On Display December 15th – January 30th

Notification was made on December 7th

Introducing Light and Shadow

From Caravaggio to Monet to Ansel Adams, artists use their talents and tools to capture the detail and many subtleties of play between light and shadow. Artwork resonating with these principles will be eligible. Entries are open to all artists. This all-media exhibition, MFA (Maryland Federation of Art) will display selected works online in Curve Gallery from December 15 – January 30, 2020. Exhibition Chairs: Richard Niewerth and Wil Scott.

Click this icon to view and print the downloadable prospectus.

Click this icon to view and print the downloadable catalog.

Juror: Joseph Di Bella, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Mary Washington, Virginia

Joseph Di Bella, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art, taught at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia from 1977 – 2016. He served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History from 1990 – 1993 and 1996 -1999 and Director of University Galleries from 1983 – 1988. Instrumental in the establishment of the gallery program and Ridderhof Martin Gallery at Mary Washington, he was Director of University Galleries from 1983 – 1988 and Interim Director in 1989 and 1997 – 98. From 1994 – 2003 he was co-director of the University’s program in Urbino, Italy. Currently, he serves as Vice-President of the Board of the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts. He holds a BA in art history from Rutgers and MA and MFA degrees in painting from Northern Illinois University. A signature member of the National Watercolor Society and affiliated with other professional art organizations, he has exhibited in regional, national and international venues.

Juror Statement

Light reveals, discloses, differentiates both in the physical and metaphorical sense. It shapes and characterizes form. There is no shadow without some level of light, and while it is the gradient that maps planes, surfaces, and spatial placements, it often hides, veils, and obscures. Light can be thought of as opening up and clarifying; shadow suggests emergence, envelopment, or the secret of what lurks within. In the concert of light and shadow, there are mystery, mood, and structure. These are what I sought in reviewing the submissions for this exhibit, and these factors are aligned with the three elements I always seek when studying works of art: concept, composition, and craft. None of these can serve as the sole criterion for a work that draws me into a conversation with it. When I study a work of art, I am also referencing influences both past and current. No artist can be separated entirely from the weight of historical prototypes and genres. And, as an artist and teacher of art, I tap into my personal experiences in making and assessing art. The art in this exhibition presents a spectrum of diverse media. This, too, was a concern in my selection process. Certainly, within each medium category, there is a technical and stylistic range that can be exercised. Ultimately, my selection is about the impact of the image: it’s‘ staying power’ and how this strength is achieved. This is a richly opulent and thought-provoking collection of works by a number of exceptional creators. Nonetheless, and although perhaps of little consolation to those not selected, it was difficult to exclude many more superb works.


Juror’s Choice

  • Leslie S Kiefer, POM, digital photograph
  • Linda C Garcia-Dahle, Illumined, oil
  • Stephanie Lane, Shelter, digital photograph
  • Marianne Calenda, Peach Alley, charcoal
  • Storm Sermay, Goddess of War, digital photograph

Honorable Mention

  • Chuck Gallegos, Superior Sunrise, digital photograph, archival pigment print
  • Vlad Duchev, Burning City Sunset, oil
  • Marc Anderson,  Bluff Strokes,  oil
  • Karen Warshal, Cauliflower with Silver Pitcher, oil on linen
  • william g. dusterwald, Dusterwald_DocksWorker, black & white photograph

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

Information for Accepted Artists

NOTE: Should Circle Gallery or any other exhibition space be closed for reasons beyond our control, MFA reserves the right to move a planned physical exhibit to our online gallery. Please mark your calendar for notification. This may include specific information that varies from the prospectus.

Exhibition Schedule

Exhibition Schedule:

  • Sep. 8 Online entry open for submissions.
  • Nov. 5 Deadline for entries.
  • By Dec. 7 All entrants notified by email. Check MFA’s website if you did not receive notice.
  • Dec. 15 – Jan. 30 Online gallery open for viewing.



  • MFA shall not be liable for any special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or inability to use, MFA’s online exhibition gallery.



  • MFA’s online-only exhibition is for viewing only. MFA will refer all sales inquiries to the artist. MFA receives no commission for sales resulting from these exhibitions. The gallery is accessible on MFA’s website during the dates of the exhibition. Images of the artwork were provided by the artists at the time of entry.
  • MFA asks that artists donate 20% from any sale made through a direct referral from MFA within three months. All donations are used to help defray operating costs of 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 Circle Gallery if you do not receive notice.