Saturday, May 07, 2022

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival next Saturday

Get excited for art, entertainment, food & more at the annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival on Saturday, May 14 (10am - 6pm) & Sunday, May 15 (10am - 5pm)! Stroll Norfolk & Auburn Avenues to see 100+ artist booths, listen to great music & enjoy food, wine & beer for the perfect weekend in downtown Bethesda.

All free and also plenty of free parking!

Details here.

You can see the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival 2022 artists here.

You know what's coming next - my awards for top artists in the show.  As a brilliant juror, I can use my experienced eye from the thumbnails and website visits to award the Campello awards.

For the painters I liked  Zhiyi Li (from Enfield, CT) in Booth #66, and Thomas Williams (from Chicago, IL) in Booth #78.  

All three printmakers in the show are exceptional -- I've written a lot about Joseph Craig English from Washington Grove, MD (Booth #84) - in this show John Pernell and Michael Nemnich are also quite good.

For Mixed Media, my top pick was Sandra Sedmak Engel, whose sensual work is a pleasure both to the eye and the eros that outdoor shows usually try to eliminate.

There are a lot of talented photographers in the show. See them all here. James Richmond from Titusville, Florida (Booth #76) went to Cuba and has the mandatory photos of old 1950s cars in Havana, as I understand that the Cuban dictatorship will not allow tourists (and photographers especially) to depart from the jailed island unless evidence is presented at the airport that photographs of the vintage cars have been taken.  

Pet peeve aside, Richmond has an exceptional eye for capturing the grace that is human kind, all the way from Portuguese card players in Old Europe to gorgeous indigenous women in Panama, to Cuban farmers in the brutalized Castro Brothers' Workers Paradise.

Cuban farmer by James Richmond
Cuban farmer by James Richmond

It is a wonderful photograph, capturing the essence of the Cuban guajiro, his ancient Basque bloodlines still quite cleaning running through his veins as evidenced by the telltale ear lobe, a wide smile for the American tourist on his thin lips, and a hand-rolled Habano in his mouth, the envy of every smoker millionaire around the planet.

In the category of sculpture, Tanya Tyree caught my attention as her sculptures struggle between talented efficiency and a bit of whimsy. What is clear is a straight and unique vision being delivered by the (I suspect) very strong and skilled hands of this artist.

And the Campello pick for Best in Show?

It goes to painter Cassie Taggart from Rehoboth, DE in Booth #51.

Parachutes by Cassie Taggart
Parachutes by Cassie Taggart

While anyone can immediately see that Taggart's work explore surrealism, what she has brilliantly done is to deliver a new 21st century version of surrealism, where her skilled painting talents marry it with fantasy, and the fantastical (which is different) as well as a healthy dose of narrative storytelling.  

It is "otherworldly" artwork deeply anchored in data which lives hidden in our ancestral brain.  This is work which once you buy it and hang it in your house, will dominate everything else which you have hung on those walls.

Go outside and see some artwork this weekend, talks to artists and artisans, eat some bad-for-you food and listen to some outdoor music.

The Hopper Prize is now accepting entries

$3,500 Grants - All Media Eligible

Deadline: May 17, 2022

The Hopper Prize is now accepting entries for the Spring 2022 artist grants.

They are offering $3,500 and $1,000 grants to artists and photographers around the world.

Grants will be awarded through an open call art competition juried by leading contemporary curators. Current Jurors:

— Jody Graf, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1

— Pamela Meadows, Curator, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

The Hopper Prize was established in order to increase the recognition of artwork created by artists and photographers. Their aim is to advance artists' careers by providing them with unrestricted financial support that is coupled with a platform for increased visibility. They accept submissions twice a year via an open call.

They are currently accepting submissions for the Spring 2022 grant cycle.

Program Highlights

Total Awards: $11,000.00 USD for visual artists

• $3,500.00 – 2 artists will each receive a $3,500 (USD) grant

• $1,000.00 – 4 artists will each receive a $1,000 (USD) grant

• 30 artists will have their work archived at

• A selection from the submissions will be featured on their Instagram feed @hopperprize

• Additional exposure will be available to winners through their Journal: Insights into Contemporary Art

Connect with Curators

They collaborate with contemporary curators holding prominent positions at major institutions in order to select our grant winners. The open call provides you with a direct path to get your work in front of these forward thinking exhibition makers. Jurors for the current awards are:

Jody Graf

Assistant Curator



Pamela Meadows


Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA)

The jurors will be selecting 6 artists from the open call who will each receive an unrestricted cash grant.

2 artists will win $3,500 and 4 artists will win $1,000.

The jurors will also select a shortlist of 30 artists who will have their work archived here.

Grant awards are unrestricted and may be used any way the recipients choose.

When submitting your work, you will have the option to opt-in to be considered for possible Instagram features on our feed @hopperprize, where we currently reach an audience of over 65k. Our editors will be featuring select submissions on a rolling basis prior to the application deadline.

In addition to grant awards, their shortlist, and Instagram reach, we will be providing an additional platform for exposure via the online Journal Insights Into Contemporary Art. They launched this digital publication to give artists a new channel to amplify their voice while providing an in-depth look at their work, practice, and background. Grant recipients and shortlisted artists will all receive the opportunity to publish an interview to include any work of their choosing as a means of providing continued support beyond the open call.


The Hopper Prize is open to all artists age 18 and older working in any media. There are no restrictions on genre, subject matter, or media. They welcome entries in all media.

They are committed to supporting artists from diverse cultural backgrounds at all stages of their professional careers. All artists are encouraged to apply.


May 17, 2022

Simple Application

They've made the grant application simple to reduce the stress of submitting your work and save you time. The application is short and can be completed in under 20 minutes.

To apply for a grant, you only need to submit this information:

• Name & Email

• Instagram Username (optional)

• Up to 10 Image or Video attachments

• Artwork captions

• Artist Statement & Biography (optional)

• $40 submission fee

Apply Now - HERE