On Display December 15, 2021 – January 31, 2022

Notification was made November 24, 2021

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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. Where there’s light, there must be shadow. Whether an artist knows it or not, light and its contrast are essential to their craft in all mediums. Pieces that play with this dynamic are eligible for the 4th annual Light and Shadow exhibition. Works selected by the juror will be on display in MFA’s online gallery, Curve Gallery, from December 15, 2021 – January 31, 2022. Show 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: Dr. Christopher C. Oliver, Assistant Curator of American Art at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Dr. Christopher C. Oliver is the Bev Perdue Jennings Assistant Curator of American Art at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Dr. Oliver joined VMFA as an assistant curator in 2013. His particular interests in American art encompass painting, sculpture, and prints of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He has published and presented widely on topics ranging from European modernism, vernacular art and architecture in colonial America, to the popular vogue for panorama paintings in the mid-nineteenth century. At VMFA, Oliver curated The Likeness of Labor (2015) and co-curated Remnants and Revivals: Architectural Etchings by Charles Meryon and John Taylor Arms (2016), as well as participated in the installation and publication of Matisse, Picasso, and Modern Art in Paris (2010) and The James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin Collection of American Art (2015). Among Oliver’s current projects are an exhibition and catalog considering the Natural Bridge of Virginia as an important site of artistic inspiration and myth-making in the nineteenth century. He received his Ph.D. and MA in the history of art and architecture from the University of Virginia, and his BA in art history from the University of Richmond. Before joining VMFA, Oliver held fellowship positions at Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winterthur Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Juror’s Statement

Light and Shadow is comprised of sixty-five works of painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and drawing. It is a testament to the talent of the represented artists, who were able to identify the exhibition’s theme within their own widely diverse—in terms of not only medium but also style—bodies of work. While the use of tone and shade may be a fundamental building block in each distinct discipline of the visual arts, the most successful works represented in this exhibition deftly deploy tone and contrast to enhance all elements of the work, including its overall composition as well as psychological implications. Some works in the exhibition use light and shadow to create quiet, meditative, moody atmospheres, while others vibrate with excitement and elation. Perhaps in accentuating an essential, formal part of a work of art’s creation, we can also emphasize an essential part of the empathetic practice of art? It is a question that may not be answered, but it is worth asking as the works represented here certainly effectively evoke the relationship between form and sensation.


Juror’s Choice

  • Aimie Fung, Yuzhang Academy, 2020, pen and ink
  • Judy Guenther, Silhouettes, photography
  • Malathi Jayawickrama, Night Lilies, oil on canvas
  • Jennifer E. Kish, Small Storm at Sea, oil on canvas
  • Natalie Marie McGuire, Driftless Bluffs Region, infrared black and white photography

Honorable Mention

  • Stacy Joy Lund Levy, Patti, watercolor on paper
  • Patrick McKinnon, Ryder and Mia Campfire, charcoal
  • Aynex Mercado, Waiting for Better Times, fiber
  • Ronald Jeffrey Saunders, Gerlach and Granit Peak, archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle fine art paper
  • Andrew Wohl, Doorway and Shadow, digital photograph on archival picture rag photo paper

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

Information for Accepted Artists

Exhibition Schedule

Exhibition Schedule:

  • Sept 7 Online entry open for submissions
  • Nov 4 Entry deadline
  • Nov 24 Artists notified by email
  • Dec 15 First day of the exhibition
  • Jan 31 Last day of the exhibition



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.



  • Only artists in the 48 contiguous United States may set a price. MFA will reimburse appropriate shipping costs to those artists for online sales shipments.
  • Artist members will retain 75% from sales; non-member will retain 70%.
  • The sale of artwork is taxable and all sales tax processing will be handled by MFA.
  • All other artists must enter Price on Request (POR) and purchase inquiries will be referred by MFA to the artist.
  • 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 notification by email. Accepted artists will also be posted on MFA’s website. Artists who have unsubscribed from MFA emails will not receive notification. The notice to accepted artists will include specific details and could vary from the prospectus. Please set your email account to recognize notification@mdfedart.org. Contact Circle Gallery if you do not receive notice.