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Open Exhibit - March 2016

March 2016 Open Exhibit
Exhibit dates: Tuesday, March 8–Sunday, April 3
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 10, 6:30–8:00 pm

Juror: Zoma Wallace 


Journey by Catherine Fuller, winner of the Evelyn Turner Memorial Award for Abstraction

Juror's Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler

Curator, arts administrator, and experimental artist Zoma Wallace decisively and thoughtfully juried The Art League’s first exhibit of spring 2016, the March Open Exhibit. As Wallace carefully considered each submission, she sought after the same elements as so many jurors before her – technical strength coupled with originality.

“Technicality is number one. But beyond that, I want to see an artist approach their work with fearlessness.” After an artist has achieved technical mastery, Wallace wants to see them break outside of their comfort zone in terms of what they decide to capture. Stepping out from the norm – either with color, composition, subject, etc – is what really sets a work apart.


Either a compositional issue, a lack of dynamism, or commonplace subject matter is what kept many of the pieces from making it into the exhibit. Wallace noted that just because a piece wasn’t selected doesn’t mean that it didn’t have admirable strengths.


Wallace praised the clean lines and strong execution of the watercolor submissions. “Artists who are able to move from tight to loose within the same piece, creating a sense of dimensionality, are very impressive.”


Selecting exceptionally technically and thematically strong works as her award winners, Wallace chose Margaret Cerutti’s Untitled for The Art League’s Best in Show Award. “I couldn’t take my eyes off this piece from the moment I saw it. The color choices work so well. I’m so impressed that the artist was able to make such a small area of paint say so much.”


For the Evelyn Turner Memorial Award for Abstraction, Wallace chose Catherine Fuller’s Journey. “The color combinations really jump out and I appreciate the texture she was able to achieve with layering the materials. I love that the subject matter can be anything you imagine.”


Zoma Wallace is a curator, arts administrator, and experimental artist living and working in her hometown of Washington, DC. Since opening her first exhibition as part of the Maryland Art Place’s Curator’s Incubator in 2008, her exhibitions have since explored juxtapositions of seemingly disparate entities to reveal unseen, complex, interdependent relationships. In 2013, Wallace lectured on the performance work of Wilmer Wilson IV at the James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art and collaborated with artist iona rozeal brown to develop an interactive, biodegradable mural of origami, using seeded paper folded by public viewers. Currently, she serves as Curator & Art Collections Manager for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington’s sole government agency dedicated to the advancement of arts and culture in the city. There, she manages the city’s growing collection of fine artwork and public art while creating a dynamic exhibition calendar for the city-owned Gallery at 200 Eye. She also serves on the Visual Arts Committee for the esteemed, non-profit DC Arts Center. Wallace holds a BA from Spelman College and MFA in painting from Howard University.


Untitled by Margaret Cerutti, winner of The Art League Best in Show Award


Download the March 2016 program.


Open exhibits do not limit artists to theme, medium, process, or content. Artists are free to enter any current work made within the last 10 years.
Download the prospectus

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