Invited Artists

The artists below were juried into our 2023 competition.

Cynthia Bickley Green
Greenville, NC

Cynthia Bickley-Green is an American painter who was part of a cadre of Washington, DC artists active in the late 1960s and 70s. She exhibited her work alongside notable Washington Color School artists Gene Davis, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Ann Truitt, and Alma Thomas. Among her accomplishments, she was a member of the steering committee of the first National Conference of Women in the Visual Arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C. in 1972. Her artwork has been exhibited in over 20 one-person exhibitions; 15 international exhibitions; and 150 national exhibitions. She is the author of Art Elements: Biological, Global, and Interdisciplinary Foundations, 2011.

Bickley-Green holds degrees in art from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from University of Georgia. She also holds a M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. She studied traditional art at La Brera, Milan, Italy, and in the studio of Italian Futurist painter Pippo Rizzo at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. Bickley has taught art for over 30 years at the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University. She has held teaching positions in art and art education at the University of Northern Iowa, Montgomery College in Maryland, and Catholic University.

Artist Website
Lesa Cook
Burkittsville, MD

Lesa Cook grew up in South Carolina and received a BA in Studio Art from U.S.C. in 1987. After moving to the DC suburbs, she continued her fine art studies part-time at: The Maryland Institute College of Art, The Corcoran School of Art, The Art League in Alexandria, VA. and The Shuler School in Baltimore. She was a full time student at The Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy from Oct. 2018 until March 2020, when COVID-19 interrupted her studies. She apprenticed under Brian Booth Craig in Stroudsburg, PA in 2021.

Her work has been shown nationally. She resides in Burkittsville, MD where she paints, sculpts and teaches at The Delaplaine Visual Arts Center in Frederick, MD. She has extensive teaching experience with a variety of student populations. A big believer in the power of art to reach, heal and connect, she has seen firsthand the benefits a creative outlet can provide. She is also a registered copyist at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and considers herself stylistically to be a classical realist, drawing inspiration from the great masters and trying to capture not only the natural form but the emotional reality as well.

Artist Website
Hector Del Campo
Westfield, IN

Born in Tampa, Florida, Hector Del Campo received his MFA in 2004 at the University of South Florida in Tampa and BFA at the Herron School of Art & Design in Indiana. A first-generation Cuban-American, Hector has exhibited extensively and taught across the country. His work is in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States. He has been faculty for over eleven years at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Artist Website
Jennifer Dreyfus
Kensington, MD

Art for me is about capturing the moments in life along the way. As I experience it, our days are a series of ups and downs, waves to be ridden. No moment is like the preceding one or the one to follow. I seek to capture something of that moment - a slice of time - portraying the feeling of that moment in its tranquility, its turbulence or its tension.

Artist Website
Bryan Florentin
Dallas, TX

Bryan Florentin’s work has been exhibited at various venues nationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Something Tangible at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture and On or About the (Uncanny) Double “World” at Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Dallas. As Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Texas at Arlington, Florentin teaches courses in photography, photo history, and the history of LGBTQ art. He holds an M.F.A. in photography from the University of North Texas and a B.A. in art and performance from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Donna Frostick
Henrico, VA

Richmond, Virginia-based artist Donna Frostick uses vibrant acrylic color and curvilinear shapes to transform photographic images into fantastical worlds. Her compositions blend reality and imagination, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in realms that are otherworldly and yet somehow familiar. Frostick holds a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a supporting artist at Artspace Gallery and a resident artist at Crossroads Art Center in Richmond. Her work has been showcased throughout Virginia, as well as regionally.

Artist Website
Richard Greene
Los Angeles, CA

My career as a touring violinist, Bluegrass fiddler, recording artist and educator spanned non-stop from 1960 to 2015. My 4 primary musical goals have always been Expression, Innovation, Technique and Composition. Applying these 4 intentions to photography shows that musical and photographic composition are identical, both depending on the placement of available or imaginary elements. Both begin before the instrument, both start with seeing.

I seek a sense of surprise, something new on the palette, creating more contrast, surreal, darker shadows, brighter highlights. I stay near the border of representational and interpretive, stepping over the line a little, then coming back.

Artist Website
Jeanette Hammerstein
Bloomington, IN

I’m an oil painter and emergency physician working in southern Indiana.  There are a lot of things that come up in my daily life that take time to process.  Paint is my way to work through things and hopefully connect to others.  The world always makes more sense when we are in it together and this connecting is one of the larger things that drives me to create.

