Geri Olson,The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship, Strokes of Genius 2018

Now on Display through November 26th, 2018

See Sales 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 November 2 through November 26. Exhibition Chair: Stacey Sass.

 Click this icon to view and print the downloadable prospectus.

Juror: Joey P. Mánlapaz, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design

Joey P. Mánlapaz received her M.F.A. in painting from George Washington University. She is a painter and Associate Faculty at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University where she teaches all levels of drawing and painting. She is a lecturer at Georgetown University and also teaches at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA. Her latest passion is to give art workshops and lectures to the elderly at several D.C. assisted living and memory care facilities. She is widely collected in the U.S. and abroad. Breaking from the photorealist tradition of NY artists Tom Blackwell and Richard Estes, her style is more painterly, infused with the psychological breadth of Edward Hopper, coupled with the visual mystery of Alfred Hitchcock. The D.C. government currently owns 23 of her paintings, by far the largest collector of her work. In 2013, the U.S. Library of Congress acquired her personal papers, correspondences, sketchbooks & other memorabilia for permanent inclusion in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

See Her Website Here

Juror’s Statement:

I compliment all the hard-working artists who submitted their works to the “Stroke of Genius” exhibition at The Maryland Federation of Art. The quality of work entered was impressive and selecting 67 unique and outstanding pieces out of 483 artworks submitted by 158 artists was challenging. The entries exemplify the richness and diversity in style, medium, and subject matter in which artists are currently working.

Whether realism, abstract, or conceptual, the artists in the exhibition answered the call for “genius.” The expert handling of their chosen medium and honest expression of their message is strongly evident. I am drawn by the colors, composition, technique, dynamic charge, and integrity of the paintings. All these important characteristics contribute to a successful work of art and I am so honored for the privilege of selecting these works.

To those who were not included in the exhibition, treat this experience as another step in your journey as an artist and continue the hard work in improving your craft. For those who got in, this is not the end. In the exceptional capacity that we have, we as artists must continue the curiosity for what surrounds us, to observe, feel, and interpret that which will allows us to remain human and true to ourselves.


Juror’s Choice

Megan Burak, Soaked, oil on canvas

Sally Davies, Spiral Swirl Staircase, watercolor

Kathleen Janet Gibson, The Caregiver, mixed media

Catherine Anne Gillespie, Talons, watercolor

Nadia Linda Goldstein, Pull the Curtains: Trolls in the Garden, acrylic with foud objects

Thyra Moore, Keep An Open Mind, acrylic mixed media

Kate Norris, Bird Watcher, mixed media collage on panel

Linda Pearlman Karlsberg, Promise and Despair II, oil on panel

Lida M. Stiefel, First Impression, pastel on paper

Mischelle Willbricht, Sun Gate, batik

Terms of Entry

All entries must adhere to MFA general guidelines as well as the terms of entry specific to the exhibit as listed below.

When entering the exhibition you will be asked to accept the Terms of Entry. Any entry that does not follow Terms of Entry and General Guidelines will be subject to rejection regardless of the Juror’s decision.


  • A maximum of 6 original works created within the past 3 years may be entered.
  • Works previously exhibited in a juried show at Circle Gallery are not eligible.
  • Works may not exceed 72 inches in width, height or depth, including the frame, unless otherwise specified for a particular exhibit.
  • All work must be visibly signed by artist (front or back) and include edition numbers (1/1, 2/50, e.g.) for hand-pulled prints. Works must be priced for sale or marked POR (price on request).


Cash awards designated by the juror total $1000. Award contributors and recipients will be listed in the exhibition catalog.

Entries and Submission Fees

  • Entries must be submitted online.
  • Entry fees are $40 (MFA members, $25) for one or two entries and $5 each for up to four additional entries. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • To enter online, you will need an MFA account that includes an email address and a password. There is no charge to create an MFA account.
  • Submit one JPEG image per piece entered, or as allowed. To provide the best image for juror set pixel dimension to around 2000 pixels on the longest side. File size may be no more than 2 MB.
  • Images of accepted works may be used at the sole discretion of MFA for promotional purposes including but not limited to the invitation, catalog, web site or on a subsequent year’s prospectus. Image will include attribution whenever possible.

Exhibition Schedule:

June 21 Online entry open for submissions

September 6 Deadline for entries

October 4 All entrants are notified by email and online posting

October 20-24 Shipped and hand-delivered work must arrive at Circle Gallery, 18 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401

November 2 First day of the exhibition

November 11 3-5pm reception. Awards presented at 4 pm.

November 27-28 12-4pm pick up

November 29 Shipped work will be sent


All entrants will receive notice by email. The notice to accepted artists will include specific details and could vary from prospectus. A list of accepted artists and artwork will also be posted on MFA’s website. Please set your email account to recognize this address: Contact gallery if you do not receive notice.