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$550.00 Innovate Grants for Artists + Photographers

*Innovate Grant

Grants for Artists + Photographers

DEADLINE Thursday, December 15
Submit your work by 11:59PM Pacific Time

The deadline for Innovate Grant’s Fall Cycle is Thursday, December 15, 2022. Have you applied yet? Now is the perfect time to share your work, so why wait?

Innovate Grant awards (2) $550.00 grants each quarter to one Visual Artist and one Photographer. In addition, (6) honorable mentions (3 in art and 3 in photo), will be featured and recognized on our website and join a growing community of vibrant and talented artists. Innovate Grant’s commitment extends beyond the grant cycle by promoting the work of selected winners and honorable mentions into the future. We’ve simplified the grant process so that artists and photographers can focus on making their innovative work. The work should speak for itself and our application reflects that.

How to Apply:

All media and genres are accepted. All applicants (visual artists and photographers) 18+ years and older, from all around the world, are eligible to apply. All applicants retain the right to the work they submit. Apply today at

Explore the work of Past Innovate Grant recipients and Read their Interviews at

Category: Multiple disciplines and genres accepted
Deadline: Deadline: December 15, 2022
Region: US & International
Awards: $550.00 USD Grants

Apply Online Today

Long List of Artist Calls

Art Deadlines List

December 2022 List of Artist Calls | Deadlines Through February 2023


DCIFF’s eclectic, ambitious, much-loved program mixes art, action, experimental, animation and mixed-genre works judged by peers. Our storied history is of cutting edge work on every subject from every country with every budget and subject imaginable. Since our 20th anniversary, we have increased opportunities for artists and audiences to interact, converse and share ideas. DCIFF2023: March 1-5. Application Fee. Details: OR [email protected]

December 11, 2022 – NYC4PA | BLACK & WHITE

The New York Center for Photographic Art (NYC4PA) invites photographers world-wide to submit images using any photographic process (print, image transfer, emulsion transfer, encaustic, black and white, etc.). Winners will receive $4,000 in cash awards, be featured in the NYC4PA Online Gallery and in the BLACK and WHITE catalog. The Grand Prize winning image will be posted on the NYC4PA home page. Entry Fee. Details:


The theme for ART street Monthly Illustration Contest for November is “Anthropomorphism”. This time, you can anthropomorphize anything you would like to! Please try anthropomorphizing things with unique features from the daily use items such as stationeries, cosmetics, foods and electric appliances to living things such as animals and plants! No Entry Fee. Details:


Photographers are invited to submit their work to this year’s TASTE Food, Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Photography Awards, a juried contest celebrating images of Food, Wine & Spirits, Fashion & Design, Travel, Health & Exercise. Entry Fee. Details:


Established by Creo and sponsored by Sony, the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards is a major new annual awards program for short films devoted to supporting and elevating independent filmmakers and creators from across the globe. No Entry Fee. Details:

December 15, 2022 – 🍁 CALL FOR ART + PHOTO | $550.00 INNOVATE GRANTS

FALL 2022 OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS — Innovate Grant awards (2) $550.00 grants each quarter, to one Visual Artist and one Photographer. In addition, (6) honorable mentions (3 in art and 3 in photo), will be featured and recognized on our website and join a growing community of vibrant and talented artists. For more information and to apply visit our website. Entry Fee. Details:


The City of North Charleston is calling upon South Carolina visual artists to participate in the 40th Annual North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition. The winning piece will become the official poster design of the 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest (5/3-7), receive a $500 purchase award and a solo exhibition at Park Circle Gallery during May 2023. No Entry Fee. Details: 843-740-5854 OR OR [email protected]


The competition is sponsored by Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America. You may submit only one manuscript (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words) written in the English language. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story. Only electronic submissions, uploaded through the online entry form, will be considered. No Entry Fee. Details:


Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center invites emerging and established artists to submit original artworks to ‘Breaking Ground: Art about the Earth’. All media will be considered, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, performance, glass, fiber, digital, photography, installation, mixed media, and new genres. This exhibition will be open to the public from February 10 – April 23, 2023. Entry Fee. Details: 410-326-4640 OR OR [email protected]

