Maggy Aston, Clathrus, mixed media

This exhibition will be on display at Circle Gallery from October 27 – November 25


Preview Gallery

Introducing Strokes of Genius:

Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) invites all artists residing in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico to enter its 7th annual all-painting competition. All original 2-D work created through any painting media (inc. oil, pastel, acrylic, watercolor, encaustic, etc.) and following entry guidelines, will be considered. The selected works will be on exhibit at MFA’s Circle Gallery from October 27 to November 25, 2017. Exhibition Chair: Stacey Sass

 Click this icon to view and print the downloadable prospectus.


Susan Behrends Frank, Ph.D., Curator, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.

Juror’s Statement

I want to thank the MFA Circle Gallery for inviting me to juror their 7th annual all-painting competition Strokes of Genius. What a challenge! With more than 500 works submitted, the variety encompassed a broad range of painting media and subject matter that embraced color, design, texture, pattern, shape, line, and materials in vastly different ways. As a museum professional, my curatorial hat is always on, so my intent has been to shape an exhibit that captures the fullest and most inclusive meaning of “Strokes of Genius,” while holding to a high aesthetic standard as a juror. After careful review of the entire body of submissions, it was clear that the works broke generally into several broad categories of portrait, still life, figure, nature, place, and abstraction, which became the tent poles of my checklist. I looked for works that favored the formal elements of design (and all that entails), composition, and point of view on the one hand, while balancing individual artistic vision and subjective elements, such as emotion, mood, narrative, and inventiveness on the other. Works were chosen that reveal something of the artist’s eye, his/her vision, which has the capacity to open our eyes to fresh perspectives, whether realistic or abstract, a close-up or a fragment. Some works are small, others quite large as scale does matter in artistic vision and in our experience of the work. The desire to include a wide diversity of materials was an ever present goal. Taken together the 70 works chosen show a broad range of expression in a variety of painting media and formats. I hope the exhibition surprises, delights, and inspires all who see it, whether in the gallery or online. It has been my pleasure to give final shape to Strokes of Genius.


Coming Soon

*Award contributors and recipients will also be listed in the exhibition catalog.

Information for Accepted Artists

Exhibition Schedule

Exhibition Schedule:

June 22 Online entry opens for submissions.
September 5 Deadline for entries
By September 21 All entrants notified by email. Check MFA website or contact MFA if you do not receive notice.
October 17 – 23 Shipped work must arrive at Circle Gallery, 18 State Circle, Annapolis MD 21401
*Please note: Circle Gallery will be closed for Collector’s Choice and not taking Strokes of Genius deliveries October 21-22.
October 27 First day of exhibition
November 5 3-5 p.m. Reception. Awards presented at 4:00 p.m.
November 25 Last day of exhibition
November 26 and 27 
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Pick up artwork (no early pick up for any reason) There is a $10 fee for any late pick up
November 28 Shipped work will be sent.

Delivery and Shipping


  • All work delivered to the gallery must have the following information affixed to the non-viewing side of artwork:
    • Artist Name
    • Address, phone number and email
    • Title of the work, medium and price. Be specific with medium descriptions (e.g., oil on hardboard or canvas, not oil; chromogenic print or archival ink jet print, not photography or digital print; oil pastel on paper, not pastel; etc.)
  • Work must arrive on scheduled dates.
  • Paintings must be dry.
  • Measure to ensure work meets size limitations before delivery, include outer edges of frames. Work not in compliance will not be exhibited. No exceptions.
  • All shipped work must include a bar-coded shipping label. Do not send by United States Postal Service (USPS). We prefer UPS but accept FedEx. No shipping peanuts allowed.
  • Please affix packing/repacking instructions to OUTSIDE of shipping box.
  • Tips on shipping can be viewed on the RedDotBlog

Pickup and Storage

Pickup and Storage

  • When the exhibit ends, unless specified otherwise, you may pick up your work no earlier than 3:00 pm on the closing day of the exhibit.
  • You must pick up your work within 48 hours of the closing day of the exhibit, or notify the gallery if you will be late.
  • Unless previous arrangements have been made, work placed in storage after announced pickup dates will be subject to a fine of $10.00 per piece, per week. Work left in storage longer than two (2) weeks shall become MFA property and may be disposed of, or used for fundraising purposes. There are no exceptions.



All work will be handled with all possible care, but pieces submitted for exhibition are at the artist’s risk. In the event of damage or theft, the MFA will not be held liable. If insurance is desired, the artist must carry it.



  • All work entered into any exhibition must be for sale unless prior agreements are made, and marked either with a price or POR for Price On Request.
  • The MFA will retain 30% from all sales
  • Sale of artwork is taxable and all sales tax processing will be handled by the MFA.
  • Sold artwork requiring shipment will be handled by the MFA with costs collected from buyer. Buyers will be asked if the work may be retained until the exhibit ends. If the buyer disagrees, the Gallery will let the work go, and the artist will be informed.
  • The MFA asks that artists donate 20% from any sale made through a direct referral from the MFA within three months. All donations are used to help defray operating costs of the Maryland Federation of Art and are tax-deductible by the artists to the full extent of the law.