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MEAM/Salmagundi 2014/2015
International ARC Salon Exhibition

The Art Renewal Center, a 501C3 non-profit educational foundation dedicated to the renewal of traditional training techniques in the visual arts is pleased to present the winners and finalists of the 2014/2015 International ARC Salon Competition. There was an approximate 2,500 entries this year by over 1,050 artists. The works of contemporary realism featured in this upcoming exhibit just returned from a show hosted at the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain. While there, the ARC Salon winners were shown alongside winners from the 2015 Figurativas competition, a prestigious European representational art competition. The combining of these two shows was a historic event for the representational art movement of Post Contemporary Art, and constituted one of the largest collaborative shows on contemporary realism in the Western world. The ARC portion will hang at the Salmagundi Club - Forty-Seven Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003 from January 18th to February 4th, 2016. A complete list of the 75 works on exhibit are below.

ARC will be planning several lectures and educational events during the time the show will be in New York. To see a full list of these events and to sign up, click here.

Some of the below works are available for purchase. For inquires please write kara.ross@artrenewal.org.

To view only works listed for sale, click here.

Salmagundi Club - Forty-Seven Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Absolute Trust
Best in Show
Arantzazu Martinez

This work is available for
purchase, please direct inquires to
Best in Show - Arantzazu Martinez "Absolute Trust - Sleeping Beauty"
51 x 90.5 inches - Oil on Canvas

Arantzazu Martinez attended the Fine Arts University of the Basque Country and the New York Academy of Figurative Art, but it was with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier where she learned drawing and painting following the academic method.

About her work she said the following, "My process of execution is the academic process. The first and most important tasks for me are to make the drawing as complete as possible and to complete the color studies. I always start with simple sketches from my imagination. When I get a composition I like, that is the time when I start to find what I need in reality. I never do the opposite.

I try to gather in my studio as many items as I can and thus enabling me to paint from life as much as possible. Not only is painting from life a great pleasure, the result is also unparalleled. My studio often seems the setting for a theater play. To paint 'Absolute Trust' I had a couple of doves with me and they had a baby. It was a little crazy but really fun and added to the process. We could say that the title 'Absolute Trust' is the backbone of this artwork and also of my life's search for how to represent this emotional state. It is what has guided this painting from the beginning to the end: high energy and deep calm. So we can see her sitting relaxed, asleep and smiling; feeling sure and strong on her throne, dressed in vibrant colors. She is accompanied and guarded by birds who watch and react to the viewer; bursting into the air as the viewer enters her world. I like being part of the scene as a spectator."

Departing Bodies
William Bouguereau Award
and Purchase Award
Nicholas O'Leary
William Bouguereau Award: 'Emotion, Theme and the Figure' and Purchase Award - Nicholas O'Leary "Departing Bodies"
39 x 61 inches - Oil on Canvas

Born in New Zealand in 1986, Nicholas O'Leary has had a passion for painting throughout his life. He moved to Norway in 2009 after he was finished with architecture studies in New Zealand, and was exposed to the European art scene and it's rich history. He became inspired by high quality paintings in almost every town he visited and the long dark winters in Norway provided the perfect opportunity to dive into his passion for painting. Having had no formal art training, he has had a relatively self-driven learning process.

About his work he had the following to say, "I try to directly instill a concept into a beautiful image so that it is instantly identifiable and memorable. I try to create paintings that can be enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and generations and can be described by a simple sentence. I am particularly interested in composition, lighting and atmosphere, and use every opportunity I get to observe or paint in my surrounding mountains and city. There is a lot of visual beauty that goes undocumented in nature due to its transcendent quality, and painting allows one to attempt to transfer the awe one experiences. On the right day in the mountains the mist clings to the landscape and your breath can be seen steaming in the sun. I tried to use this same phenomena in 'Departing Bodies' to give a mountainous feeling of scale and help define the light. When seen in nature these effects are so subtle and beautiful, and to find a way to manipulate this effect is rewarding."

City Blues
Purchase Award
Tina Garrett
Purchase Award - Tina Garrett "City Blues"
24 x 36 inches - Oil

In the few short years since Tina Garrett's introduction to oil she has made an intense study of the Selective Start Method described in Alla Prima by artist and author Richard Schmid and also studied in workshops and/or private lessons with Romel de la Torre, Casey Baugh, Aaron Westerberg, Lisa Gloria and Jeremy Lipking. City Blues was created in the Selective Start Method and is no. 1 in Tina's Vintage est Nouveau series. About the work Garrett said, "Creating an atmosphere that accurately depicts viewing ones own reflection in glass is a key goal in 'City Blues'. Achieving that atmosphere in a believable way was especially challenging for me in the textures of the bodice, feathers and pearls." One of "City Blues" sister paintings, No. 4 in the Vintage est Nouveau series, "String of Pearls" 30 x 40 inches, is a finalist in Figurativas 2015 hosted by the Foundation of the Arts and Artists at the Museum of Modern Art Europe, (MEAM) and will undergo scrutiny from the jury panel in July 2015, to determine if she too will exhibit at the MEAM this autumn. In the course of her serious pursuit of fine art mastery, Tina has gained a growing family of private collectors and commissioned clients throughout the U.S. and U.K.

Second Place Figurative
and Purchase Award
Julio Reyes
Second Place Figurative and Purchase Award - Julio Reyes "Firestarter"
60 x 25 inches - Oil on panel

"I remember in my early teens a wildfire broke out in the hills northeast of Los Angeles. A friend and I snuck past fire crews and cop cars to get a closer look. I guess you could say it was one of those 'coming of age' moments in our young lives. Our hearts raced, as we ascended the hillside in order to reach the flames. There was a great sense of danger, adventure, and anticipation about it - we reached the top to see miles of black scorched earth, pulsing with glowing embers that oddly resembled the city lights we could see below in the distance. It was like something out of the Dante's Divine Comedy - the two of us, quietly watching the steady spread of the flames, and their inevitable destruction.

This motif followed me for years, and only recently did I feel ready enough to paint it. The young man who stood with me is as much at the heart of this painting as anything else. He was a troubled guy, who was capable of great humor and warmth, but also great sorrow, deep anger, and sometimes cruelty. In those days we shared everything, but I'll never forget how perplexed I was by the look of intensity on his face. It was a mixture of awe, cool calm, and wild mischief - part of me felt that he took pleasure in the whole thing, and I've never forgotten that.

To touch the conscience of another human being, is to break the cold indifference of the universe - but people are complex and their inner worlds are often shrouded in mystery."

- Julio Reyes

Purchase Award
Julio Reyes
Purchase Award - Julio Reyes "Tundra"
17 x 24 inches - Charcoal on Paper

"Tundra is a piece about beauty, plain and simple. I love the elegant simplicity of drawing- it's so direct and yet capable of great subtlety. I wanted that same kind of simplicity to work throughout the entire concept, composition, and design for Tundra. I had always envisioned it being the sister piece to another drawing I had done, called, Black Veil. Whereas Black Veil dealt with themes of life and death, in the form of sooty darks and black crow's feathers; Tundra deals with light and illumination. The emerging light falls on soft skin, gently revealing the contours of form, and illuminating the white fur of a rabbit. There is a hush that comes over you when you learn to truly marvel at the human form - the feeling is nothing less than awe. How can I express the joy and frustration of trying to capture a kind of beauty that is in essence unattainable? I feel the same when I stand at the foot of the ocean, as when I'm in front of the human form...'Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.'"

