On Display October 30th – November 25th

Notification was made October 5th

Introducing Strokes of Genius

Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) invites all artists residing in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico to enter this 10th 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.

 Click this icon to view and print the downloadable prospectus.

Juror: Mark Karnes, The Maryland Institute College of Art

Mark Karnes received his MFA in painting from Yale University in 1972 and his BFA in painting from Philadelphia College of Art. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council as well as a Fulbright-Hayes grant for study in Florence, Italy. His work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally and can be found in numerous private and public museum collections, including the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Karnes lives in Baltimore, MD, where he has taught drawing and painting at Maryland Institute College of Art since 1974. For more information go to http://www.markekarnes.com

Juror’s Statement

In jurying the ‘Strokes of Genius’ show, I found real breath in the show. The work ranged from purely abstract to very realized representation. Not only was their breath in terms of the kinds of art but also in the materials that were used to make it. In the obvious sense, some paintings were oil or acrylic but others had many different materials that were incorporated into their pieces. The sizes in the work varied greatly from very large pieces to very small pieces. This breath was clear from the start of looking at the paintings.


I found it difficult to pick just 60 pieces for the show. I felt that there were many more that could have been represented had there been more space to exhibit the work. I think it will be a strong show and people who view it will find a richness in the concerns of the artists. In choosing the prizes, I found it particularly difficult because so many pieces deserved a prize and so decided to break it down into five awards.


The work that I viewed reflected a real seriousness and commitment. I would hope that those who weren’t chosen to be in the show would not be discouraged and would continue working and submit their pieces to other venues.


I wish everyone good luck with their work and their artist pursuit.



Mark E. Karnes


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

Information for Accepted Artists

Exhibition Schedule

Exhibition Schedule:

June 18 Online entry open for submissions.
Sep. 3 Deadline for entries.
By Oct. 5 All artists notified by email. Check mdfedart.com or contact MFA if you do not receive notice.
Oct. 18 – 23 Shipped work must arrive at MFA Circle Gallery. Please read the prospectus for more on how to ship your piece.
Oct. 30 First day of exhibition
Nov. 8 Digital reception. More info on when and where as we get closer to the date.
Nov. 25 Last day of exhibition.
Nov. 28 – 29 Pick up handed-delivered work, 11am – 5pm. There is a $10 fee for late pick up.
By Dec. 1 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.


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: info@mdfedart.org. Contact gallery if you do not receive notice.