10th Annual Expressions Portrait Competition

October 2 – 27, 2018

Winners of the competition will be announced during the awards reception on

Saturday, October 13, 2018, 7 to 9 p.m.


Portraiture’s usual objective for any artist is to consider the pursuit of external likeness within formal or conceptual explorations or reject it altogether. The traditional definition of portraiture is: “…a painting, sculpture, or other artistic representation, in which the face and its expression is predominant with the intent to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person.” The works included in this exhibit show a diverse and somewhat unconventional way of representing an individual while still falling into the general definition of portraiture.

Portraits have a strong history as a luxury good, however now they are more pervasive than any time in history. They are readily reproducible and ever-more accessible; photography has played a particularly vital role in the broader reach of portraiture. Most recently, the use of smartphones and the rise of social media have greatly intensified the scope of portraits in the form of snapshots and selfies.

This exhibit attempts to take us away from photography, the everyday accessible selfie to a time when painting, drawing and sculpting a person’s likeness was done over time and with training and skill. 

Competition juror and renowned artist Jill Banks will select the finalists from the many submissions.


Award-winning impressionist Jill Banks really is on a mission to capture life on canvas.  She chooses painting locations where she is most apt to encounter plenty of interesting subjects wandering in and out the scene. She travels everywhere with her easel, setting up in markets, on city sidewalks, in a restaurant or bar, at the farm to paint the animals as they wander around in the field. And when she’s not at her easel, Jill is still observing and taking in the world around her – figuring out ways to express life’s magic through her art.


Awards and rewards have been plentiful since Jill turned to art as a second career in 2003. They include being featured as an Artist to Watch in Southwest Art Magazine July 2017, a Best in Show in the September 2016 BoldBrush Painting Competition (out of 1440+ entries), three Best of Show awards at the Art League, two-time recipient of the Strauss Fellowship Grant from the Arts Council of Fairfax County, and a three-time finalist in the Artists' Magazine's Annual Art Competition.  Expertise.com chose Jill for its list of the Top 9 Painting and Drawing Teachers in the Metro DC area. (She teaches multiple classes over three semesters through the Arts of Great Falls School.) Her paintings have also appeared in American Art Collector, Southwest Art, Fine Art Connoisseur, Elan Magazine (cover art 3 times, 2 feature articles), Art of the West, VivaTysons and the Washington Post.

When Banks is not out and about at a plein air festival or on a painting excursion elsewhere, she can often be found at the Artists’ Atelier, the studio she shares with 10 fellow artists in Great Falls, Virginia.


Congratulations to the following individuals who have had their work chosen to be displayed during this exhibit!

Mark Anderson
Jeanmarie Bates-Wolf
Craig Brodfuehrer
David Calobrisi
Pam Coulter
Christine Dixon
John Duke
CinCin Fang
Elizabeth Floyd
Margriet Grant
Samantha Hand
Roya Honarvar
Vivianna Irizarri
Adam Johnson
Marcia Klioze
Cathleen Lawless
Joyce Lee
Benisse Lester
Michela Mansuino
Caleb Mathews
Kate Miller
Sarah Perez
Patricia Rice
Jennifer Rutherford
Ruth Sievers
Lis Zadravec

By Mook Jae
Calligraphy Style Imagery

August 14th – September 29th
Reception on Saturday, August 18th from 7-9pm

The door opens and closes, opening and closing continuously, just as time passes on. Our forefathers used this door as did their descendants and so I shall open and close the door. Even now I step through the door and know that my children will follow in my footsteps for that is how history is made. History cannot be tamed or contained merely by spoken words. This is why the written word is good. The written word connects the past, the present, and the future. Inhaling all of time, I trace each word with care. History moves my brush into the ink, pouring out inspiration and wisdom. However, time and history mold my letters into images, yet another language so that we may learn.


Calligraphy Reflecting an Artist’s Inner Feelings:

As a child I would watch my elder brothers come home from Chinese literary institution and practice what they had learned. My interest was sparked and I would follow along with what they did. Then I heard of a saying that said that “calligraphy is a mirror of your inner most feelings,” from that point I was inspired to practice calligraphy for wanting of a clean mind that was reflected through my writings.

Within my calligraphy I try to illustrate what sounds I hear. Whether the sounds are small or large or even the noisy chatter of a neighbor. This I accomplish by writing with different sized brushes to create the effect that I want.

Not only do I illustrate the sound of the words I write, but I try to illustrate the word itself. If the word I write is mountain, then I will write the word in a way that it will appear as if it were brush painted to be a mountain rather than a word on its own. Or I will write the word so that it reflects the meaning that it represents.

What I write is a look into my inner feelings, but the words are a new reflection of me on their own. By dipping my brush into the ink and then laying it on paper then to look at what I’ve created, I see a new mirror of me in a different position and sound yet still me. When one can look at what I’ve written and not only see but also hears the words then I know that I have accomplished what I want and that is what I write.

The words I write are not empty words. They carry messages and wisdom. These words could be biblical verses or poems or good news, but all reflecting my thoughts and myself.

I was born in Korea and so I shall carry myself with pride, but my home is in the United States and I too am proud to live in such a country. In Korea I was learned and practiced traditional techniques, but now I experiment with new techniques. I try to bring the good of both my past and present, tradition and contemporary ways so that what I create will truly reflect my life. Sometimes I include English words alongside Korean so that the West may truly meet the East and vice versa.

Peace of mind is hard to obtain even for a moment, but when those moments come, I write what I see. My works are what I see with a clean mind, when there is nothing to dirty or scatter my thoughts. Those rare moments of clarity are the makings of my inner mind. And those thoughts and feelings I present to the world by a stroke of a brush.


Past Exhibits:

05/2016 - Yangsan Art Center, Seoul, Korea
04/2016 - New York Art Expo
03/2016 - KCC Art Gallery, Chicago
10/2014 - Hyangga 'Korean Cultural Center, Washington, DC
10/2013 - "Come On In, The Door is Open" Korean Cultural Center, Washington, DC
03/2012 - National Museum of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
04/2010 - Washington Historical Society, Washington, DC
04/2005 - Seoul Art Center, South Korea



06/2016 - Korean National Art Association Chairman's Award
06/2010 - Smithsonian Folk Life Festival Director's Award
05/2010 - Smithsonian Museum South-East Asian, Pacific Islander's Art's & Craft Director's Award
05/2008 - Governor of Maryland Korean Culture Festival Award.