Underwritten by TTR | Sotheby's International Realty, The Athenaeum Invitational celebrates the arts of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia in the Athenaeum Gallery in Alexandria, VA. It is a theme-based event featuring the works of both specially-invited artists who have exhibited in the Athenaeum Gallery in the past, as well as works selected through a call for submissions open to anyone living or working in Virginia, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, or Maryland. A $1500 prize for the best work will be awarded to an invited artist, and a $1000 prize will be awarded to an artist from the open call.
Theme: Oh! The joy!
The theme asks artists to reflect on a moment of pure joy. It is inspired by the Lewis and Clark's expedition across the unchartered North American continent to reach the Pacific Ocean. After an arduous, two-year trek, William Lewis crested a hill, saw the vast body of water and cried, "The Ocean in view. Oh! The joy!"
Entries might explore that singular burst of relief and satisfaction after enduring a difficult task, or the magic of being struck by something unexpected and delightful, or the sudden transformation that is experienced in sheer ebullience. It is the ephemeral and evanescent quality of a joyous moment we invite artists to respond to.
In fact, at the moment those words were uttered by Lewis, the expedition was actually facing an estuary of the Columbia River, not the open ocean. This presents another aspect of the theme for artists to consider, whether a moment of joy is 'valid' when it is later learned that the reason or impetus for the emotion was wrong or undeserved.
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Athenaeum Gallery | 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, Va 22314 | 703.548.0035 / nvfaa.org
The Athenaeum Gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 12 to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm. It is closed on holidays. Admission is free.