- Julio Reyes

La Fête Sauvage
Purchase Award
Adrienne Stein
Purchase Award - Adrienne Stein "La Fête Sauvage"
24 x 48 inches - Acrylic on Canvas

Adrienne Stein (b. 1986) is an emerging American artist living and working in Pennsylvania. She holds an MFA from Boston University and a BFA Magna Cum Laude, from Laguna College of Art & Design. Adrienne studied under many gifted and influential instructors throughout the Unites States, France, and Italy. Her work forms a bridge to the present, reanimating historical painting genres with fresh insight and imagery. The worlds she paints are inhabited by figures, folklore, archetypes, and natural elements that are fueled by a sense of personal as well as universal myth. Close friends and family members are reinterpreted in lush and magical environments that form the nexus between reality and fantasy, expressed through an unconscious world of symbolic imagery. Adrienne is represented exclusively by RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor, NY.

La Fête Sauvage is a portrait of the artist's sister with her beloved pet rabbit. Two weeks after the artist began this painting, a neighbor's cat killed the rabbit. The imagery in the painting - its raw meat and rotting fruit juxtaposed with the beautiful young woman, rabbit, and lush flora - creates a dynamic tension between life and death. It is both lush and morbid, showing the full cycle and fragility of all that lives.

Unblinding the Seer
Purchase Award
Jason Brady
Purchase Award - Jason Brady "Unblinding the Seer"
19 x 21.5 inches - Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper

"Some say it is impossible to see what truly is. The seer is blinded either by the illusions of the external world or the inner distortions and perceptions of the mind. The end of the blindfold resembles a feather, alluding to the bliss and certain freedoms that blinding ignorance allows for; however, the blindfold also wraps around the arm, suggesting that this same blinding ignorance can also bind and restrict. To not know is both heavenly and hellish. As an artist, Jason Brady blends cryptic symbolism into his charcoal drawings and oil paintings. Shadows and allegories are essential to the artist's work."

Jason Brady studied at the Ani Academy Wachulius, known for its meticulous drawings. He also won First Place in the drawing category in the 2012/2013 ARC Salon at the young age of 23 and now also teaches realistic drawing and painting in the United States.

Magnolia Stroll
ARC Staff Award
Michael Van Zeyl
ARC Staff Award - Michael Van Zeyl "Magnolia Stroll"
24 x 18 inches - Oil on panel

Michael Van Zeyl's most recent work combines the human figure with botanical elements to explore humanities relationship with nature. Van Zeyl's work is appreciated in many public and private collections, such as the United States District Court, University of Chicago, DePaul University School of Law and the Chicago Theological Seminary.

"I am fascinated and challenged by the process of transforming a flat, blank canvas into the illusion of dimensional form, atmosphere and mood. That process is usually well thought out, but sometimes I paint direct and use intuition to complete my idea. Both of these methods present challenges but each way fills the void of the other and opens up the possibility of new visual ideas to meet my objective.

The first spring I spent in my current home I was struck by the beauty of our magnolia tree as it bloomed for a brief but magical week. The following year, the magnolia was blooming again at the same time I was painting a live model in profile in my home studio. Attempting to hold onto their temporal magnificence, I brought some of the delicate white-and-pink blooms into my studio and began to paint studies of them before they inevitably withered.

Since then, I have developed an entire series of figures combined with the botanicals that grow in my yard. The resulting ethereal imagery and compositions are a metaphor for my new connection to nature as well as symbols of new life, mortality and the soul."

After the Party
Purchase Award and
Lessons in Classical Painting Award
Steven Levin
Purchase Award and Lessons in Classical Painting Award
- Steven Levin "After the Party"

40 x 26 inches - Oil on canvas

"This painting depicts three men who have a left a gathering, a party that went far too late. They walk towards home, down a quiet and deserted street. I used a limited color scheme of greys, purples, orange and gold to give the scene an overall sense of warmth and calm. I've chosen the moment the figures pass under a streetlamp so that they are illuminated against the darker sky. They're walking away from the viewer, their faces unseen so that all the expression and narrative of the story is contained in their gestures. I've deliberately used a low horizon to frame the three figures so that every nuance can be clearly seen against the predawn sky. With shirts untucked and disheveled, the figures are intended to look tired. One is putting on his coat. The sweep of his arm is echoed by the telephone wires to his right. The line is continued through the folds of his coat and picked up by the low clouds in the distance that extend across the middle of the picture. The two figures on the left make a kind of tandem, the one pose echoing the other. One gestures as he talks, the other looks at his cell phone. The largeness and symmetry of the figures within the overall design give the scene a monumentality that is a contrasted by the other notations of transience. The billboard on the left, wordless to minimize distraction, is suggestive of the evening's events."

- Steven Levin

Purchase Award
Adam Clague
Purchase Award - Adam Clague "Babysitters"
24 x 18 inches - Oil on linen

Adam Clague received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pensacola Christian College under the mentorship of Brian Jekel. It was during his studies that Adam met his wife and fellow painter, Andrea Orr Clague. The couple now lives near Kansas City, Missouri and enjoy pursuing art together. Adam's goal is to create art that edifies his viewers and directs them upward. He strives to share the beauty he sees and seeks to glorify the Lord through his work and life.

About Babysitters, Clague said the following:

"This scene was a real-life moment I never would have been able to stage. My wife and I had been visiting friends, and all of us were exhausted one day after a long drive. I was considering a nap, when I wandered into our friends' sitting room to find them already dozing. Mommy and Auntie were sound asleep, but our friends' 2-year-old son was held in the fringes of consciousness by a video on Auntie's iPod. Topping off the touching moment was the beautiful, cool window light bathing the trio. I grabbed my gear and set up as quietly as I could. Sooner than I had hoped, the girls stirred, the little guy moved, and rest-time was over. Fortunately, it was not before I had noted some values on my canvas and taken a few photos."

Songs of Sagesse
MEAM Purchase Award
Shane Wolf
MEAM Purchase Award - Shane Wolf "Songs of Sagesse"
24 x 18 inches - Oil on linen

As a Humanist, Shane Wolf aims to communicate the power of his worldview via his drawing and painting. It is Shane's hope that the strength, grace, elegance, power, vulnerability and finesse he sees in humanity—more simply stated, the beauty—be felt and perhaps better understood through his work. As such, Shane works uniquely from life, imagination and knowledge to create the totality of his drawings and paintings.

Academically-trained at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, Shane Wolf uses his classical savoir faire to express a 21st-century aesthetic. The choice of who is depicted in his work is thus of paramount importance. The triptych Songs of Sagesse marks the beginning of Shane's explorations into the marked nobility of mature age.

