On Display June 24th – July 24th

Notification was made May 18th

Introducing Eye of the Beholder: The Art of the Found Object

MFA (Maryland Federation of Art) invites artists residing in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico to enter its 7th-biennial found objects competition. Eye of the Beholder: The Art of the Found Object is held to showcase works of fine art constructed of one or more everyday objects either scavenged or bought and then assembled into art by the artist. Please note, artwork that includes but is not constructed of found objects and photographs or paintings of the assemblage art are not eligible. Any 2 or 3-D work following exhibition guidelines will be considered. The selected works will be exhibited at MFA’s Circle Gallery from June 24th to July 24th, 2021. The exhibition chair is Angela Petruncio.

Click this icon to view and print the downloadable prospectus.

Click this icon to view and print the downloadable catalog.

Juror: Jim Condron, Adjunct Professor of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art and Towson University

Jim Condron earned his MFA at the Hoffberger School of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art (2004) and a BA in Art and English from Colby College, ME (1992). He also studied at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture (1993-’95). Since 1993, Condron has studied with Rohini Ralby, the artist’s mentor. His work appears nationally and internationally in galleries and museums as well as in corporate, university, public, and private collections and he is known for his painting, sculpture, and mixed media. He is an Adjunct Professor of art at Maryland Institute College of Art and Towson University.

Juror’s Statement

It is an honor to be the juror for Eye of the Beholder at Maryland Federation of Art and to see the great variety of approaches to assemblage.

The job of selecting works virtually is difficult and unfair. So much of what we experience in an artwork is understood by being physically in front of the work, which, for over a year, has not been possible. This observation sounds obvious, but is not.

When I am looking at an image of a work on a screen, I am painfully aware that it is not the actual object I am perceiving, but an image of the object.

In nearly every submission for the Eye of the Beholder, extremely complex pieces were represented by a single digital image. Much was necessarily lost in translation, both formally and conceptually. Meaning might have been missed entirely.

The works chosen for this show range from purely formal approaches, where objects are combined and arranged seamlessly to create an abstract form (It’s All Black and White, Network, Crawling, Intertwined) to pieces that express a personal, political or mythic narrative (Shrowd, Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice, It was another timeEnso, Network and It’s All Black and White; and the Proper Place for Dust; and MomentOpening and Closing).

What all the works have in common is a strong sense of deliberate construction, some rough-hewn and some fastidious. And all pieces have a clear and unique expression.

Despite many of the works having been made during the Covid 19 pandemic, I was surprised to see recurrent threads of optimism. Some pieces were actually funny (Sure Shot, My Bird Performs, Depression Warrior). 

The best art transforms materials into something more than what they are and acts on us in unexpected and unexplainable ways. Much of the best works in this show do just this.


Juror’s Choice

  • Jeff Bohlander, After the Harvest: Led Home, mixed media: collage, found objects, acrylic, latex, photo transfers, oil stick, cotton, tongue oil, graphite, old hymnal book, studio rag on found metal rod, string, dried vegetation on canvas
  • Jason Lyons, Brook Trout, found object
  • Sue Moerder, Death’s Head Moth, mixed media

Honorable Mention

  • Natalie Ogilvie, Look at Me, mixed media (wood burning/carving, collage, found objects)
  • Andrew Wohl, Network, galvanized wire fence
  • Marc Zaref, Enso, formed and welded steel objects, enamel
  • Malka Kutnick, Crawling, soft sculpture, repurposed cloth
  • Linda Popp, You’re as Beautiful as You Feel, found object assemblage sculpture


*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:

  • Mar. 1 Online entry open for submissions.
  • Apr. 22 Deadline for entries.
  • Jun. 16 – 20 Artists deliver or ship uploaded work to Circle Gallery. Hours of delivery were announced to be by appointment but MFA has changed this. Contact Circle Gallery if you have concerns about dropping off. 
  • Jun. 24 First day of exhibition.
  • Jun. 27 Digital reception over Zoom, 4pm. Awards announced.
  • Jul. 25 & 26 Artists pick up work at Circle Gallery. Hours of pick up are 11 am – 4:30 pm.  There is a $10 fee for late pick up starting Jul. 27. Circle Gallery will be closed Jul. 28th – Aug. 18th, and starting Aug. 18th, there will be a $20 fee for late pick up.
  • By Jul. 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 inkjet 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. Please read the prospectus for exact dates of pickup.
  • 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, 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.
  • Artist members will retain 75% from sales; non-member will retain 70%.
  • Sale of artwork is taxable and all sales tax processing will be handled by MFA.
  • Sold artwork requiring shipment will be handled by 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.
  • 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 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 Circle Gallery if you do not receive notice.