2022 Trawick Prize Finalists
MK Bailey, Washington, D.C.
MK Bailey creates darkly colorful figurative paintings, digital drawings, and experimental landscapes that reflect her world experiences. She uses acrylic and digital mediums to explore emotional themes between dreams and reality. She recently had her first solo show at IA&A Hillyer in DC – and was awarded the 2021 Art and Humanities Fellowship from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities 2021 and the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Artist-in-Resident in 2020. MK holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Virginia and spent a semester abroad at the University of the Arts London. She’s now co-founder of The Residents Collective providing opportunities for fellow artists.
WonJung Choi, Richmond, VA
WonJung Choi was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. Her series of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and installation explores the power of her every changing identity in the making. She’s studied the process of mutation and evolution undertaken by diverse organisms to adapt to their current surroundings reflecting her hybrid identity through the continuous interactions between herself, contemporary culture, and society. Choi received her MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, the USA, and her BFA and MFA in Sculpture from Hong-Ik University in Seoul, Korea, and teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been exhibited nationally and internationally and awarded residencies at the Museum of Arts and Design and Artists Alliance Inc. (AAI) in New York and a fellowship at Vermont Studio Center.
Marcia Haffmans, Richmond, VA
Marcia Haffmans is a former immigrant and public defender who uses her art to evolve the justice system. She has added art workshops for socially excluded women and created visual dialogues of their incarceration stories. Haffmans was published in Women’s Health Reports 2020 entitled ‘Inside Out: Change Through Art; she’s received the Jerome Fiber Artist’s Project and Minnesota State Arts Board grants, and funded residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (MN). Her work has been exhibited internationally in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and South Korea.
Ali Kaeini, Richmond, VA
Ali Kaeini is a Richmond-based artist who paints, draws, crafts, and sculps. As an Iranian/Persian interdisciplinary artist, he uses his art to reflect the present socio-political differences in Iran compared to the old traditional culture. In 2011, Kaeini received his BFA in painting from the University of Science and Culture, Tehran, and his MA in painting from the Tehran University of Art in 2014. His work has been showcased in solo and group shows throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S., and a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2019. Kaeini is currently a 2023 candidate for an MFA in painting and printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Caryn Martin, Baltimore, MD
Caryn Martin uses the ever-changing atmospheric conditions of landscape as a metaphor for the shifting nature of human emotion, while also reflecting on the tenuous state of the environment. Martin received a BA in Studio Art from University of Maryland, College Park and her MAT and MFA degrees from Maryland Institute College of Art. She has taught color theory, two-dimensional design, and introductory time-based media classes at MICA. Martin has shown her work at Catalyst Contemporary, Creative Alliance, Maryland Art Place, Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College, Anne Arundel Community College, School 33, Institute of Contemporary Art Baltimore, and the Delaplaine Arts Center. In recent years, she has participated in residencies in the Umbria region of Italy and in Halifax, Vermont.
Robert Mertens, Staunton, VA
Robert Mertens is an artist, curator, and educator living in Virginia. His work combines technology, religion, science, and myth while using new media with traditional fiber craft and culminates in performances, installations, and powered sculptures. Mertens has been exhibited at the Bellevue Art Museum, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon Museum of Art, and Scythia Arts Center in Kherson, Ukraine. He’s also received the Virginia Museum of Art Professional Artist Fellowship and directed multiply residencies throughout the US. Currently, he is the director of the Fiber Art Department and an associate faculty member at James Madison University in Virginia.
Evie Metz, Henrico, VA
Evie Metz is an interdisciplinary artist and educator working in sculpture, photography, and puppet stop-motion animation. Her work explores relationships between humans, animals, and nature. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Rhizome in Washington DC in 2021 and NoBudge at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, NY in 2022. Her films have shown at film festivals including the Maryland Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, and Glasgow Short Film Festival. Metz holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Judith Pratt, Orange, VA
Judith Pratt is an American University graduate with an MFA in Painting and a MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from Christie's Education, New York. Her experiences of being born and raised in Central Virginia influence her work connecting identity, place, and history. Her work has been featured locally at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C., Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Va, Arlington Art Center’s Regional Biennial, and Taubman Museum of Art’s Triennial Exhibition in Roanoke, VA. She recently was awarded the 22/23 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Award and the opportunity to have an outdoor sculpture installed at Oxon Hill Manor in Oxon Hill, MD.