Artist Website
Kevin Haran
Oviedo, FL

Kevin Haran has a B.F.A. (Studio Art) and a B.A. (Art History) from the University of Central Florida. He earned a M.F.A. degree in Painting + Drawing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Haran is currently a Professor of art at the School of Visual Arts and Design at The University of Central Florida. His work has been in over 80 national and International juried exhibitions and is in the collections of the Columbus Museum, Fort Wayne Art Museum, Edinburgh College of Art, Army Art Collection, Washington, DC; and the National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Artist Website
Elizabeth Hestick
Fairmont, WV

My roots are deep in Appalachian soil. Born and raised near Wheeling, WV, I now live just off the map in Monongalia County. Ever since being a child, I have loved bold, playful color, the wild green of nature and the texture of all things. Making art, printmaking in particular, is a natural continuation of my creative journey after retiring from a career in landscape architecture.  My works on paper are prints, occasionally with the additions of pen and ink, watercolor pencils, stencils and spray paint.

The story behind my recent series, Water Is Life, of which Drought is a part, is the simple elegance in the motion of water and the human body, while the lack of clean water and a safe environment spells disaster.

Yellow In 4 Parts incorporates movement and vibrancy.  It is an experiment in scale, intended to be full of fun and sunshine

Artist Website
Joyce Jewell
Takoma Park, MD

Joyce Jewell was born in Washington, D. C. and currently resides in Takoma Park, Maryland. She received her A. A. from Montgomery College; B.A. from American University and M.F.A in printmaking from George Washington University. Post graduation, she studied at The Tamarind Institute of Lithography. She taught all forms of printmaking at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Md., and designed printmaking facilities for two fine art buildings. Currently a Professor Emerita, her recent work involves different combinations of printmaking, including woodcut and mixed media monotypes. Her focus is on collecting, combining, and interacting with photographic and drawn images in ways that celebrate our concurrent existence. Her work has been exhibited in many national juried printmaking shows.

Artist Website
Jean Judd
Cushing, WI

Artist Jean M. Judd of Cushing, Wisconsin has been constructing textile artworks for over thirty years incorporating dense hand stitching which gives visual and physical texture to her work. Her work includes pieced artwork using commercial fabrics as well as rust pigmentation and non-traditional dyeing techniques. More recent work has been using whole cloth construction using her hand dyed and painted fabrics and rust pigmentation along with her signature hand stitching. Each piece is unique, and her work can be found in many private art collections in the United States, Canada, Europe, as well as the US Embassy in Lima, Peru and Dhaka, Bangladesh. She exhibits her award-winning artwork nationally in juried fine art exhibitions and is represented by several fine art galleries across the United States. She is the author of several books describing her processes, artistic philosophy, and experience with artist residencies.

Artist Website
Sue Kase
Perryville, MD

Scientist and artist, Sue Kase is inspired by the waterfront landscape and man-made silhouettes of the northern Chesapeake Bay area where the mouth of the Susquehanna River meets the head of the Bay. Her work is a synthesis of ceramic vessel with simple sculptural forms combining wheel thrown and hand-built components with surface experimentation in subtle colors produced by successive oxidation and reduction firings of matt glazes, underglazes, and slips. She studied ceramics at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia PA receiving a BFA., and then unexpectedly began a career as a research scientist receiving a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. Currently, she lives and works in a rural farm homestead surrounded by water, fields, and woods. Her work has recently been exhibited in several regional and national shows.

Penny E. Knobel-Besa
Flintstone, MD

Penny Knobel-Besa is a playwright, director, and producer: as well as an award-winning photographer.  Once named Maryland Photographer of the Year, she has exhibited in Europe and from Maine to Louisiana.  Her work is published in a variety of literary journals, 2019 “Ginseng” literary publication included over 20 photos and more recently she had five cover photos of the literary journal for the Maryland Writers Association, Pen In Hand.  She prefers to capture random moments as she travels and creates art work via her computer.  She enjoys giving private sessions of “The Art of Photography” which includes a scavenger hunt adventure from her Sanctuary Studios in Flintstone that she shares with her artist husband, Hilmar Gottesthal; visitors always welcome.

Artist Website
Prescott Moore Lassman
Washington, DC
Rusty Leffel
Mission Hills, KS

Guns killing kids has kids asking "Am I Next?".  The almost stoical expression here seems to reflect how our children experience the culture of violence we have allowed for them.  With Voting and Protest as means of change, I focus my Street Photography on Signs of Protest in demonstrations, marches, rallies and protests. (for more: - search box: rusty leffel).

