We would like to congratulate JD Deardourff for receiving Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowship for 2017-2019.

John David Deardourff is an artist and designer residing in Washington, DC. In 2012 he received a BFA with an emphasis in printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied under Karl Wirsum and Albert Oehlen. JD is interested in the vocabulary of comic book art: exaggeration, energy, movement, contour line, the interplay of sequential images, and, most importantly, artificial color. He collages this imagery into unpredictable, abstract, and bittersweet compositions that are simultaneously optimistic and apocalyptic.

JD has exhibited screen prints, collages, and paintings in Chicago, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC. In 2015 he was a Yaddo Fellow, a Fine AIR at the Strathmore Mansion, and the resident artist at Open Studio DC and not Touchstone Gallery as TFA Fellow 2017-2019. In addition to his personal artwork, JD has worked with commercial clients including Burton Snowboards, Misfit Juicery, RAMP Records, Palette22, and the DC Department of Public Works.

What is a Touchstone Foundation Emerging Artists Fellow?

The Fellowship for Emerging Artists is a project of the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts. Artists living in the DC capital region are eligible to apply if they have not been represented by a commercial gallery in the previous 10 years. The Fellowship is awarded based on artistic merit and the ability of the fellow to benefit by association with the Touchstone Gallery.

Obama Out by Lionel Daniels recipient of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2015-2017)

Founded in 1976, Touchstone Gallery is an artist-owned commercial gallery located in the heart of downtown DC at 901 New York Avenue NW. The Gallery created the independent Touchstone Foundation for the Arts (TFA) in 2012 in order to expand a commitment to community involvement. The Fellowship program has been ongoing since 2014.


– TFA Fellows become full members of Touchstone Gallery for two years, culminating in a solo show at the end of this period.
– The expenses of membership and of the show are paid by the Foundation, a value of over $4500.00.
  Exhibition of at least one work in monthly group shows and least one work in any expanded All-Member Show.
– Bin space for storage of additional 2 pieces which are presented to potential buyers who show interest in a particular artist and up to five pieces in the canvas bins.
– Participation in other exhibition opportunities arranged by the gallery, i.e., exchange shows, off site shows, etc.
– Multiple images represented on gallery website & promotional notebook kept in the gallery
– Publicity in newspapers & online blogs.
– Vote on matters before the membership.
– After two years the Fellow may choose a member category and continue membership in their chosen category. 

– 40% commission on work sold by the gallery, 25% commission on work sold due to gallery referral.
– Gallery staffing one day a month. There is a penalty for missing a gallery staffing assignment without arranging for coverage.
– Serving on one of the active gallery committees.
– Attendance at bimonthly Gallery membership meetings.

Who is Eligible to Apply?
TFA encourages all interested artists in the Washington DC metro area who have not been represented by a commercial gallery in the last 10 years to apply for this two-year Fellowship.

Application Process:
Please check back again end of the year, this year’s application process is closed.

Selection Process:
Applications first reviewed by the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Board of Directors in April.  A small group of finalists will be asked to submit actual artwork and to be interviewed. In May, one or more applicants will be awarded a Touchstone Foundation Fellowship, to begin in July.

For questions about the TFA Artists Fellowship, feel free to email touchstonefoundationdc@gmail.com or call Ksenia Grishkova, the TFA Director, at 202-347-2787.

Carol Moore and Susi Cora recipients of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2016-2018)

“Hands On”: Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Fellows Make their Mark on Touchstone Gallery in 2017

Over in the Meadow by Carol Moore, recipient of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2016-2018)
Plate by Susi Cora, recipient of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2016-2018)

This year the Touchstone Gallery artist members circles includes four Touchstone Foundation for the Arts sponsored Fellowship members, two of whom will solo in June 2017. The four are Lionel Daniels, Susi Cora, Jo Ann Block and Carol Moore. Each is working in a different medium and each is working towards a unique goal. Their work can be seen in each monthly Touchstone exhibit.

Printmaker Carol Moore allows her fascination with the natural world to guide her inspiration, whether it is a tiny plant specimen or an animal that catches her attention. Her current works seeks to elaborate on the origins of the plant and animals as well as the plates used in the printmaking process. As the plate takes a greater role, the divide between the matrix and the printed image is blurred and the evidence of plate characteristics cannot be ignored.

Susi Cora, while working in an entirely different medium, share’s Carol’s observation and attention to the natural world.  Susi’s art practice is currently focused upon abstract ceramic sculpture and she utilize slabs, tablets and totems to communicate stillness and metamorphosis. Surfaces are reminiscent of nature’s processes of accretion and erosion and the textures and patterns are taken from imagery of geologic formations, shorelines modeled by the wind and tides, and lichen-covered fountains.

Wall Installation segment by Jo Ann Block, recipient of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2015-2017)
Lionel Daniels recipient of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2015-2017)

The sculptures are hand built using pressed slab and coiling methods. Surface treatments are highly textural, composed of manipulated layers of clay and slip. A variety of oxides and stains are utilized combined with limited applications of matte and crackle glazes. The work is fired using both conventional and pit firing methods. This way of working aligns with the natural processes of the earth and parallels eons of human experience.

While Susi manipulates clay with her hands, Lionel Daniels only paints with his hands. For him, the brush is the middle man that must be eliminated. A true finger painter, Lionel creates figurative photo expressionist paintings that depict Black Life and the day to day struggles and triumphs of African Americans that still exist today. The purpose of this work is for his audience to honor the ancestor, recognize the message, and spark an internal dialogue within them. Lionel is also exploring the political arena in his current works.

Jo Ann Block is a multimedia artist constructing her works from physical items at hand, large pieced together drawings,  and digital collage fragments joined on the computer. Jo Ann presents autobiographical collages, piecing together her trajectory from growing up queer and her struggle toward emancipation from social stigma. The collages are an amalgam of historical and personal imagery using a range of materials and methods to cut and paste a complex identity.

Jo Ann Block recipient of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2015-2017)

Touchstone Foundation for the Arts (TFA) is proud to sponsor these four gifted artists.  TFA, a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, was created by the artists of Touchstone Gallery to increase their engagement with the community around them and to accept donations to make that possible. Their inaugural project was the creation of the TFA Fellowship for Emerging Artists.

Necessary by Lionel Daniels, recipient of Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowships (2015-2017)

The fellowship is open to Washington area artists and is designed to help emerging artists to develop professionally through a two-year membership in the Touchstone Gallery, mentoring by established artists, participation in gallery group shows, and a culminating solo show at the end of the two-year fellowship period.

The TFA Artist Fellowships are made possibly by the generosity of our friends and supporters.