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Open Exhibit - March 2017


Open Exhibit
March 8 – April 2, 2017
Juror: JD Deardourff

Smells Like Licorice, oil, by Tess Olson. Winner of The Art League Best in Show Award.

View this exhibit on Flickr

View the program HERE

Jurying Results:


  • The Art League Best in Show Award: $250 value

Pick Up:

  • Sunday, April 2, 2017, 5:30–8:30 pm
  • Monday, April 3, 2017, 10:00 a­m–12:00 pm

A penalty charge of $20 a week will be enforced for work not picked up at this time.


Juror's Dialogue with George Miller

Having been accepted and rejected to juried shows before, “it was interesting to be in the driver’s seat,” March juror JD Deardourff said, shortly after jurying was complete.

Standing out was key to success in this exhibit: artwork needed to be unexpected and artists unafraid of breaking conventions. The stronger pieces — those accepted to the exhibit — said something new, Deardourff noted. The unaccepted pieces tended to blend together, not “pop out.”

Even in an unthemed exhibit like this one, Deardourff said he started to make connections between pieces, but still tried to judge each one as an individual piece. As in any juried exhibit, the works remain connected by the juror’s sensibility.

Deardourff himself makes painterly screenprints based on comic books, but somewhat abstract. “I’m especially interested in artificial color,” he said. As a juror, however, his favorite works were not necessarily like his own. Paintings were some of the strongest submissions, specifically abstract works, he said.

Some themes developed, albeit unintentionally, among the award winning pieces, which are marked in the gallery with a golden seal. Deardourff noticed after the fact that all six pieces have nice grays, and they are mostly semi-abstract. For The Art League Best in Show Award, he selected Smells Like Licorice by Tess Olson, set apart by its scale and brushwork. “It had the most interesting color palette in the show,” he said.

John David Deardourff is an artist and designer residing in Washington, DC. In 2012 he received a BFA with an emphasis in printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied under Karl Wirsum and Albert Oehlen. JD is interested in the vocabulary of comic book art: exaggeration, energy, movement, contour line, the interplay of sequential images, and, most importantly, artificial color. He collages this imagery into unpredictable, abstract, and bittersweet compositions that are simultaneously optimistic and apocalyptic. 

JD has exhibited screen prints, collages, and paintings in Chicago, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC. In 2015 he was a Yaddo Fellow, a Fine AIR at the Strathmore Mansion, and the resident artist at Open Studio DC. In addition to his personal artwork, JD has worked with commercial clients including Burton Snowboards, Misfit Juicery, RAMP Records, Palette22, and the DC Department of Public Works.

Gallery hours:
Monday–Saturday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon–6:00 pm

*The Torpedo Factory may close at 5:00 pm for events. Please check Today's Hours to see if this affects your visit. 



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