January 11, 2023 – LENS 2023 CALL FOR ENTRY

Perspective Gallery is pleased to announce LENS 2023, our 13th annual, juried, international exhibition of fine art photography. We are honored to have Crista Dix, Executive Director, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, as Juror. Photographers are invited to submit work for possible inclusion in the exhibition. All subject matter and photographic processes are welcome. Entry Fee. Details: 847-372-0734 OR OR [email protected]

January 12, 2023 – THE FUTURE GENERATION 2023

Enter the Portrait Society of America’s 3rd annual Future Generation Competition for artists ages 18-25 years old. Top 4 awards receive cash and prizes plus recognition in International Artist magazine, the Portrait Society’s journal, website and social media pages. Entry fee is $25 for up to 3 entries. Subject of the work should focus on the human figure (portrait or figurative). Entry Fee. Details: 850-878-9996 OR OR [email protected]


The 6th NTD International Figure Painting Competition (NIFPC) , committed to promoting the pure beauty, pure goodness, and pure authenticity of the realism oil painting — calls for entry. The goal of NIFPC is to help artists retrieve the traditional artistic value with compassion. We welcome works that convey traditional values, and positive ideals such as beauty, compassion, and righteousness. Entry Fee. Details: 888-477-9228 OR OR [email protected]


Submissions of original artworks by U.S. youth drawn on paper (using crayons, colored pencils, ink pens, markers, and/or paint) or drawn digitally are being accepted now through January 31, 2023. Enter online or by mail. For official rules, artwork guidelines, and cash prizes, visit the website. No Entry Fee. Details: 213-537-4483 OR OR [email protected]

February 13, 2023 – NIKON PHOTO CONTEST 2022 2023

There are two competitions: Photo Competition and Short Film Competition. • PHOTO COMPETITION Theme: “Beloved”. Entrants may submit single images and photo stories (2-5 images per story). • SHORT FILM COMPETITION Theme: “Next Steps”. Two categories: Short Film Category – 180 to 300 second long video Super Short Film Category – 20 to 40 second long video No Entry Fee. Details:


World of WearableArt (WOW) is an internationally renowned design competition that attracts entries from over 40 countries. Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well executed. There are six section themes: • Aotearoa • Avant-Garde • Open • Gold • Bizarre Bra • Mars & Beyond No Entry Fee. Details:


The competition is held by Evident Corporation based in Tokyo, Japan. Each participant may submit up to three images taken with a light microscope. Images taken with an electron microscope are not eligible. No Entry Fee. Details:

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Happy Valley Veterans Memorial Call to Artists

A statue in a parkDescription automatically generated with low confidenceCALL TO ARTISTS,City seeks to acquire permanent, larger-scale sculpture. Artwork requested to interpret theme, “A Soldier’s Journey”.,VETERANS MEMORIAL SCULPTURE SCULPTURE

The City of Happy Valley seeks to acquire a permanent, larger-scale sculpture for placement at the Veterans Memorial Park located at Happy Valley City Hall, 16000 SE Misty Drive, Happy Valley, OR 97086.

Applications are welcomed from people of all backgrounds and abilities. The sculpture selection panel is particularly interested in receiving submissions from artists with a veteran background and/or who live in the Pacific Northwest. Applicants are requested to creatively interpret the project theme, “A Soldier’s Journey”. Both existing artwork and conceptual designs are welcome.

Happy Valley Call to Artists Details

Find more at

The City of Happy Valley has pledged to create a welcoming transition for returning veterans and their families. Advancing this commitment, the City seeks to acquire a permanent, larger-scale sculpture that depicts the theme of “A Soldier’s Journey”.

Selected artwork will be displayed at the Veterans Memorial Park located at Happy Valley City Hall (16000 SE Misty Drive, Happy Valley, OR 97086). Artwork placement will help to facilitate meaningful spaces to experience grief, healing, remembrance, and celebration.

Community Context

The City of Happy Valley is a thriving, multicultural community of 25,738 neighbors. Many residents identify as Asian (25%), of two or more races (7.8%), and/or Hispanic or Latino (4.3%). Moreover, our beautiful nature areas, safe neighborhoods, and strong business community contribute to making Happy Valley a wonderful place to call home.