Norn Fates
Honorable Mention - Imaginative Realism
Julie Bell
Honorable Mention - Imaginative Realism - Julie Bell "Norn Fates"
30 x 30 inches - Oil on artist's board

"At the core of my art is a reverence for the human body. This has been the focus of my attention since I was a child, both in learning to draw and in more scientific studies of the construction and functionality of the body. Throughout my years of art studies, the emphasis of my class work was always drawing the figure, both from life and from photographs. I think that having this as the foundation of my interest in art lends itself nicely to the direction of the fantasy illustration field, the place my art career has its home. Fantasy art, also referred to as Imaginative Realism, is often based on beautiful, even glorified human figures in otherworldly scenes. I have a preference for using the opportunity to incorporate a feeling of movement as well as elements of decoration. Norn Fates was created from this desire.

Referencing Norse Mythology, the characters of the Norn Fates gives a story to the painting. The Norn Fates represent our Past, Present, and Future. The women in the painting, Past and Future, are riding the dragon of the present moment. Truth be told, the imagery came about in an almost dreamlike way, straight from my unconscious. I started the painting before I knew what the story would be. As I painted, carried by that dragon of the present moment, the story unfolded on my canvas. It's a luxury and a pleasure to work as an equal partner with the muse of my dream world."

- Julie Bell

Scorched Wings
Purchase Award and First Place - Figurative
Kamille Corry
Purchase Award and First Place - Figurative - Kamille Corry "Scorched Wings"
26 x 32 inches - Oil on linen over panel

What Ms. Corry has done in Scorched Wings goes well beyond just another nude. She's deftly crafted a fully integrated work of art in which the subject's nudity strongly enhances the emotional thrust and meaning. It suggests an exposed defenselessness, further defined by the title.

Her pose, an inverted echo of the famous painting by Frederick Lord Leighton, Flaming June, and the exquisite handling of the blue and green cloth whose pattern breaks loose from its physical moorings and bursts into circular stars melting in an out with silver and gold give the painting a dreamlike quality and a cool toned symphony of harmonizing color and form.

In the extreme foreground, the figure's sleeping form is rendered life size, and feels constricted by the canvas, further enhancing the emotionality of constrained vulnerability.

About the work the artist said:

"The title, Scorched Wings refers to one who has flown too close to the sun. Her pose is of one who has been subjugated or defeated and reflects the moment when she realizes she was close to her dream but didn't quite achieve it. The choice of the moths are a symbolic reference to Prometheus who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind for human achievement. They symbolize hope and progress in the painting. The blue symbolizes sky, the coppery orange earth and the geometric Penrose Tiling of kites and darts reflect the shape of the moths. This pattern has pentagonal elements which correspond to the Golden Ratio, a proportion found everywhere in nature."

Purchase Award
Orley Ypon
Purchase Award - Orley Ypon "Yolanda"
59.8 x 89.8 inches - Oil on canvas

"My passion with artistic discipline began at a very young age. Through time, simple sketching and drawing matured into a deeper understanding of technique as I sought to reconcile mastery with expression. It was not simply the desire to learn that set in motion a love-affair with the craft, but also a need to express light, feeling, and emotion in the form of stroke and detail. When Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda) hit the Philippines in 2013, the wide-spread devastation left an entire nation in chaos; hundreds of thousands awoke to find themselves homeless, their farmlands ravaged beyond repair and their loved ones missing, fearing they were already left for dead. Two years after the tragedy, the Philippines is still a country in mourning of its lost children, unable to make amends with such a catastrophic incident. Sympathy towards the victims of the calamity spurned me to reflect on the plight of my country and my fellow brethren by letting this be expressed on canvas. I chose to paint Yolanda as not just an illustration of struggle and survival, but also of sorrow and agony. In the painting we find Charon, the ferryman of Hades that charters the waters between the River Styx and Acheron. His boat is barely visible as countless bodies struggle to come aboard. Flesh and muscle pile on top of one another as arms lift brothers from the murky depths below. The subject matter's immortal expressions symbolize and express a distorted rendition of reality, where human feeling is eternal, but the human vessel is merely mortal."

Finalist - Figurative Category
Walter Rane

This work is available for
purchase, please direct inquires to
Finalist - Figurative Category - Walter Rane "Asunder"
40 x 50 inches - Oil on canvas

Walter Rane was born in National City, California on September 8, 1949. He was trained as a book and magazine illustrator at the Art Center College of Design, then in Los Angeles, receiving a BFA in 1973. There he was able to find a faculty and curriculum that focused on realism with an emphasis on the human figure and composition as well as traditional painting techniques. Mr. Rane worked as a free lance illustrator for more than 20 years before turning to more personal subject matter. His paintings most often involve the figure but landscape and still life is also included. Genre painting, often with narrative elements meant to communicate universal questions of life, it's meaning and purpose, are his focus.

Mr. Rane currently lives with his wife, Linda in New York City. They have four sons; Peter, Mark (wife, Katherine, children, Julia, Graham and Jed), Alex (wife, Joelle) and Drew.

He has exhibited extensively in galleries, currently represented by the Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme Connecticut and the Augen Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

Solo Exhibitions have included: Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah; The Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme Ct.; Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City, Utah; Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah; The Stable Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah; The Academy of Art University, San Francisco, Ca; Sailor's Valentine Gallery, Nantucket, Ma.

The painting "Asunder" is inspired by an account in 2 Kings, chapter 2 of the Bible, where the mantle of the prophet Elijah fell on his protege Elisha after Elijah's death. The painting is also meant to communicate feelings of loss, love and devotion as well as inadequacy and doubt.

Chairman's Choice
Candice Bohannon
Chairman's Choice - Candice Bohannon "Daydream"
24 x 35 inches - Oil on Aluminum Panel

"I am continually drawn to painting people who are in moments of personal transformation. If there is an internal expansion underway, a battle unseen, a deeper understanding emerging, then I am absolutely captivated.

In that time of transition, I feel a sense of infinite possibility, an impression that nearly anything could happen, and that our futures are as vast as our imaginings. I saw my young niece going through just such a moment. She was entering that age when the first hard truths of life are revealed, and it made me wish I could delay her growth, and preserve for her the innocence of her childhood - or at the very least, lessen whatever pain or confusion she would inevitably encounter.

With the dawning veracity of these truths, her mind finds sanctuary in creations of the imagination. Those sober eyes are gazing past this moment, this place, and are pouring over a secret world of restful imaginings, and gentle dreams. At that moment, a little of the exuberance of the child was being replaced by the wisdom of an adult, and she was changing before my very eyes."

-Candice Bohannon

Would You Like Some Milk? The Carpathians
Finalist - Figurative Category
Victoria Radionova

This work is available for
purchase, please direct inquires to
Finalist - Figurative Category - Victoria Radionova
"Would You Like Some Milk? The Carpathians"

55.51 x 34.25 inches - Oil on Canvas laid down on board

"The Ukraine has experienced a very difficult year that has greatly reflected on the soul and mental state of many people. I am not an exception. Realistic art is not appreciated in the Ukraine, but there is a world of serious art and through the ARC Competition and the live exhibition I can be a part of it! It is such a joy and such a profound consolation to me. I feel that the only real thing people in this world know about the Ukraine is that there is a war in our land. I would like people to know about our kindness, about Ukrainian hospitality and industriousness.