Artist Website
Stephen Manger
Frostburg, MD

Stephen Manger is a mixed media artist who lives and works in Frostburg, Maryland. Over the course of his 30-year career, he has amassed an ever-increasing collection of techniques and processes to create amorphous, highly active and abstract images. When possible, he uses recycled materials — paint, fabric, wood — as a matter of thrift and sustainability. Recent works stem from a fascination with physics and cosmology. This motif, of action in general and constituents of motion, can be a stand-in for subatomic particles, the smallest elemental units of everything that is. In art, incomplete knowledge and piecemeal understanding can be useful tools that lead to unanticipated associations and unexpected results — and perhaps even beauty.

Artist Website
Breck Smith
Holly Springs, NC

Breck received his B.A. in Studio Art from Averett College in Danville, Virginia in 1980 and his M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1982.  After graduate school, Breck was on the Exhibit Design staff at the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro.  In 1988, he came to Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina to teach in the Art Department where he is currently employed.  Breck has received several awards for his work including a North Carolina Visual Artist Fellowship in 1990, an Honorable Mention at the 2003 International Juried Show at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts in Summit, and an Honorable Mention in 2022 in a national juried exhibition, The Smalls Art Exhibition at Gallery 46 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Breck and his wife, Stephania have lived in Holly Springs, North Carolina with their dog(s) - currently Cici - since 1993.

Artist Website
Patricia Stockman
Frederick, MD

The field of photography is constantly expanding and changing, redefining itself and breaking off into new branches. Patricia engages in straightforward photography, as well as the digital revolution, to create photographic works that evoke a sense of familiarity with our world, of awe and wonderment from dreams and memories, and of complexity through order and repetition.

Patricia Stockman has been a photographer for over 30 years, and currently resides in Frederick, MD.  She holds a BFA in Two-Dimensional Design and a Master of Arts in Teaching.  She has been a digital arts teacher with Frederick County Public Schools for over 15 years, and served as adjunct faculty at Mount St. Mary’s University. Involved with the arts community, Patricia is a member of TAG/The Artists Gallery, she served on the Board for Artomatic@Frederick for three events, and strives to involve her students in the arts community as well. She calls upon her past experiences as a darkroom technician, portrait photographer, documentary photographer, and teacher, to widen her view of subject matter and techniques in her art. Patricia currently exhibits her work in the greater DMV area.

Kenneth Szmagaj
Harrisonburg, VA
Jessica Teckemeyer
Stillwater, OK
Artist Website
Ting Wang
Stillwater, OK
Don Weaver
Wernersvlle, PA
David Alan Webb
Cumberland, MD

After six decades, David has mostly harmonized the two halves of his mind. One half majored in Mathematics, because it was "easy and fun" and has worked jobs like information analyst. The other half grew up with a piano, makes art, and writes stories. He creates and prays in the western Maryland panhandle and can be found online at the

Artist Website
Laura Sharp Wilson
Salt Lake City, UT

Laura Sharp Wilson is a multimedia artist whose practice is focused on painting, installation, and public art. Wilson’s paintings are distinguished by rendering with acrylic paint and graphite on mulberry paper adhered to a wood panel. Textiles and surface pattern design have long been a huge influence on the artist and are a primary element in her work. 

In 2016 Wilson's terrazzo floor design “Thread, Strand, Rope and Yarn” was installed in the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City. In 2022 Her solo exhibition “From the Dining Room Table” was on display at McKenzie Fine Art in New York. Wilson’s installation “We Don’t Understand” was  included in the Utah Statewide Annual at Ogden Contemporary Arts in Ogden, Utah. "Chiasma," a solo exhibition of new work by the artist was on exhibit this past  summer at Granary Arts in Ephraim, Utah.

Wilson received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.  The artist studied surface pattern design at North Carolina State University and served as an apprentice at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. Wilson received an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 2018 the artist was a resident at the Golden Foundation. Laura is currently part of a master class led by artists Shazia Sikhander and Holly Hughes at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, Colorado. 

Wilson has been teaching art to all ages since 1995, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Duke University, Frostburg State University, Allegany College of Maryland, Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, the Open Classroom and Salt Lake Arts Academy in Salt Lake City.  From 2019 to 2022, Laura was the Artist in Residence at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Wilson is currently the Creative Aging Coordinator at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Artist Website
Douglas Zaruba
Hagerstown, MD

I learned the basic techniques of painting and sculpture at SUNY at Buffalo in the 70’s, but my real education came from working with other artists, like Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, Duayne Hatchett, and John Cage. In 2005 I left the US to live on a remote Caribbean island off the coast of Panama, where I lived alone for over 4 years and finally learned why to paint! My work now is a reflection of my Zen practice, and my quest to paint Solitude and Nothingness, which is, of course, impossible! My paintings are merely postcards from my journey.

Artist Website