Happy Valley is also home to a vibrant veteran community. Approximately 6.3% of adults in Happy Valley are veterans. Within our veteran population, 6.2% of veterans are women, 15.1% identify as a race/ethnicity other than white alone, 20.7% experience some form of disability, 55% are aged 55 or older. See more demographics here!

Location Description

Emphasizing the centrality of veterans in our community, Veterans Memorial Park is located at Happy Valley City Hall, approximately halfway between Willamette National Cemetery and Camp Withycombe, an active National Guard facility.

Dedicated in 2021, Veterans Memorial Park honors veterans of all armed service branches. The memorial space features a walking path flanked by benches, lit flagpoles, and branch flags to honor each service branch. The walking path leads visitors into a larger stone labyrinth, which symbolizes a “Walk with Veterans.”

Selected artwork will be installed in a greenspace east of the existing stone labyrinth. Artwork will be highly visible from within the labyrinth, as well as from City Hall, 162nd Ave, and a commercial center on the opposite side of 162nd Ave. In the future, the City plans to construct a second phase of the Veterans Memorial project which will include a new concrete sidewalk between the stone labyrinth and 162nd Ave, increasing pedestrian access to the memorial and allowing visitors to more closely interact with selected artwork.

Artwork Theme/Guidance

Artwork should creatively interpret the theme, “A Soldier’s Journey.” Within this theme, please consider an element or component to represent the community’s role in, and responsibility to, support soldiers and veterans.

Secondary to the project theme, the sculpture selection panel is particularly interested in submissions that include the following elements:

  1. Artwork that is “simple, symbolic, and solemn.”
  2. Artwork that invites viewers to symbolically walk through or experience what our veterans have experienced.
  3. Artwork that both honors veterans and inspires future generations to contemplate military service.
  4. Artwork that contains interactive elements, such as artwork that can be touched, engages its larger environment, or tells a larger story when viewed in full relief.

The sculpture selection panel will consider both conceptual artwork (proposed designs) and existing artwork (ready for purchase). The panel may, at its discretion, request if an artist is willing to modify their design to incorporate additional feedback from the selection panel.

Technical and Installation Specifications

Artwork must be fabricated in durable, permanent, outdoor media. Artwork must require minimal maintenance and withstand the effects of weather, be as resistant as possible to vandalism, and be able to safely withstand pedestrian contact.

Selected artwork must be fitted, prior to delivery, with a ¼-inch (minimum) steel plate. This plate is the “artwork base” and will be used to weld the artwork to a City-provided display pad. Whereas steel is the preferred artwork base material, alternative materials and structures may be accommodated. Artists who wish to use an alternative base material/structure must contact Jaimie Lorenzini, 503-886-8428, [email protected] prior to applying.

The City will design and construct the display pad according to the artist-provided dimensions of the artwork base. The selected artist will be required to work with a professional welder, provided by the City, to permanently place the sculpture on the display pad. 

How to Apply

Artists may submit up to three concepts for consideration. To submit your artwork, an online submission must be completed through the website CaFE. First time users of CaFE will be prompted to create an account. When developing your submission, please be prepared to provide:

  1. Artist contact information
  2. Artwork information, including artwork dimensions, base dimensions, total weight, and materials used. Artists may submit up to three artworks for consideration.
  3. A short description about how each artwork interprets the theme of “A Soldier’s Journey”.
  4. An image of each sculpture submitted. Images should accurately represent the sculpture in scale, media, and color. Photos/drawings/sketches/renderings must be in digital form.
  5. If proposed artwork is conceptual, how long will it take to complete the sculpture, if a contract is awarded?
  6. Price of each sculpture
  7. Optional:
    • Demographic information.
    • Resume/CV detailing outdoor sculpture experience, including two references.
    • A one-page maximum typed letter of interest outlining your qualifications for and interest in the project, as well as the general idea for your approach.

A video tutorial is available to assist you in completing an application. In this tutorial, program staff completes a sample application and explains the submission process. The City may assist in language translation and accept non-digital applications by request.

Project Budget

The maximum total budget for sculpture acquisition is $50,000, including design, construction, any necessary engineering drawings, subcontractors, delivery, and travel. These costs should be reflected in the price of the sculpture.

The selected artist will receive half of the sculpture acquisition price upon execution of a contract with the City of Happy Valley. The artist will receive the outstanding balance of the sculpture acquisition price upon delivery of the completed artwork.