The Carpathians is a location in the Ukraine that is filled with delicious nature, lots of space and an unusual air. People who live in these mountains are all very kind and hospitable, unified with nature, cherishing their tradition and their relationship with the earth. In big cities, people have forgotten how to be a part of nature, how to feel earth and hear their own land. In the Carpathians, no one rushes anywhere. People will not go to the store to buy food because everything is grown and made with their own hands. Each house has a cellar, and there is always stored vegetables, cheese and meat. Everything is done with love. Almost all families have small plots of land to grow on. Many people work on the land just as their ancestors had worked for centuries, without modern agricultural machinery. It exists as a very old tradition to bring a meal to family members working in the fields all day and my painting captures this moment. An Elderly woman bringing food to her relatives meets a friend with the kind and open face of a simple worker. She is just happy to wish everyone good health, willing to share what she has. For me it was also very important to show light, air, and beautiful nature that reflect the feeling of being in this area of the Ukraine."

-Victoria Radionova

Best Portrait
Sandra Kuck

This work is available for
purchase, please direct inquires to
Best Portrait - Sandra Kuck "Yvonne"
44 x 36 inches - Oil on Canvas

"For 45 years, the majority of my work has been painting children in elaborate scenery in flowing dresses. With this painting, I have taken those elements and applied a classical, fine arts approach to the portrait of a child. So, in some respects this painting fits in with the rest of my work.

This is a portrait of my granddaughter, Yvonne, age 8. Over the years, I observed her porcelain skin, wild Celtic hair and big personality. She is witty, intelligent, and assured. She's an observer, like her grandma. The setting I chose, a dragon screen and Chinese bench, was unlikely for a child's portrait. However, Yvonne, with threatening dragons dancing around her head, looks straight at the viewer with determination and a bit of inquisitiveness. I dressed her in a gown reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelites, who I greatly admire. I will be painting Yvonne many times in the future, because she is an enigma to me.

I was trying to convey the power of this little girl. I wanted the viewer to stop and seriously look at her in the same way one looks at portraits of adult subjects. Children are more knowing than we think. Technically, I wanted the viewer to appreciate the beauty of the fabric's texture, embroidery, and inlaid wood that represents the finest of Chinese culture. And finally, the painting brings two unlikely worlds together: the innocence of a child; and the chaos of the world that surrounds us all. "

-Sandra Kuck

It's Just the Wind
Second Place - Animal Category
Carrie Nygren
Second Place - Animal Category - Carrie Nygren "It's Just the Wind "
40 x 30 inches - Oil on Canvas

Hailing from Nashville with firm Southern roots, Carrie is a Wisconsin-based artist rediscovering her art after the years between garnering a BA in studio art and art history, followed by earning her MFA from Ohio University and setting out to set the art world on fire. All of this while raising and supporting a family along with a menagerie of dogs, cats and horses in tow. Surrounded by art from early childhood, (her father was a wildlife painter and bronze sculptor), Carrie was deeply rooted in drawing and painting in the realist tradition. During college, she studied and was trained in historical painting techniques, which still influence her approach to art today. After many years in the professional world, Carrie has returned to what she knows, the art of painting horses and dogs and finding a balance between contemporary compositions and traditional painting. Balancing draftsmanship with character and capturing light to tell a story, she takes the time to form the nuanced beauty that is the individual in a timeless painting.

About her painting Nygren said, "I like to think of my art as caught moments, that capture a moment of a story in time. It's Just the Wind is a classic example of that moment, when Braveheart, a massively strong, noble, roman-profiled horse, pulled his head up, ears up, eyes on alert, as a gust of wind hit him in the face. Horses, being a flight animal, react with intensity and it was that moment that I chose to depict, capturing his aura and personality. "

Said the Spider to the Fly
First Place - Still Life Category
Greg Hildebrandt

This work is available for
purchase, please direct inquires to
First Place - Still Life Category - Greg Hildebrandt "Said the Spider to the Fly"
43 x 51 inches - Acrylic on Canvas

Greg Hildebrandt has been a professional artist and illustrator for over 50 years. Said the Spider to the Fly is a personal piece reflecting Greg's great respect and love for realism. In the 1980's Greg started a small eclectic collection of toys, dolls, and unique collectibles that had enraptured and entertained him as a child. This feeling of nostalgia grew with each new piece, and soon he had dedicated an entire room of his house to his "Kid Stuff".

One night, Greg was walking by his library, the sun setting through the window. He saw the light bouncing off the floor and illuminating his precious toys. Inspiration struck:

"At that moment I stopped and looked in wonder. Like me, my toys had aged. Their clothes are stained and tattered, their faces cracked. It made me think of the innocence one loses over the years. In childhood these puppets were shiny and new, but over time they changed just like we do. I like the way they have aged. They have more character now than ever."

Said the Spider to the Fly is the second painting in his series called, "Kid Stuff". Greg has 4 pieces in the series and intends to do more.

"I love doing this. I've had a hang-up on puppets since I was a kid. I love how surreal they can be, and now that I"ve started painting them I can't seem to stop!"

Niagara, Psalms 84:11
Honorable Mention - Landscape Category
Thomas Kegler
Honorable Mention - Landscape Category - Thomas Kegler "Niagara, Psalms 84:11"
96 x 30 inches - Oil on Linen on Aluminum

"Niagara, Psalms 84:11 has been my most significant conceptual and technical endeavor to date. The numerous field drawings, paintings and notes that I collected on-sight gained me an almost anatomical understanding of the falls and laid the groundwork for the larger canvas. I chose to show it from below the falls with the flow coming towards the viewer to create a sense of confrontation, submission, and trust. There is a juxtaposition of the power of the cascading water immediately followed by the relatively calm flow at the bottom. Niagara is one of our most visited and exploited natural wonders. The painting is meant to bring awareness, respect, and a sense of stewardship for the power and fragility of God's creations. The large-scale of the work encourages people to physically stand far back to experience the full immensity of the falls, yet you are encouraged to investigate the small nuances such as the birds and cascade details from a very close proximity. A rainbow is always evident at the falls on sunny days. I included this as a spiritual element - representing God's presence, love and covenant with humanity. Every step and brushstroke was recorded in HD - from field studies to the making of the frame. This educational documentary film on the creation of Niagara, Psalms 84:11 is to be released in 2016."
- Thomas Kegler

Psalms 84:11 – "For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right."

Honorable Mention - Animal Category
Anni Crouter
Honorable Mention - Animal Category - Anni Crouter "Spooked"
16 x 21 inches -Watercolor

Born in Chicago, Anni Crouter started painting and drawing before she could read or write. Soon after relocating to Michigan in 1965, this natural ability caught notice by her mother and both her grandmothers, who encouraged her to express herself. The life on a farm in rural Michigan with a father who was a veterinarian lent itself to many aspiring subjects to paint and draw, such as, horses, barn cats, dogs, birds and other wild and domesticated animals. Many of these subjects still remain her favorites to paint. She is currently a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, Artist's for Conservation, National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, Northwest Watercolor Society, Mississippi Watercolor Society, and the American Watercolor Society.

