Founded in 1976, Touchstone Gallery, located in a modern street-level space in downtown Washington, DC is seeking entries for "America Is ..." a National Juried Show scheduled for August 2 - 29, 2019. Artists are asked to submit artwork that will Explore, Ask and Answer: What is America today? 

- Rachel Adams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE)
- Taylor Bythewood-Porter, Assistant History Curator, California African American Museum (CAAM)
- Jen Mergel, Independent Curator; Vice President, Programs. Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC); Founding Director, Curatorial Network Accelerator of Boston
- Jennifer M. Williams, Public Programs Manager, New Orleans Museum of Art


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CALL FOR ENTRIES   National Juried Show

“America Is ...” Artists Explore, Ask and Answer: What is America today?




  • Rachel Adams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE)
  • Taylor Bythewood-Porter, Assistant History Curator, California African American Museum (CAAM)
  • Jen Mergel, Independent Curator; Vice President, Programs, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC); Founding Director, Curatorial Network Accelerator of Boston
  • Jennifer M. Williams, Public Programs Manager, New Orleans Museum of Art
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-  Open to all artists living and/or working in the United States, 18-years-old and older.

-  All original visual media that is the artist's own concept, design and work.

-  Artwork must fit through a doorway: 31 in. wide x 93 in. tall.  Weight: 50 lbs. maximum for wall-hanging and 100 lbs. maximum for free-standing work.

-  Accepted works must be priced for sale or marked POR (price on request).

AWARDS Four artworks will receive Juror's Best in Show Prize of $250 

ENTRY  Fees: $50 for up to 3 entries/files; artists may submit up to 3 additional entries/files at a cost of $10 per additional entry. Submit one file per piece entered. File types accepted: PDF, DOC, JPG or JPEG images 300 dpi, 2000 pixels on long side, MP3, MOV, WMV, MP4, AVI. Title your files: LastNameFirstName-ArtworkTitle. For example: SmithJohn-Untitled. Entries are accepted via Submittable. 


August 2 - 29, 2019 -- dates of exhibition at Touchstone Gallery, Washington, DC

June 10, 11:59 PM ET -- deadline to apply

June 28 -- notifications of acceptance will be emailed and a list of accepted artworks will be published on Touchstone Gallery’s website at 

July 17 - 28 -- shipped artwork to arrive at the gallery

July 26 - 28 -- hand-delivered artwork to arrive at the gallery

August 2 -- Opening Reception: Friday, August 2, 6 - 8:30 pm

August 29 -- last day of the show

August 30 - 31 -- unsold artwork pickup

September 4 - 6 -- unsold artwork shipped back

NOTIFICATION  All entrants will receive notice via email. The notification of acceptance will include additional exhibition details. Please set your email account to recognize email address. The list of all accepted artworks will be published on Touchstone Gallery’s website

ARTWORK Size: must fit through a doorway: 31 in. width x 93 in. tall. Weight: 50 lbs. maximum for wall-hanging and 100 lbs. maximum for free-standing work. All work must be visibly signed by the artist (front or back) and include edition numbers if applicable (1/1, 2/50, e.g.) for photography and hand-pulled prints. Works must be properly prepared for installation with professional quality wiring on the verso for two-dimensional objects. Works must be wired with D-Rings. Touchstone will not assemble any artwork. Projector/monitor will be provided where possible for accepted video/audio artworks.

SALES Touchstone Gallery is responsible for all sales and will retain a 40% commission.  All artwork will be considered for sale at the price set forth by the artist during the entry submittal process, but Touchstone Gallery reserves the right to negotiate up to a 10% discount if applicable. Our general practice is to release sold artwork to the buyer at the end of the exhibition, unless there are special circumstances that require the buyer to take the artwork at the time of the sale.

SHIPPING / DROP OFF Artists are responsible for shipping their work to and from the exhibit and insuring works while in transit. All packages must include a return shipping label. Shipped artwork must arrive at the gallery on July 17 - 28. The delivery times for hand-delivered artwork are restricted to July 26, 11am-6pm and July 27 - 28, 12-5pm.

COPYRIGHT All submissions must be original work, entirely the work of the entrant, and free from any copyright infringement. No copies or likenesses of other artists’ work is permitted.

USE OF IMAGES Images of accepted works may be used at the sole discretion of Touchstone Gallery for promotional purposes including, but not limited to, the press release, invitation, website and social media. In submitting work for consideration, all entrants give permission to Touchstone to use images of selected works for publicity, education, and reproduction in a catalog if one is produced. Images will include attribution whenever possible. 

LIABILITY All reasonable care will be taken to assure the protection of the art work. However, Touchstone will not be liable for any damage to, or loss of, artwork during shipment, delivery, exhibition, storage or removal. The artist is responsible for insuring his/her own artwork, if desired. Touchstone reserves the right to review all submitted work for compliance with the requirements outlined in the prospectus, and the right to refuse any work that does not comply with those requirements or that is inconsistent with the image of the artwork selected.

AGREEMENT If selected by the juror(s), the artist’s submission of the artwork shall constitute an agreement on the part of the artist to comply with the conditions set forth in this prospectus including the following: I hereby release and discharge the officers of Touchstone Gallery and its representatives and employees from any and all claims occasioned by damage or loss of the artwork while in the possession of the gallery. I understand that if any deviation from the conditions in the prospectus are discovered, Touchstone has the right to remove a selected piece from the exhibition and require the return of any award received by the artist. No work accepted for the exhibition may be withdrawn prior to the close of the exhibition. Removal of artwork prior to the closing will result in penalties assessed by the Board of Directors of Touchstone Gallery. Permission to reproduce an image of accepted artwork for publicity purposes is granted.


Rachel Adams is the newly appointed Chief Curator and Director of Programs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. From 2015 until October 2018, she was the Senior Curator of Exhibitions for the UB Art Galleries in Buffalo, NY. Adams holds an MA in Exhibition and Museum Studies from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her areas of research are varied but include a focus on the crossover between contemporary art and architecture, performance and video and new media practices. Recently, she curated Jillian Mayer: Timeshare, Ernesto Burgos: Implications, the group exhibition Light, Line, Color, Space and co-curated Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective, the first exhibition of Tony Conrad’s work after the artist’s death at the UB Art Galleries with the Albright Knox Art Gallery. Her 2017 exhibition Wanderlust: Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967-2017 a 50-year survey of artists performing in the landscape was awarded grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts with a catalogue by MIT Press. She has worked with artists including Amie Siegel, Ragnar Kjartansson, Kambui Olujimi, Brendan Fernandes, Seher Shah, John Grade, Claire Ashley and Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz. Her writing has been included in exhibition catalogues Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective, Out of Easy ReachProspect.3 New Orleans, and Texas Prize 2012 as well as Afterimage,, Art Papers, Art Practical, Modern Painters, and Texas Architect. She is an alumni of the 2016 ICI Curatorial Intensive in New Orleans and the 2016 Artis Curatorial Research Trip to Israel. She has lectured at MOCAD, The Rose Art Museum, Hallwalls Center for Contemporary Art, as well as PNCA, Texas State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Forthcoming curatorial projects include solo exhibitions with Lui Shtini, Alison O’Daniel, Claudia Wieser and Maya Dunietz and a group exhibition titled People Every Day as a prior response to the upcoming 2020 elections in the United States.

Since 2017, Taylor Bythewood-Porter has served as assistant history curator at California African American Museum (CAAM). During her tenure she has contributed to several exhibitions including Circles and Circuits 1: History and Art of the Chinese Caribbean Diaspora (2017), Lezley Saar: Salon des Refúse (2017), How Sweet the Sound: The History of Gospel Music in Los Angeles (2018), California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848–1865 (2018), Los Angeles Freedom Rally, 1963 (2018), and The Liberator: Chronicling Black Los Angeles, 1900–1914 (2019).  Prior to Bythewood-Porter’s appointment at CAAM she served as president and a founding member of SIA Curates, a curatorial organization run through Sotheby’s Institute of Art at Claremont Graduate University that connects aspiring curators with Claremont's MFA students to develop yearly exhibitions. Bythewood-Porter is also the recipient of the 2018 Travel Scholarship to attend the Association of African American Museums (AAAM) conference and a participant in the Independent Curators International (ICI) Curatorial Intensive New Orleans 2019. She holds a Master of Arts in art business with a concentration in contemporary art from Sotheby's Institute of Art at Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a focus on public relations and journalism and a minor in art history from Monmouth University.

Jen Mergel is Vice President, Programs, of Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC). In the past two decades, Mergel has organized more than 50 exhibitions with contemporary art and artists for museum and academic communities and the public realm. In 2018, Mergel was The Armory Show Curator of Platform and presented fifteen site-responsive artist commissions and installations under the theme The Contingent; in Boston, she organized the citywide public art exhibition Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace. She is now researching the public works of Nancy Spero. From 2010-2017, Mergel served as the Beal Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she was also the Interim Chair of the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. Her presentations included the touring exhibition Permission to be Global/Prácticas Globales; the U.S. museum debut Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom; and Darkness Made Visible: Derek Jarman and Mark Bradford. Previously at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art from 2005-2010, Mergel organized the touring survey exhibitions Tara Donovan and Charles LeDray: workworkworkworkwork and thematic shows including Acting Out: Social Experiments in Video. Prior curatorial projects include those at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy Andover, the Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, and the 2004 Whitney Biennial.  Mergel graduated summa cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University, received her M.A. from Bard’s Center for Curatorial Studies, and is a 2017 Fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership. She is Founding Director of the Curatorial Network Accelerator BOSTON, a co-learning program for curators that fosters citywide partnerships to expand audience and cultural equity.

Jennifer M. Williams is the Public Programs Manager for the New Orleans Museum of Art. She most recently served as the Deputy Director for the Public Experience for Prospect.4.  She received her B.A. in History with a concentration in Art History from Georgia State University. Jennifer has lived in New Orleans for over 10 years after moving from her native Atlanta, GA to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA coordinating projects with the Tulane University Center for Public Service. For 6 years, she served as the Director and Curator of the George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art. As a visual art curator organizing exhibitions & performances, Jennifer is committed to contributing to the cultural and artistic landscape in New Orleans. She supports and serves on a variety of art & community committees and boards including Junebug Productions, the New Orleans Photo Alliance, and the Contemporary Art Center’s John Scott Guild. She has participated and led in a variety of experiences around the world, including facilitating discussion groups at the Clinton Global Initiative-U, the Urban Bush Women Leadership Institute in Brooklyn, NY and the Dak'Art Biennial in Dakar, Senegal.

TOUCHSTONE GALLERY Founded in 1976, Touchstone Gallery is located in a custom-built street-level space at 901 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Since the beginning, Touchstone’s mission has remained unaltered: to enrich the lives of the community through diverse contemporary art exhibitions; to promote a rich variety of art talent in the DC region; to showcase national and international artists whenever possible; and to foster continuing artistic and career growth of its 50 member artists through encouragement and support.
The gallery is centrally located in Washington, DC between the White House and the United States Capitol. Close to the CityCenterDC development, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, this venue is easily accessible by public transportation and a perfect modern backdrop for contemporary art.

QUESTIONS Please email your questions to 

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Touchstone Gallery