous grants and awards including two Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards. In 2004 he attended the Alfred and Trafford Klots Residency Program in Rocheforten-Terre, France. Schmidt studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME before moving to Baltimore in 1969. He received a Master of Fine Art from the Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art in 1971. In 2007, he was named the Director of the Post-Baccalaureate Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art after being its Resident Artist since 1996.
 The eight artists selected as finalists are:
Thomas Dahlberg - Baltimore, MD
Cavan Fleming - Blacksburg, VA
Lillian Hoover - Baltimore, MD
Hedieh Ilchi - Rockville, MD
Boram Lee - Baltimore, MD
Danielle Mysliwiec - Takoma Park, MD
Bill Schmidt - Baltimore, MD
Elise Schweitzer - Roanoke, VA
A public opening will be held on Friday, June 12, 2015 from 6 – 9pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E in downtown Bethesda. The work of the eight finalists will be on display from June 3-27, 2015. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12 – 6pm.

Entries were juried by Arnold Kemp, Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University; John Morrell, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Georgetown University; and Nora Sturges, Professor of Art and head of Painting and Drawing at Towson University.
The Bethesda Painting Awards was established by Carol Trawick in 2005. Ms. Trawick has served as a community activist for more than 25 years in downtown Bethesda. She is past chair of the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District, past chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. and founder of The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards.
For more information, please visit

New SAAM Photography Curator

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has appointed John Jacob as its McEvoy Family Curator for Photography. Jacob will be responsible for research, exhibitions and acquisitions related to the museum's collection. He joins 11 curators currently on staff for contemporary art, craft and decorative art, Latino art, media art, sculpture, works on paper, folk and self-taught art and 19th- and 20th-century painting. Jacob begins work at the museum July 13.
"John Jacob brings to the Smithsonian American Art Museum a deep knowledge of the field as well as valuable experience in publishing and exhibition planning," said Virginia Mecklenburg, chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. "John will bring new energy to our photography program."
Jacob comes to the museum from the Inge Morath Foundation, where he was director and vice-president facilitating programs related to Morath and support of women photographers, and from the Magnum Foundation, where he was program director of its Legacy Program-collecting, researching and overseeing cultural projects related to the history of Magnum Photos.