Bethesda Painting Awards Finalists

McCreeshAmy Boone McCreesh, Baltimore, MD

Amy Boone-McCreesh is interested in the connections between aesthetic leanings within economic and cultural status. Amy received her MFA from Towson University in Maryland, and shortly thereafter was awarded a two-year Hamiltonian Artist Fellowship in Washington, D.C. Her work has been included in exhibitions across the country, notably at Victori + Mo and Mixed Greens in New York City; Transmitter Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and Transformer Gallery, Washington D.C. Amy’s large-scale works have been acquired by the Department of State in the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico, Facebook and Capital One. Her work is featured in New American Paintings (issues 106 and 118) and Handmade Life, published by Thames and Hudson. Amy is also a two-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council individual artist award for works on paper, and a previous Bethesda Painting Awards finalist in 2017..


ChewMarybeth Chew, Baltimore, MD

Marybeth Chew is an artist originally from Wilmington, DE and currently based in Baltimore, MD. She received a Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2005 and a Masters in Painting from the Leroy E Hoffberger School of Painting at MICA in 2016. Using film and commercial imagery references, Chew’s work selectively reframes narratives as allusions and paused, cusp of action moments, and remediates pop visuals with classical painting mannerisms. Most recently her work was shown in Exeter Gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Baltimore, and was featured in the 2020 small press art book Evil Is Me by The Place Press, Philadelphia.


KhanKhanh Le, Washington, D.C.

Le graduated with an MFA from Syracuse University in 2008. His work has been exhibited at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, New Jersey; and locally at Corcoran Gallery of Art, Vox Populi, Honfleur Gallery, DC Arts Center, Hillyer Art Space, Transformer, CulturalDC, Pyramid Atlantic, and Arlington Arts Center. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded Lê an Artist Fellowship for the Visual Arts in 2011, and 2015 through 2020. Lê has participated in 17 solo exhibits, was awarded second place in the Bethesda Painting Prize in 2018 and was a 2019 semifinalist of the Sondheim Artscape Prize in Baltimore. Identity is the central theme of Khanh’s work, and examines it through the bits and pieces of personal memory and the collective history from the two cultures.


LewisMegan Lewis, Baltimore, MD

Megan Lewis is a professional multidisciplinary Illustrator, born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She received her BFA in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design. Lewis is a well-regarded member of a thriving art community in Baltimore best known for her Blk Women Period LLC series and other interactive murals throughout the region. She has participated in collaborations with the Baltimore Orioles, Doritos, Target, HBO Max and the US Open. Megan’s work focuses on figurative imagery with a purpose to disconnect her imagination from what society expects her to articulate. She uses her artwork as a vehicle to express personal joys, frustrations and prideful moments in black culture through the lens of an evolving Black Woman. Her exhibitions include Lewis Museum, Eubie Blake, Notre Dame of Maryland University and Creative Alliance.


MarlattMegan Marlatt, Orange, VA

Megan Marlatt was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Research Fellowship to Belgium in 2018, where she studied Belgian carnival culture and painters. She has won a Fellowship in Painting from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Professional Artist Grants from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2013 and 2006, one from the Virginia Commission on the Arts and The New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She has had numerous national and international solo exhibitions and group shows. Since 2013, Marlatt has been the founder and director of the artist collective, “The Big Head Brigade,” a group that builds and performs in large papier-mâché heads. Their work has been presented in New York, Prague and Zurich. She has been a painting professor at the University of Virginia since 1988.


Ponemone21Scott Ponemone, Baltimore, MD

With an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Scott Ponemone focuses his work on exploring people in public spaces and events, metamorphosed pieces of cultural heritage to create entirely new images. Ponemone has exhibited in 23 one-person shows in New York, Washington, Baltimore, Miami, Richmond and Annapolis. Ponemone has received multiple awards, including the Maryland Individual Artist Award, the Maryland State Arts Council in both 1989 and 2019, and others. Ponemone was a finalist for the Bethesda Painting Awards in 2020.


PraybeEdmond Praybe, Arnold, MD

Edmond Praybe’s work addresses the boundaries between formal abstraction, rigorous observation and a purely visual narrative through still life painting. Praybe received his MFA in painting from New York Studio School in 2012. Praybe has exhibited in solo, small group and selected group exhibitions across New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, Mississippi and West Virginia. In 2020, he was published in Painting Choices, Conversations: online interview series, Zeuxis: An Association of Still Life Painters. Praybe has received multiple awards, grants, and residencies such as the Mercedes Matter Award in 2019 and 2020, and Best in Show for the Lowe House Exhibition organized by the Maryland Federation of Art in 2016. Currently, Praybe is an adjunct faculty at Anne Arundel Community College and a teaching artist at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.


SyrellRyan Syrell, Baltimore, MD

Ryan Syrell has an MFA in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Syrell has had over 10 solo exhibitions in the last eight years. Syrell received an Individual Artist Award by the Maryland State Arts Council in 2014 and a VCUarts Graduation Research Grant back in 2016-2017. In addition to being an adjunct instructor of Drawing II and Advanced Drawing at The University of Maryland, Syrell has given talks for University of Minnesota, Studio Time with James Williams and VCU. Syrell’s work depict intimate domestic spaces and landscapes. Presenting constellations of memories - dense networks of actions, thoughts, surfaces and sensations, linked together and amplified.