The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announced the top three Bethesda Painting Awards prize winners on Wednesday evening during the exhibition’s opening at Gallery B. Tanja Softic of Richmond, VA was awarded “Best in Show” with $10,000; Richard Levine of Falls Church, VA was named second place and was given $2,000 and Amy Sherald of Baltimore, MD received third place and was awarded $1,000.
Tanja Softic studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo and earned her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. She works across the media of printmaking, drawing, photography and book arts. She is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant, National Endowment for the Arts/ Southern Arts Federation Visual Artist Fellowship and Soros Foundation - Open Society Institute Exhibition Support Grant. Tanja’s work is included in numerous collections in the United States and abroad, among them New York Public Library, Library of Congress Print Department and New South Wales Gallery of Art in Sydney, Australia. She participated in 12th International Print Triennial in Cracow, Poland and won a First Prize at the 5th Kochi International Triennial Exhibition of Prints, Ino-cho Paper Museum in Kochi, Japan in 2002. She completed print projects at Flying Horse Press, Tamarind Institute and Anderson Ranch's Patton Print Studio. She lives and works in Richmond, VA, where she is Professor of Art at the University of Richmond.
The eight artists selected as finalists are:
John Aquilino, Rockville, MD
Katie Baines, North Chesterfield, VA
Amy Chan, Henrico, VA
Andy Karnes, Baltimore, MD
Richard Levine, Falls Church, VA
Erin Raedeke, Montgomery Village, MD
Amy Sherald, Baltimore, MD
Tanja Softic, Richmond, VA
A public opening will be held on Friday, June 10, 2016 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 Dorothy Moss, Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery and Director of the Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition;
Dr. David Park Curry, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, American Painting & Sculpture at the Baltimore Museum of Art and Megan Marlatt, award-winning painter and Professor of Art and at University of Virginia.
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 & Entertainment District, past chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. and founder of The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards.