Artwork from the annual Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards are on exhibit from now through September 28 at Gallery B, Bethesda. A public opening reception will be held Friday, September 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Oletha DeVane, an artist from Ellicott City, Maryland won $10,000 for the best in show prize during the exhibition’s opening Wednesday. Mojdeh Rezaeipour received $2,000 for second place and Renee Rendine received third place and was awarded $1,000.
Monroe Isenberg was awarded the Young Artist Award and received $1,000.
The eight finalists include Stephanie Benassi, Linden, Va.; Hoesy Corona, Baltimore, Md.; Oletha DeVane, Ellicott City, Md.; Muriel Hasbun, Silver Spring, Md.; Monroe Isenberg, Washington, D.C.; Renee Rendine, Towson, Md.; Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Washington, D.C.; and Anne Clare Rogers, Baltimore, Md.
The exhibit, which includes the work of the ten finalists, will be on display from now through September 28. Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, Bethesda. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12 – 6 p.m.
Oletha Devane’s two pieces, (Henry “Box” Brown and Interwoven) are pictured on the right. Henry “Box” Brown depicts a 19th century slave named Henry Brown, who escaped to freedom at the age of 33 by arranging to have himself mailed in a wooden crate in 1849 from Virginia to Philadelphia. Interwoven is made of wood, oil, paint and fabric and represents the American and Confederate flags.
Oletha DeVane is a multidisciplinary artist who explores diverse political, social identities and cultural interpretations. Her work is in permanent museum collections and she has exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C. She has held artist residencies in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Banff, Canada and Lecce, Italy. DeVane is involved in the Baltimore arts community and has served on the board of Maryland Art Place, School 33 visual arts panels and as vice chairperson of Wide Angle Community Media. She is currently the Director of Tuttle Gallery at McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md. DeVane received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
The judges for the awards included Jonathan Monaghan, Assistant Professor of Digital Art and Studio Art Advisor at Catholic University; Foon Sham, Professor of Sculpture at University of Maryland; and Sue Wrbican, Associate Professor of Photography and Director of Photography Program at George Mason University.