About the painting she had the following to say, "Owls are such magnificent creatures that are usually always present in nature, but are usually unseen as they tend to move about very quietly. I've encountered many owls in the wild on expeditions across the United States. Spooked represents the attentiveness and the mystical nature of the Barred Owl. When I saw this particular owl it was with multiple other Barred Owls, all watching, attentive, quiet, and elegantly poised. This owl in particular reminded me that it was watching my every move. I paint in different mediums, but chose watercolor for this piece because I liked the transparency it provided for the feathers."

Psalms for our Youth
Best Nude
Carla Paine

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Best Nude - Carla Paine "Psalms for our Youth"
54 x 42 inches - Oil on Linen

Carla Louise Paine (b. 1982) American, was educated in the traditions and techniques of classical oil painting in Florence, Italy. There, at the Florence Academy of Art, she completed three years of intense study, graduating in 2010 under the direction of Daniel Graves. Prior to that she studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently living in Washington State, Carla has set up a studio on her small farm property just outside of the state's capitol, Olympia. She has been a participant in numerous exhibitions nation wide and her work can be found both in Europe and in the United States.

About this work, the artist says, "A garden setting stirs our biblical memory and evokes the freedom of adolescence. The young woman extols in her youthfulness, her body moved by the urgency of the moment. At once a celebration of springtide and a lament for the times cherished only with the eyes of age, I developed 'Psalms for Our Youth' as a tribute to the tumultuous and fleeting passions borne of our innocence."

The Uninvited
Western Art Collector Magazine Award
John Buxton
Western Art Collector Magazine Award - John Buxton "The Uninvited"
36 x 18 inches - Oil on Linen

"I am a painter of 18th century historical scenes. My paintings portray the Eastern Woodland Natives, European Settlers, Traders and the Military as they engaged in everyday life. Their lives and interaction shaped a wilderness into what would become the United States of America.

I research all aspects of early dress, habitat and the culture that was prevalent on the Frontier. Through carefully designed composition and realistic color and value, these paintings represent accurate historical perspective and hopefully a worthy aesthetic. Because my images faithfully represent the period, they visually transport viewers back in time for a quick glimpse of our heritage.

This painting, 'The Uninvited', represents a near encounter with two Native cultures. The pictured story is subtle unless you understand that Native Nations were not always friendly with one another. Many tribes of Iroquoian and Algonquian Nations experienced varying degrees of warfare or peaceful acceptance. The hunting grounds or river passage of one group could be off limits to another. Therefore, this bark canoe of Algonquin design, has been secluded until it's occupant can identify the distant group. His flintlock weapon is raised in caution. He is out-numbered and wary. These distant canoes are of a different shape and design. He is not certain if they are friend or foe, but at least they are unaware of his presence for now."

- John Buxton

Second Place - Drawing Category
Rodney O'Dell Davis
Second Place - Drawing Category - Rodney O'Dell Davis "Rue"
10 x 14 inches - Charcoal and White Pastel

Rodney O'Dell Davis followed his passion for fine art to New York City, where he was accepted into the prestigious Grand Central Academy of Art's core-program. After some years diligently studying representational art, he applied to the Ani Art Academy Waichulis, where he met and apprenticed under Anthony Waichulis. Upon completing this challenging and rewarding program, he was offered the position of Head Instructor at Ani Art Academies Thailand. Rodney is represented by Rehs Contemporary Gallery in NYC, and is constantly inspired, invigorated and thankful for the community of talented individuals, whom have leant him support over the years.

Rodney O'Dell Davis' aesthetic could be described as slow, graceful stroll through evocative, melancholic memory, darkly fantastical, haunting, dignified, and sublime.

His influences run the gamut from Baroque art and architecture, 19th century Russian and French academic art, to surrealism and 20th century pop art. He considers himself drawn to any style that has a powerful, visual impact on the viewer. He is consistently galvanized by immersive art, whether classical, neoclassical or modern.

Rodney O'Dell Davis strives to create works that powerfully pull the observer into raw, emotionally charged realties. His desire is that you, the audience, will come away from his work with the same sensation of unearthly rapture that he feels when crafting them.

"The meaning of 'Rue' is regret and sorrow. I wanted to create a piece that would draw the viewer into a scene we all could relate to. At some point in our lives, we as humans have experienced these raw emotions."

- Rodney O'Dell Davis

Dragon Fruit
Best Trompe L'oeil Runner Up
Noah Layne

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Best Trompe L'oeil Runner Up - Noah Layne "Dragon Fruit"
25 x 12 inches - Oil on Linen

Noah Layne is a Canadian-American award winning realist artist based out of his studio in Victoria, BC, Canada. He has shown his work in shows and galleries across North America and has been short listed for Canada's National Portrait Competition, The Kingston Prize, as well as being a Hudson River Fellow in New York. Noah has been painting and drawing since he was very young. He believes in the importance of working from life. Noah is passionate about sharing his knowledge and has been teaching since 2008. He founded the Noah Layne Academy of Realist Art in 2014.

"The beauty of the world and the way light falls and caresses across forms is seductive to me, be it a face, a lemon, or a tree. I try to capture, in my work, some truth of the world as I see it. In my painting, Dragon Fruit, I explore the beauty of the round dragon fruit within the tromp l'oeil setting of the box and background. I see the dragon fruit as fish swimming in the stream of life. They may be free but the string of life, its joys and struggles also catches them. At the same time this string of life is what holds them up and keeps them swimming."

- Noah Layne

The Purity of Imagination and Color
Honorable Mention - Figurative Category
Leslie Adams

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Honorable Mention - Figurative Category - Leslie Adams
"The Purity of Imagination and Color"

40 x 40 inches - Oil on Linen

Leslie Adams is a Signature Status Member of the Portrait Society of America and an internationally recognized artist who specializes in narrative portraiture. Her work has received numerous honors including the prestigious William F. Draper Grand Prize in the Society's International Portrait Competition and inclusion in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Ms. Adams has devoted her entire career to observing, interpreting and portraying the human figure through art. Her arrestingly conceived images capture the essence of her subjects by revealing both the attributes and complexities of their individual character, and the universal transcendent dignity and beauty of life and the human condition.

The Purity of Imagination and Color is a work from her solo exhibition, Leslie Adams, Drawn from Life at the Toledo Museum of Art, which coincided with Manet, Portraying Life. This self-portrait, in addition to being her homage to Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, presents a treasured childhood memory. Here we encounter the unexpected juxtaposition of a young girl in an adult universe. The viewer is transported into a kaleidoscopic crayola-colored world of a 1970's American bar. Sneaking olives from her father' martini, she sits at the bar intently copying provocative Pop art images from cocktail napkins, as though they are Old Master drawings. She pauses and gazes into the mirror, imagining. At that moment, she reminds us, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on" -Shakespeare

This painting was recently a semi-finalist in the BP Portrait Award in London.

Morning Rounds
Honorable Mention - Animal Category
Gayla Salvati

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Honorable Mention - Animal Category - Gayla Salvati "Morning Rounds"
9.5 x 12.5 inches - Graphite

In the small rural town of Perry, Oklahoma, roots run deep for Gayla Salvati. Her work in graphite is taken from right outside her back door and depicts animals that she interacts with every day in their natural environment. With no formal training, her art is inspired not only by where she lives, but by her life and work. Daily interaction with animals has given her the real life appreciation of anatomy and form that can only be gotten with experience.

