International Juried Exhibtion of Contemporary Art

August 30 - September 30, 2017

First Saturday Gallery Openings ||| 2 September, 6-9PM

Press Release

JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY proudly presents the 21st Annual NO DEAD ARTISTS International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art. For the 2017 installment of the exhibition, the gallery hosts works by thirteen artists hailing from four continents and eight different states. The exhibition will be on view from 30 August through 30 September 2017, with an Arts District New Orleans’ First Saturday Gallery Opening on 2 September, 6-9 pm.


The NO DEAD ARTISTS exhibition was founded by Jonathan Ferrara in 1995 to give a voice to emerging artists. The exhibition's name is derived from the old adage that artists never achieve success until they are dead. NO DEAD ARTISTS turns that notion on its head and gives emerging artists their first break in the art world. In the 90's, the exhibition was open only to New Orleans-based artists and subsequently grew to include artists of Louisiana. In 2010, the exhibition expanded to become a national juried exhibition open to artists from the entire US, and in 2014 the exhibition went international.


Now in its 21st iteration, the exhibition has been a springboard for numerous artists; leading to national press coverage, recognition, gallery representation and acquisitions by museums and other prominent collections. Each year the gallery invites a panel of renowned arts professionals and collectors to select the newest creative talents for around the world. Past jurors have included Prospect.1 Founder and Curator Dan Cameron, Museum Director Billie Milam Weisman, Collector and Philanthropist Beth Rudin DeWoody, MacArthur Fellow John Scott, Whitney Trustee and Ballroom Marfa Co-founder Fairfax Dorn, NOMA Director Susan Taylor, former Director of the Andy Warhol Museum Eric Shiner, Director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and Founder/Artistic Director of the VOLTA Fair Amanda Coulson, ArtBridge Curator Jordana Zeldin, Collector and MoMA Board Member Lawrence Benenson, CAMH Director Bill Arning, Brooklyn Museum Board member Stephanie Ingrassia, and Collector and Prospect New Orleans Biennial board member Nick Mayor and director/owner of Art Market Productions Max Fishko, Associate Curator at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco Anastasia James, Director of Perez Art Museum Miami and Artistic Director of Prospect.3 Biennial, New Orleans Franklin Sirmans and major collector Lester Marks.

For the 2017 edition, three renowned arts professionals served as the NO DEAD ARTISTS jury :::

HELEN TOOMER (New York, NY) – Co-Founder/ Artistic Director of Stoneleaf Retreat Artist Residency, Former Director of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair and Professor at Sotheby’s New York

BETTINA STIEWE (San Francisco/Bay Area, CA) – Co-Founder of Upstart Modern Art Consulting and Artist Management Firm 

GIA HAMILTON (New Orleans, LA) – Director of Joan Mitchell Center, Independent Curator (Atlanta Biennial 2016)


Of the approximate 2,500 artworks submitted to this jury by over 500 artists worldwide, only thirteen artists were selected to have their work exhibited at JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY.


::: The 21st Annual NO DEAD ARTISTS finalists :::

TONY DAGRADI - New Orleans, LA


NELMARIE DU PREEZ - Pretoria, South Africa

IVY GUILD - San Diego, CA

MARILYN HENRION - New York, New York

RICHARD HRICKO -  Philadelphia, PA

YEHRIM LEE - Cheong Ju, South Korea


VITTORIO OTTAVIANI - Colleferro, Italy

MARET POLZINE  - Minneapolis, MN



DIANA ZIPETO - Lowell, Massachusetts


Comprised of painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, printmaking, mixed-media, installation, ceramics, video and new media, NO DEAD ARTISTS continues to exhibit a great diversity in media yet with a cohesive cross-section of the pulse of Contemporary Art. Presenting over 40 artworks ranging in media, style and purpose from the hand-cut, transpositioned books of New Orleans-based Tony Dagradi to the architectural and landscape painting of second-time finalist, Jennifer Day. Other highlights of the exhibition include South Korean artist Yehrim Lee’s ceramic and mixed media installation that inhabits the center of the main gallery and the socio-political commentary paintings of Italian artist Vittorio Ottaviani. South Africa’s Nelmarie du Preez’s conceptual video pieces in the centre gallery beckon the viewer to search and interpret them.  For the 21st year in a row NO DEAD ARTISTS showcases the lastest trends and talent in contemporary art.


For the grand prize of the exhibition, one of the selected jury winning artists will be awarded a solo exhibition in 2017 at JFG. Previous recipient awardees: Nikki Rosato (2012, Washington D.C.), Marna Shopoff (2014, Indianapolis), Richelle Gribble (Los Angeles, 2015) and Ti-Rock Moore (New Orleans, 2016) not only received the solo show at gallery, but also, have successfully gone on to exhibit in art fairs in New York, Miami, Basel (Switzerland), Leipzig (Germany), San Francisco, Houston and Seattle and other traveling exhibitions worldwide. These artists and the No Dead Artists exhibition have garnered great interest from curators, museums and press. . . Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2017 winner at the close of the exhibition.


For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact the gallery director Matthew Weldon Showman at 504.522.5471 or email matthew@jonathanferraragallery.com. Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@Jonathan Ferrara Gallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags #NoDeadArtists, #NDA2017 and #JonathanFerraraGallery.