In addition to the artwork budget, the City will pay up to $6,300 to construct a sculpture display pad, provide professional art installation, and interpretative signage.


December 29, 2022 Deadline for sculpture submissions.
January 9, 2023Sculpture selection panel to evaluate artwork.
January 16, 2023Artists are notified of selection status. City will offer contract to selected artist. 
Feb. or March 13, 2023 Selected artist may be invited to attend a brief meeting with the selection panel.
Late Summer – FallTarget installation of completed artwork.
TBD Public event to dedicate completed artwork in Veterans Memorial Park.

Selection Process

Selection for this project will be made by a panel comprised of local veterans and stakeholders representing local parks and public art advisory committees. The selection panel will evaluate submissions based on artistic merit, the artist’s experience, and the artist’s ability to work in large scale. The panel may, at its discretion, request if an artist is willing to modify their design to incorporate additional feedback from the selection panel.

Artists will be notified of selection status the week of January 16, 2023. The selected artist will be offered a contract with the City of Happy Valley to commission or purchase the artwork. If the selection panel has requested an artist modify their concept, then the artist will be invited to present revised designs at the panel’s next meeting in mid-January.

Resource Toolbox 

We are invested in your success. Provided below are a series of resources that may assist in proposal development:

Watch Application Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

Google Map

Veterans Memorial Park Webpage

Veterans Memorial Park Design Plan

Local Veteran Demographics

This opportunity is open to all artists who reside in the United States or U.S. Territories. Artists identifying with a racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual, gender, economic, or ability minority are strongly encouraged to apply. The sculpture selection panel is particularly interested in receiving submissions from artists with a veteran background and/or who live in the Pacific Northwest.

Preserving and enhancing the safety, livability, and character of our community.

Haines & Friends Announce 2022 Grant Recipients

The Haines & Friends Visual Arts Grant Program Announces 2022 Grant Recipients

Taking place for over five years now, and despite a brief two-year break in 2020 and 2021, The Haines & Friends Visual Arts Grant Program has been overwhelmed with joy after receiving over 90 applications this year with a total request of $368,495.00. After very careful thought and consideration, the program will award grants to 27 diverse individuals, distributing a total of $69,820.00 in funds.

Grant recipients include Gabriel Barrera, Corbin Brashear, Sarah F. Burns, Nisha Burton, Adrian Chavez, Delaine Due, Jessi Eaton-Shields, Michele Fulkerson, Amy Godard, Jenay Elder, and Barbara Goldfarb, Jay Gordon, Zion R. Kroll, Anna Kruse, Opie Snow Lael, Kyle Larson, Jordan Marie McCaw, Janice Moon, Kristen O’Neill, Trisha Stricklin, Debra Van Poolen, Jack Wiens, Manya Yana Orescan Campos,
KYRIANNA, Hanson Howard Gallery, Illinois River Valley Arts Council, Southern Oregon Guild, and The Studio at Living Opportunities.

For more information about The Haines & Friends Visual Arts Grant Program and everything that it provides for the visual arts and community, please visit

About The Haines & Friends Visual Arts Grant Program

Established in 2014, The Haines & Friends Visual Arts Grant Program is a locally conceived and funded program offering grants to visual artists and arts educators in Southern Oregon. These grants support the artistic projects of these individuals who are dedicated to improving their own creative lives as well as the lives of others. Taking place for over five years now, the program has gone on to award nearly $400,000 in grants to over 100 creative individuals.

Premiere coup

Back Shore, Philip Malicoat, 16″ x 22″, oil on canvas.

Tom Insalaco told me earlier this year to check out Philip Malicoat. His close association with Edwin Dickinson emerges immediately in one glance at his work, in both modes that Dickinson employed: the large, dark and mysterious figures and interiors and the quickly executed, nearly abstract scenes Dickinson described as “first stroke”: premier coup. Back Shore is clearly an example of the latter. From the Provincetown Art Association and Museum:

Philip Cecil Malicoat was a child of farmers with little exposure to the arts, first in Oklahoma, then in Indiana, before coming to Provincetown in 1929 to study with Charles Hawthorne. Malicoat went on to build a life in Provincetown, meeting his wife, the artist Barbara Haven Brown, and together raising two children, Martha and Conrad, both of whom became accomplished artists. Malicoat was active in Provincetown arts community as a member of the Provincetown Art Association and Beachcomber’s Club, a teacher, a painter, and, in 1968, a co-founder of the Fine Arts Work Center.


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Brilli’s flat foreshortening

Jessica Brilli, Morning of the Camping Trip, acrylic and oil on canvas, 30″ x 30″

This new painting, from earlier this year, has the amazing quality Jessica Brilli often achieves with her vintage cars. The forms are utterly flat and abstracted, a geometric puzzle, and yet her handling of values makes the trunk of the car jut into view. That effect is supported by the one area of analog gradation from dark to light on the wall of the garage behind the car. The colors viewed individually are flat and muted, almost dull–that blue sky looks lusterless in a disciplined way, but arrange them in relation to one another the way she has and what comes to life is the heat and light and expectant silence of a summer morning, just before a longed-for getaway. The canoe is a wonderful touch, also given a sense of three-dimensional depth with the smooth shift in values along its curve. The whole painting comes alive around those two red tail lights, like a pair of opossum’s eyes, their little U-shaped highlights underneath the crimson irises echoing the slim arch of shine over the rear window. The car looks sentient but fast asleep, eyes wide shut, waiting. The restraint of the subtle hues, and the combination of uncommon tones, the rigor of her reduction of everything to the simplest possible terms, everything works inexplicably to create the aura of an eerie moment both commonplace and alluringly mysterious, everything charged with somnolent but vigilant awareness.

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Paint the elephant

My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a ...

A painter’s impossible challenge, as well as the essence of painting, from The Little Prince.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“The narrator becomes an aircraft pilot, and one day, his plane crashes in the Sahara desert, far from civilization. The narrator has an eight-day supply of water and must fix his aeroplane. Here, he is greeted unexpectedly by a young boy nicknamed “the little prince.” The prince has golden hair, a loveable laugh, and will repeat questions until they are answered.

The prince asks the narrator to draw a sheep. The narrator first shows him the picture of the elephant inside the snake, which, to the narrator’s surprise, the prince interprets correctly. After three failed attempts at drawing a sheep, the frustrated narrator draws a simple crate, claiming the sheep is inside. The prince exclaims that this was exactly the drawing he wanted.”

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Phyllis Bryce Ely


Phyllis Bryce Ely, Seneca Lake, Looking South, oil on linen, 12 x 16, 2019.

Phyllis Bryce Ely has been doing en plein air paintings of the nearby Finger Lakes, one of which is on view in Spellbound: The Art of Mystery at Oxford Gallery. I keep coming back to this image she sent me, at my request, a while ago. It’s less abstracted than much of her work, and more reliant on the shape of the brush and the flow of the paint for the cool tension between the accuracy of the paint and what I’m seeing through it. What I love is how loose and yet carefully precise it is. This isn’t really bravura brushwork, it’s more personal than that: it has her touch, the ghostly, translucent gradations between tones. Much of what Ely does is less like what one would actually see standing at a scenic pull-off, more like the Group of Seven or at least Lauren Harris, but Ely’s work is even more about the paint. This one creates a very real and precise sense of a three-dimensional view and yet looks utterly free and spontaneous in the way she applies the paint.






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Bonfire Moon, Bridget Bossart van Otterloo, oil and silver leaf on board.

At Oxford Gallery many of the participating artists responded to the theme of the new group show—Spellbound, the Art of Mystery—with compelling work.