"My inspiration is right in front of me and I strive to share the nuances and behavior of native wildlife and animals that I find so fascinating. I love finding the wonder in what others may overlook and passing that on to the viewer. This work, Morning Rounds, is a perfect example of that. A buck deer letting all in his path know that this is his territory to control. I am a fortunate witness to him being here in the quiet hours of the morning. My drawing is what tells this story. I show him just as he behaves in nature with his antlers as an extension of the branches as if they really are the same. I love graphite work and I can use the strokes of a pencil to play tricks with the mind of the viewer. Sometimes color only gets in the way. Morning Rounds has been an important piece in my developing art career with awards in international juried art competitions."

- Gayla Salvati

The Scrum
Most Ambitious Runner Up
Christopher Pothier

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Most Ambitious Runner Up - Christopher Pothier "The Scrum"
33 x 60 inches - Oil on Panel

"I have always been fascinated by the behaviors and emotions of people, social dynamics, group dynamics, the human condition. I try to break down these structures, especially when governed by outside elements like capitalism, politics, and environment, into systems and patterns, all imagined, so I can make sense of them for myself. These images are my way of communicating how I see the world around me. I am driven by my need to communicate, my thirst for learning, and my desire to explore. These observations and philosophies manifest themselves in the form of paintings, my life's obsession.

For the painting, The Scrum, I first was imagining a rugby scrum, a part of rugby where the players of each team mash themselves together, trying to feed the ball to their own players. I don't know much about rugby, but the image of those players tied together, pushing into each other, is quite vivid and intriguing. I then imagined if everyone was in business suit, in the same kind of pose, all trying to get this suitcase. Using models, I posed them into the forms you see, a metaphor for capitalism I guess. Men and women alike, all wrestling, grabbing, and clawing, trying to grasp this grail."

- Christopher Pothier

Honorable Mention - Landscape Category
Ken Salaz
Honorable Mention - Landscape Category - Ken Salaz "Forgiveness"
36 x 24 inches - Oil on Linen

"In my painting of Forgiveness, the landscapes, which fill our world and eyes, can be perfect reflections of our inner psychology. This painting was created from studies during a violent storm off the coast of Connecticut. I painted on the shore, almost being blown away myself by the tempest. Just when I was getting ready to pack up and call it quits; the sun broke through the thick clouds and infused the whole world below with light. In many ways, that is the experience of forgiveness, when it comes, or is given, light is shone upon those standing below and the storm that rages in our hearts is quieted.

Regarding my self as an artist I will quote CS Lewis, "The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing...to find the place where all beauty came from."

The pursuit of classical painting has been a passion all my life. It is a great challenge, a beautiful pursuit, and a rewarding gift. No serious pursuit of the craft and artistry of painting can leave a person indifferent to the mysteries and wonderment of the world around us and within us. In an age where the idea of having a noble pursuit is vanishing, I feel it is imperative to the world today and humanity that the creation of artwork strive towards harmony, truth, and beauty, and be brought into existence without apology. I hope these works are as feeding to your mind, heart and soul as they have been to mine during my participation in their creation. May they inspire you to seek your own noble pursuit."

-Ken Salaz

The Fat of the Land
Honorable Mention - Still Life Category
David Cheifetz
Honorable Mention - Still Life Category - David Cheifetz "The Fat Of The Land"
24 x 12 inches - Oil on Panel

David Cheifetz (b.1981) studied at the Schuler School of Fine Arts and transitioned from a career in architecture to full time painting in 2009. He is represented by Gallery 1261, Denver, CO and RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX. David and his family live in Seattle, WA.

"Cream and propane. To me The Fat Of The Land is ultimately about letting go of rigidly held personal dogma, judgments, and reactions. It is about admitting ignorance of the bigger picture and opening the mind to possibilities. We like to label things as either natural or artificial, but this is probably a myopic and self-centered view of the universe. Humans are a tiny part of nature, and by extension everything humanity extracts and creates is also natural. A lucky few of us in modern society are fortunate to have access to many of the rich resources of our world, resources that aren't inherently good or bad. The question is how and why we use them. Hence the black dots on the vines, the 'fruit', they are the neutral blank question marks of potential."

- David Cheifetz

La Baigneuse
Finalist - Figurative Category
Marina Dieul

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Finalist - Figurative Category - Marina Dieul "La Baigneuse"
16 x 16 inches - Oil on Linen

Marina Dieul was born in France. She showed great interest in painting and drawing from an early age, and her family encouraged her vocation. In early 2000, she moved to Montreal, Canada, where she now lives. She has since studied with Tim Stotz and Michelle Tully, former students of Ted Seth Jacobs. Her work has received numerous awards and honors and she has been recognized as an ARC Living Master™. About her work Dieul says, "Being predominately a tonalist and a colorist, the line is not my favorite way to express myself. However, I've always been fascinated by the purity of the line in Jean-August-Dominique Ingres work, and I kept his 'baigneuse' in mind when I decided to paint a portrait of my 9 years old daughter. I chose a tondo format to accentuate the softness of the curves, and I decided to add a blue light to build a sculptural quality to her very fair skin, contrasting with a dark blue background. I kept my secondary light almost as intense as my main light, so I could play with almost no shadows, and keep only a color gradation very close in values to show the volumes."

The Writing of Time
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. Award Winner
Philippe Attie

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Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. Award Winner - Philippe Attie "The Writing of Time"
36 x 54 inches - Oil on Canvas

Philippe Attie was born in Haiti in 1986. He began to paint at a very young age. He learned the technique of painting with acrylic along with a comparative method of pictorial elements with the renowned Haitian painter Ralph Allen.

Later he studied shapes and colors and the development of intuition in his pictorial approach at Richard Barbot's atelier. In his painting titled The Writing of Time, the human body, by its curved posture, shows bones under wrinkled skin like an open book telling us a story. This story is also the story of the artist who patiently and meticulously superimposed layers of paint minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, to create a coherent image out of nothingness. About the work Attie said, "Time has always been for me a source of fascination: it can form, distort and even erase things. My pictorial approach is in search of a meticulous realism and the expression of gestural freedom. Using motifs found in pre-history caves I wanted to make a parallel between the history of man and that of humanity in general which are both shaped by time, a great artist of its own."

Honorable Mention - Still Life Category
Carlo Russo

Honorable Mention - Still Life Category - Carlo Russo "Mortars"
29 x 30 inches - Oil on Canvas

"What attracts me to still life painting is the opportunity to arrange the many beautiful, strange and unique objects that inhabit our world into a composition which gives them a stature or dignity that may not have been noticed. Since I am a collector, by nature it makes sense that still life has become my primary outlet as a painter. The things I like to collect most often end up populating my paintings and become the genesis for a composition or a series of ideas.

It might be said that my favorite stage of a painting is the act of composing the picture. I find this to be a zone of complete creativity that is equally cathartic. I try to leave no detail to chance and take nothing for granted. It's this work behind the scenes that the viewer never gets to see. There are certain technical, aesthetic and spatial considerations that go into composing my pictures, but deep down I know I'm ready to start painting when I look at my arrangement and it sings to me.

