OPEN CALLS


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Spotlight Art Series@Touchstone 2019

The Spotlight Art Series@Touchstone is an opportunity for area artists to have a solo exhibition at the Touchstone Gallery. Successful applicants will enjoy a front window 90 sq. ft. wall exhibition space in our street level gallery located in downtown Washington, DC at 901 New York Avenue NW. Artists who aren’t selected for a Spotlight solo exhibition will have the opportunity exhibit one small artwork in 2019 as part of a group show. Date TBA.
Juror: Molly Ruppert, an independent curator, who founded and managed Warehouse Theater and Arts Complex for about two decades. Two artists were selected to be guest artists in 2019.


Spotlight Art Series@Touchstone 2018

The Spotlight Art Series@Touchstone is an opportunity for area artists to have a solo exhibition at the Touchstone Gallery. Successful applicants will enjoy a front window 90 sq. ft. wall exhibition space in our street level gallery located in downtown Washington, DC at 901 New York Avenue NW. Artists who aren’t selected for a Spotlight solo exhibition will have the opportunity exhibit one small artwork in 2018 as part of a group show. Date TBA.
Juror: Paul So, Founder, Hamiltonian Gallery and the Hamiltonian Artists.


“Art of Engagement” National Juried Show

A conversation using the universal language of art about today's important issues and concerns.
August 4 - 24, 2017
Touchstone Gallery, located less than a mile away from The White House and Capitol Hill, presents its second national juried exhibition on the state of the political and social climate. Last year at the height of the presidential election season we focused on Art as Politics. This year our exhibit Art of Engagement reflects artists reacting to the new national reality. Race, women's rights, environmental issues, immigration, refugee crises, possession of power and social media influence are only a few of the topics that inspire the artwork. Artists standing up and speaking out create a critical discussion through the lens of visual scrutiny. We hope this exhibit, using the universal language of art, will engage us all in a conversation about today's important issues and concerns. Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, was invited to jury this exhibition. He selected 70 plus artworks out of the 750 submitted from across the country.

Review: “In the Galleries: The Art of Engagement” Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post, August 11, 2017 As the presidential election loomed a year ago, Touchstone Gallery presented “Art as Politics.” Now, the venue’s “The Art of Engagement” returns to many themes of that exhibition, but in a somewhat grimmer mood. Click for more info!

Review: “From Refugees to Russia, Local Artists Wade into Politically Charged Debates” Brendan L. Smith, The Washington Diplomat, May 30, 2017 “At the Touchstone Gallery in Washington, almost 100 artists from across the United States sharpened their social commentary in ‘Art as Politics,’ a group exhibition held last August before Trump’s surprise defeat of Hillary Clinton. Many pieces lampooned Trump, some depicting him as the anti-Christ or Humpty Dumpty. The exhibition had record-breaking attendance at the artist-owned gallery, said Touchstone Gallery Director Ksenia Grishkova. ‘This is the moment to do something political, and the response was absolutely overwhelming,’ she told The Diplomat. ‘It was much more than I ever anticipated and imagined.’” Click for more info!


“Art as Politics” National Juried Show

Our shared reality of pressing social problems and divisive politics as reflected in the work of 90+ national artists.
August 5 - 25, 2016
Touchstone Gallery’s timely exhibition Art as Politics uncovers the voices of artists from across the nation who want their outlooks to be heard along with the current players in the 2016 election cycle. “The fact that there is a lot riding on this election is the understatement of the century,” says juror Jayme McLellan, Director and Founder of Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC. “And the pressing--perhaps crushing--social problems plaguing the United States are brought to the forefront by the artists in this national juried exhibition at Touchstone called Art as Politics. Gun violence, immigration, border walls, climate change, homelessness, racism, #BlackLivesMatter, rape, women’s rights, net neutrality, the psychology of candidates and elected leaders including Hillary, The Donald, Bernie, Obama, and more– it’s all in here.”

Review: “In the Galleries: Lines Are Clearly Drawn in ‘Art as Politics’” Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post, August 13, 2016 “The numbers look good for Donald Trump in Touchstone Gallery’s powerful show ‘Art as Politics.’ The Republican presidential candidate is portrayed in roughly twice as many pieces as his Democratic rival. But while some of the renderings of Hillary Clinton are flattering — or at least not patently contemptuous — there’s not one positive depiction of Trump.” Click for more info!

Review: “East City Artnotes: Art as Politics at Touchstone Gallery” Eric Hope, East City Art, August 11, 2016
“The front page headlines of The Washington Post have been splashed—artistically—across the walls of the Touchstone Gallery. Art as Politics brings together 126 works from artists across the country in a free-ranging, juried exhibition that seems to touch on every vexing social issue confronting society today.” Click for more info!