When I first walked through the gallery, I passed a welded steel raven from Wayne Williams with a cursory glance at the bird, but then on a second tour of the show, I paused and looked at it from various sides and began to absorb the dignity of the crusty, ruffled creature. It began to remind me just a bit of Donatello’s Lo Zuccone, a prophetic interloper, in from the cold, out of place in polite society, but also just where he ought to be. Titled Nevermore Evermore, it’s ostensibly an homage to Edgar Allen Poe but it’s even more an admiration of the huge bird itself, with its sentient eye, poised and observant, sizing up the entire gallery from his corner. What struck me most deeply was how little Williams consciously imposes himself on the steel he brings alive—his ideas, his opportunity to call attention to his stylistic prowess. He gives you the raven as it is, an intelligent, even playful genetic sibling to the crow, its aggressive shifty cousin. Anyone who knows birds has mixed feelings about the larger corvids. Yet I once worked at a desk beside a woman who kept a pet raven and called herself a “raven maniac” largely because her bird was always playing games with her, enjoying control of air space in her home, pilfering small objects from various rooms and hiding them in the cushions of her couch. Wayne Williams’s raven could easily be a portrait of her bird, a haughty touch of mischief in the eye, with a lack of urgency in the pose suggesting wisdom or at least wise-guy confidence. When I asked why the feathers seem to rise up in relief at the tips, like old roofing shingles, Williams told me this is how a raven’s feathers behave, unlike a crow’s. Williams takes the world as he finds it and gives it back to you in a way that makes you see it afresh and just as it is. This isn’t a Leonard Baskin bird, nor a bird used to campaign against the world as Ted Hughes employed his crow, but an actual bird as mysterious and complete as the world itself, with a title that offers a choice between utter despair and the possibility of hope. It’s a work of deep appreciation and representation, the artist disappearing into what he has created: everywhere present but nowhere visible.

Anthony Dungan’s large abstract acrylic on canvas, Saucerful of Secrets, almost side-by side with the raven, represents a new benchmark in his painting. His best work in the past has been built around abstracted but evocative human figures where the sensuous curves are incorporated in such a way that they take you by surprise when you recognize the silhouette: working as both abstraction and representation. Here representation has been almost abandoned, though the three spheres suggest celestial or planetary visions. Mostly they work to create tension between their exact circumferences and the ruptured, richly colored grid. The riot of brushwork seen through black louvers looks like a distillation and concentration of an upstate autumn but also suggests a psychological or emotional cauldron. You see all that energy trying to burst through, but safely locked behind black bars, both hidden and disclosed.

At first glance, William Keyser’s Inexplicable Lacuna appears to be a joyous pastel homage to a Matissse cut-out or one of Milton Avery’s women assembled with flat, simplified color. Yet it has a mysterious dark black line stamped across the center of the image that seems like a salute to the void of the existentialists. With a little study, you realize the painting isn’t done on canvas and the black line is an opening cut from the sheet metal he used as a support. The cut is like an enormous mail slot, into which you deposit your hopes and dreams, wondering whether they’ll disappear in there or get delivered. It’s one of the most arresting and lovely pieces in the show.

Partners in life, Tom Insalaco and Debra Stewart, paint in distinctly different ways. Yet this time, they have contributed smaller, intensely realized visions that feel familial. Insalaco’s is characteristically dark but this time prismatic, almost sparkling with a cheerful equanimity about the fleeting quality of life. In You Tell Me, he depicts the passage of time, his own face serving as the face of a melting clock—Salvador Dali hovers in an upper corner—everything pointing toward evanescence, tempis fugit. Yet the glittering eyes look as cheerful as the eyes in the Yeats poem. Stewart’s masterful dreamscape shows another cheerful woman, a contemporary Nereid maybe, rising from the ocean, with a miniature alligator perched on her head and a butterfly alighting on the alligator’s snout. Mysteriosa is a blue aquatic reverie, intricate as a jeweled Swiss watch, wonderfully timed for viewing when snow has returned to Western New York.

One of the most popular paintings in the show—several people told me it was their favorite—was an unusual, idiosyncratic vision of a bonfire under a full moon. Bridget Bossart van Otterloo created a simple, nearly symmetrical nightscape that looks as bright as noon. This reversible quality of light in Bonfire Moon (above) alone recommends it as a unique achievement. With only four elements—sky, moon, bare trees and a fire that bisects the painting—she builds an image that has the simplicity and power of a logo or ideogram. From a distance, the way the fire shimmies upward toward the sky, it looks briefly like a river reflecting a sunset—giving the whole scene an inverse appearance, a sun dropping through a haze, lighting up the water. Then you realize it’s night and the water is fire and the moon isn’t the sun. What makes it work is that she’s painting in oil, but using silver leaf on board for the sky. The shine of the silver, the way it shifts in value as you move, provides the perceptual hinge for those two opposing impressions of day and night. What ought to be a slightly spooky scene feels infused with intense, radiant energy. The image pulls you closer to the warmth and life of that fire and the ubiquitous light of a full moon.