In Mortars, the vessels were a compelling set of objects for me as they gave the impression of being strange, oddly shaped spires. I enjoyed paring the texture of their roughly carved wooden surfaces against the softness of the animal pelt. The buffalo horn and various eggs were the final touches to the composition needed to help lead the eye through the picture. Color harmony is arguably the most important factor for me when I set out to start a new painting. The harmonies must be beautiful but simple and the range of values kept to a minimum so the unity and cohesion of the picture can remain intact."

Carlo Russo is represented by Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA.

Texas of the South Pacific
First Place - Landscape Category
Christian Hemme

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First Place - Landscape Category - Christian Hemme "Texas of the South Pacific"
48 x 24 inches - Oil on Linen

"I was twelve years old when I began training under professional artist and illustrator Marit Guild, learning the foundations of representational art. Marit recommended that I continue my education at her Alma Mater, Pensacola Christian College, under the tutelage of renowned artist Brian Jekel. This is exactly what I did, graduating summa cum laude in 2010. I have worked as a studio artist since that time with several association memberships, including the Oil Painters of America, the American Society of Marine Artists, and, most recently, the American Impressionist Society. As an artist working on the Florida Gulf Coast, I am especially drawn to the maritime landscapes inherent to this area: coastal scenes of the bays, inlets, and beaches, as well as the working boats that come into the Port of Pensacola and nearby marinas. The behemoths of the petroleum industry are rather unique subjects; collectors have responded positively to their massive, complex aesthetic. This particular vessel, the Texas, has been in Pensacola several times over the past year for maintenance. The ship is a DP Saturation Diving Vessel that hails from Port Vila, in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu. The painting was inspired by the wonderful color harmony and atmosphere of the scene, coupled with the usual amazing multiplicity of textures and geometric shapes present in industrial maritime subject matter. I sincerely, absolutely love and worship my creator and savior Jesus Christ. Without him, I would not be able to lift brush to canvas or pen to paper, let alone have the ability of cognizant thought."

- Christian Hemme

The Best Part of the Meat
Finalist - Drawing Category
Elena Green
Finalist - Drawing Category - Elena Green "The Best Part of the Meat"
14 x 11 inches - Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper

Australian artist, Elena Green creates drawings with a high-level of illusionistic realism. Her work draws on conceptual ideas that are influenced by imagination, history, myth and narrative. In 2011, she graduated from Curtin University with a BA in art and was the recipient of several scholarships for academic achievement. She won Third Place Drawing Category and a Purchase Award in the Art Renewal Center's 2013/2014 International ARC Salon, and an Honorable mention in the 2014/2015 International ARC Salon. Her work is held in collections in the USA, London and Australia. About this work Green said, "The title for this image, The Best Part of the Meat, refers to a Lakota word 'wasichu' that translates as, 'non-Indian', or 'one that takes the best part of the meat for himself', or 'greedy'. Whilst studying at the Ani Art Academy in Anguilla, on a beautiful island in the Caribbean, I saw a nurturing quality within the community where everything was shared. It resonated on a social and philosophical level for me and upon returning to Australia I was struck by the disconnectedness between people within some communities. The head-piece that is worn by the model (my husband), was created when he was living in New York and touring in a rock band in the 90's. The feathers were gifted to him by the owner of a bird sanctuary in Pennsylvania."

Finding the Gold
Finalist - Imaginative Realism Category
David Michael Bowers

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Finalist - Imaginative Realism Category - David Michael Bowers "Finding the Gold"
24 x 34 inches - Oil on Linen

David Michael Bowers, an ARC Living Master™, graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1979. However, he insists that he is self-educated. His instructors did not provide him the direction and knowledge he was seeking, so Bowers headed to some of the great museums of the world to study the work of the great ones and read numerous books to study their techniques. He remembers being watched closely and sometimes scolded by guards on several occasions because he was getting to close to the paintings. When no one was looking, Bowers armed with a magnifying glass, would study the paintings just inches away to try and un-lock the secrets of the great Old Masters that were not described in any of the materials he read about them.

Always drawn to the human figure, Bowers remembers mystifying his classmates at Key West High School with his ability to draw people from life and from his imagination. Having grown up in Key West, FL, Bowers spent a lot of time swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters off the beaches and under bridges. This experience helped immensely in the creation of the painting titled, "Finding the Gold." This painting is typical of the type of realism that he calls, "Conceptual Realism" or "Realism with an Edge."

After winning many awards as an illustrator and doing covers for TIME Magazine who donated the covers that he completed to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, and after creating covers for Newsweek, Wine Spectator, as well as others, including well over 100 book covers, Bowers decided to leave the illustration business in 2005 to concentrate solely on his fine art paintings. Bowers continues to win awards in this venue as well. His work is in many private collections around the world.

Bowers favorite quote is by Edgar Degas. "Painting is easy if you don’t know how, but very difficult if you do."

Third Place - Figurative Category
Katsu Nakajima

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Third Place - Figurative Category - Katsu Nakajima "Incarnation"
64 x 64 inches - Oil and Gold Leaf on Canvas

Katsu Nakajima is an artist from Japan. He majored in chemical engineering and had no connections with the world of art until he landed a position as an art director after graduation. As an art director, he worked in the advertising industry, during which time he won the silver medal in the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno of the Czech Republic. It wasn't until the age of 50 that he chose to pursue a career in fine arts. He began learning the basics of drawing and started oil painting. The first landscape he painted won an award in a competition in Japan, and he won a series of three more awards that same year which encouraged him to continue.

About Incarnation, Nakajima said the following, "Japanese people have a unique sense of animism for nature which pervades all aspects of our daily lives. It is evident in the respect we have for nature, and we feel it in everything from the mountains to the forests, to spring water, a pebble by the roadside or a single tree. Incarnation, my painting, portrays the changes a person undergoes, triggered by an unidentified internal or external force. The mind and spirit echo off one another, and the balance sways back and forth like a pendulum. This work was inspired by a vision of the fragility of our ability to reason, hanging delicately in the balance and embodying the characteristics of this belief, that nature has a soul."

The painting depicts a woman in a kimono, a tree, which is a symbol of nature, and a crow, which is perhaps lending its voice to the spirits all around. The gold leaf in the background was cut into small pieces, and has been pasted on one at a time, requiring great perseverance.

Finalist - Figurative Category
Anna Wypych
Finalist - Figurative Category - Anna Wypych "Creature"
23.5 x 35.5 inches - Oil on Canvas

The starting point of Anna Wypych's work and also the main theme, is always the human figure, but Anna Wypych goes beyond physicality, as if she wants more to capture the spirit than the body. She explores philosophical questions, for which we do not have time in our quick, busy, everyday life to analyze. She uses her own language of symbols and gestures to seek to understand the place of humanity in the modern world. The people in her paintings are not particular persons, but figures of concepts and ideas, she paints rather portraits of feelings. About her painting Creature, she said, "Sometimes we pretend something is in front of us, and, it is healthy to check what is under our private mask which we wear looking into the mirror. Sometimes it is good to look at that part of ourselves that we do not fully accept, the ugly part of us. When you see your inner monster, what can you do with it? I think that it is impossible to remove it completely, we can only reduce it or change its shape, but the monster deep inside us will always be there. So there are two choices, ignore the monster, or try to tame it, at least a little bit. I took away a bit of the seriousness from my monster." If you look at the shadow being cast on the wall you will see the inner monster.

