Call for Submissions: The Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition

Visual Arts
Organization Memorial Art Gallery (MAG)
Deadline December 31, 2022

The Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition (RFLX), a long-running showcase for artists from western and central New York, returns to the Memorial Art Gallery for its 68th installment during the spring of 2023. On view from April 23 – August 6, 2023, this year’s exhibition is being juried by Molly Donovan, curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Every two years, Rochester’s oldest and longest-running juried exhibition showcases the talents of emerging and established artists from a 27-county region. These artists are eligible for cash awards, among them the $1,500 Memorial Art Gallery Award, selected by the juror; the Alice Koret Award, presented by museum docents; and the Harris Popular Vote Award, selected by visitors during the first two weeks of the exhibition. In 2023, artists are eligible for several cash prizes totaling more than $4,500. The first five will be announced at the members’ opening reception, and the Harris Popular Vote Award will be announced during the run of the exhibition.


Call for submissions

Artists are invited to submit works of art for consideration by juror Molly Donovan, curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, for inclusion in the exhibition. To be considered, artists must be 18 years of age or older and reside in one of these 27 counties: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Genesee, Erie, Livingston, Madison Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming or Yates. Submissions will be accepted from November 16, 2022, through December 31, 2022, at



·        Memorial Art Gallery Award (Award of Excellence); selected by the juror ($1,500)

·        Alice E. Koret/Docent Award, given in memory of Alice E. Koret by Dr. Sidney Koret, friends and family; selected by a MAG docent ($1,000)

·        Gertrude Herdle Moore/Isabel Herdle Award, given by the Gallery Council of the MAG; selected by the juror ($500)

·        Ida and Elmer Louis Award, given in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Louis by their family; selected by the juror ($600)

·        Suressa H. Forbes Memorial Award, given by her daughter, Elizabeth J. Forbes ($500)

·        Harris Popular Vote Award, given in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Manville S. Harris to the artist whose work receives the most votes from visitors during the first two weeks of the exhibition ($500) will be announced on May 10, 2023. The voting starts on the first day of the exhibition and the last day to vote is May 7, 2023.

Sponsored by the Rubens Family Foundation. Funding is also provided by the Sandra G. Dreyfuss Education Endowment Fund, the John D. Greene Endowment for Contemporary Exhibitions, the Thomas and Marion Hawks Memorial Fund, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund, and the Nancy R. Turner Fund for Special Exhibitions.


About the Juror for the 68th RFLX

Molly Donovan is curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, where she has worked since 1993. During her tenure, she has curated international touring exhibitions, including Warhol: Headlines (2012–13), and Rachel Whiteread (2017–19), on which she collaborated with Ann Gallagher at Tate Britain. Recently, Molly co-curated with Kanitra Fletcher and Steve Nelson the Washington presentation of Afro-Atlantic Histories (2022). Molly’s permanent collection exhibitions and acquisitions have reshaped the Gallery’s program to include more works by living artists, particularly women and people of color. Among her many such presentations are: Lynda Benglis (2021), Barbara Kruger: Profiles (2016–17), and Christo and Jeanne Claude in the Vogel Collection (2002). She has initiated several innovative commissions at the Gallery, including Roxy Paine’s Graft (2009), Leo Villareal’s Multiverse (2008), and Andy Goldsworthy’s Roof (2004–05). Molly has written and lectured on many other, including Janine Antoni, María Berrío, Byron Kim, Kimsooja, Teresita Fernandez, Glenn Ligon, Richard Tuttle, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Molly grew up in Buffalo, NY, and she is excited to reconnect with her western New York roots as Juror of the Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition.

History of the exhibition

In March 1914, just five months after opening its doors, the Memorial Art Gallery hosted its first Rochester Art Club (RAC) exhibition; the yearly show had been a fixture of the local art scene for three decades, growing steadily in size and scope. It took its current name in 1938, when it expanded to encompass not just RAC members but also artists living in 19 counties of western New York. More changes were in store. These days, the Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition generally takes place every two years and serves a 27-county area.

One thing hasn’t changed, however: because of the competitive nature of the show, only a small percentage of works submitted are chosen. As a result, the exhibition remains a prestigious showcase for artists in western and central New York. Past award winners, many of whom have gone on to establish national reputations, include Wendell Castle, Albert Paley, Honoré Sharrer, Hans Christensen, Bill Stewart, Graham Marks, and Kathy Calderwood.