You’ll find the most amazing merger between keen observation and a simplified uniformity in mark-making in Todd Chalk’s Mysteries of the Seas.  On one level, it’s a landscape of sky and whitewater where the scene is stacked in roughly assembled, interlocking tiers, like field stones in a wall. The eye descends from the streaks of last light in the sky to the horizon of distant mountains, then to the different levels of the river flowing toward the viewer, swirling down and forward. Or . . . it’s a view of the ocean with swells in the foreground, one wave already broken at your feet and the water being sucked back into the sea for the next swell, while what seemed distant mountains are simply promontories of the storm-pushed water seen from far away. The rough weather is done, but the sea still rocks and rolls. The painting also works, at first glance, as a flat study of cool and warm tones applied in flowing marks and watery fault lines that evoke detail and form without specifying anything, a field of continuous color orchestrated like music. Past the age of 90 now, Todd Chalk is at the peak of her powers.

Susan Miller’s Too Long Unseen appears to be a hummock of nondescript soil in some abandoned field, a scene that only an Albrecht Durer could love, and she conveys with amazing skill the lumpy eroded face of this hump of land one would know how to find only with GPS coordinates. The soil sends off prickly quills of vegetation and over the top of the berm she populates the surface with vegetation that looks almost photographic but is achieved by seeming to rely on the way watercolor resolves into squiggly rivulets thanks to the yupo paper. The drawing has a sepia tone that gives it a patina of deep age consistent with the Renaissance-like aura evoked by her Durer-esque exactitude, and yet when you look closely you see how she has executed the drawing with an gestural assurance and spontaneity akin to classic Chinese or Japanese painting. It’s remarkable.

Nearly everyone contributed equally accomplished and interesting work including Bill Stevens, Bill Santelli (from his series of In the Humming Air paintings), Jean Stephens, Daniel Mosner, Kate Timm, Ray Hassard, Chris Baker, Jim Mott, Sari Gaby, Jack Wolsky, Sharon Gordon, Elizabeth Durant, Susan Miller, Phyllis Bruce Ely, Fran Noonan, Jacquie Germanow, Doug Whitfield, Richard Jenks, Ryan Schroeder (a small piece that does remarkable, eerie things with resin), and Amy McLaren. It’s impossible to do justice to every piece, each of which is worth a long look. It’s a fantastic show.

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The pink cape

Mark Tennant

It’s a lovely candid moment, a young woman pausing to study a Manet at the Metropolitan. It’s one among a series of paintings Mark Tennant has done from what could be a field trip of female students milling through the museum. It seems to eschew his typically prurient or declasse subjects, a departure for Tennant whose metier is mostly a dour and slightly Calvinist glare that exposes the seamier precincts of human desire and behavior in depressingly raw terms. His subjects range from streetwalkers, cocktail parties that look like clueless celebrations in the eye of the social hurricane in the 1960s (or in Portland and Seattle, circa 2020), Zsa Zsa Gabor’s driver’s license pic, moments of drunkenness, public making out, many many exposed teenage legs going up and down stairs or posing in a variety of places that make them seem Spring Breakishly available for mischief, and a killer under arrest viewed in Gerhard Richter black-and-white. Most of these are photographically sourced from flash-lit freeze frames, offering him black outlines that push his figures forward. Much of it seems a dark celebration of the despised male gaze skulking at the edge of legality. What a relief to see a well-behaved girl tamed by the greatest of the Impressionists. But wait. Even here, if you try enough search engine queries, it turns out the Manet has a little transgender touch that pulls the knowledgeable viewer out of the comfort zone and into the present: Mademoiselle V in the Costume of an Espada. A young woman as matador, drag king in mid-19th century Paris. In his sly au courant way Tennant has stuck to his program: the notion of normality is a relic. It was on the wane already back then at the birth of modernity, when Manet’s nude enjoyed lunch on the grass with a couple fully dressed men. By contrast, the subject matter is what’s least interesting with Tennant, but it appears to bring him a huge following, a Pamplona stampede of fans if you check his Instagram. I suspect the seedier side of his imaginative home is a decoy. Like that pink cape, it draws you close enough for his brushwork to slay you. Those killer marks recommend him to anyone who paints.

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