Anna Wypych graduated Academy of Fine Art in Gdansk, received numerous national awards from the Ministry of Culture, the Marshal of the Pomeranian and the Mayor of Gdansk. Wypych won a Grand Prix in the national contest "Artistic Journey of Hestia 2010" and "Pomeranian Artistic Hope 2011" Gdansk, Poland. Wypych's painting is included to permament collection of The European Museum of Modern Art, MEAM, Barcelona Spain. She presented her works at: "BP Portrait Award 2014", The National Portrait Gallery London, The Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens Sunderland, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth Arts Centre; "Modportrait 2014" Fundation Bantierra, Zaragroza, The MEAM, and "Women Painting Women 2014" Principle Gallery Charleston, USA. Recognized as the ARC Living Master the Art Renewal Center.

A Poison Tree
Staff Award
Katherine Stone

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Staff Award - Katherine Stone "A Poison Tree"
32 x 40 inches - Oil on Panel

A Poison Tree
By William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,—

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Katherine Stone (b. 1986) paints alongside her husband, David Gluck, in their shared studio on Vancouver Island on the western coast of Canada. Her large extended family provides her with enthusiastic models of all ages. In this painting, Paul and Emily, the children of a cousin, are actors in a tableau inspired by William Blake's "A Poison Tree." about the painting Stone says, "'A Poison Tree' was first published in 1794 in a collection titled 'Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.' With its simple diction and cantering rhythm, it seems to modern readers to be suited for a young audience. And yet, its content is sinister. I interpret it as a cautionary tale: be careful about letting resentment and bad feelings take root. Poisonous thoughts are seeds that grow with a life of their own into trees that bear poisonous fruit."

Fleeting Dream
Honorable Mention - Drawing Category
Gordon Hanley

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Honorable Mention - Drawing Category - Gordon Hanley "Fleeting Dream"
20.47 x 28.35 inches - Metalpoint

Gordon Hanley is an Australian artist working in a variety of mediums including drawings in 24ct gold on paper, using prepared grounds of his own design and development. Using continually evolving techniques, he has moved this ancient art form into previously unexplored territory, opening it up to new possibilities.

About the work Hanley said, "Fleeting Dream is about that interval, the space if you will, between an elusive dream and wakefulness as the reality of a new dawn slowly intrudes. The drawing medium is 24ct gold on paper. To those unfamiliar with the medium, metalpoint is simply the art of drawing with a metal wire directly on to a sheet of prepared paper. To make marks on paper with metal, the paper has to be prepared with a special undercoat. Many metals are suitable for use in metalpoint drawings: copper, lead, even gold and platinum, but the most familiar and historically significant drawings were done using a silver wire, termed ":silverpoints".

With a metalpoint, blending is well nigh impossible so what appears to be an inherent difficulty of the medium can sometimes be turned to advantage. The touch required to do a goldpoint has to be very light, yet also be very definite and precise. High key drawings like Fleeting Dream, make the most of this very sensitive medium, particularly in the rendition of light, as it passes over and through the sheets and across the model, giving an ambiance to the picture that would be difficult to achieve in other media."

The Bather
Best Nude Runner Up
Duffy Sheridan

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Best Nude Runner Up - Duffy Sheridan "The Bather"
36 x 60 inches - Oil on Linen

" 'The physical world is the language of the spiritual world.' (Tom Price) I wish for this thought to dominate my artistic perspective so that I might strive to exist in a state of wide-eyed wonder. Like most artists, I have always been fascinated with how the expression of any object is totally controlled by its surrounding environment. This observation allows us to understand to a greater degree how all things serve each other and influence our perception of the world.

Although I have been painting since I was a child and have explored many approaches and genre, I have found that my inspiration is derived from observing the little things, thus my enjoyment comes from painting what I see. I have always been drawn toward the human figure as an object of my art, and notwithstanding the fact that I have been practicing all my life to be able to paint everything, I have discovered that my artistic heart is truly stirred by the subtleness of human expression.

The Bather is an example of how a simple figure is integrated into an environment and becomes illuminated by the play of light through the leaves of the rainforest of Kauai. She is in harmony in this natural setting and the setting is in harmony with her."

- Duffy Sheridan

This is not Graffiti
Finalist - Landscape Category
Ana Schmidt

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Finalist - Landscape Category - Ana Schmidt "This is not Graffiti"
70.9 x 47.2 inches - Acrylic on Canvas

Ana Schmidt is a realistic painter. She presents reality without an obvious style or embellishment; therefore, she uses sketches and paintings from life, and also her own photographs, which she uses as a tool along with color and compositional studies.

Ana Schmidt works as an architect and painter. She was born in Germany and grew up in Saigon, Bangkok and Barcelona. Now she is currently living in Bilbao. She focuses her work on urban landscape, how it appears in our everyday experience, as well as the painting of spaces that normally escape our awareness, the periphery, the fringes, where cities become blurred. She tries to focus our attention on our urban reality.

About her work, Schmidt replied, "Wittgenstein said that the limits of language are the limits of our reality, of our existence. But painting, as a poetic language, creates a kind of vertigo; it exceeds the limits of reality, because it is not reducible to the expression of a code. It escapes the fate of language to silence, allowing ambiguity.

The detailed and realistic representation suggests that painting is about illusion and creates pure images beyond reality.

This is not Graffiti approaches the topic; it allows ambiguity, because it represents a painting about painting, about street art. It represents also a second reality, the reflections of graffiti painted on the wet floor.

The illegality of street art is often linked to its location. When taken off the street and into the gallery, it is art. Graffiti, street art, arouses such a response; because it changes the way we experience the city, the urban space."

Cunning of the Conjurer
Best Trompe L'oeil
Joel Carson Jones
Best Trompe L'oeil - Joel Carson Jones "Cunning of the Conjurer"
15 x 11 inches - Oil

Joel Carson Jones lives, teaches, and paints in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1975. With the work-ethic of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, he embodies a humble appreciation of simplicity, nature, and the friendships his discipline has fostered. Joel has established an international reputation for his Still Life and Trompe L'oeil paintings. In 2008, Joel Carson Jones was granted the title of Living Master™ by the International Art Renewal Center.  Jones completed his undergraduate work at Marywood University, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and also studied abroad in Angers, France. Joel, however, needed to pursue his love of realism, still-life, and trompe l'oeil. He returned, drawn back to the High Renaissance, its history, and the open atelier. In 1999 he completed a two year apprenticeship under the direction of Anthony Waichulis. His vision, his ability to render impeccable clarity that seduces audiences to transcend technical skill, has put him at the center of today's spreading movement - Contemporary Renaissance in the Classical Atelier. His reputation, expertise, and work are sought world-wide. He is represented by Cavalier Galleries.

About this work, Jones said, "Cunning of the Conjurer not only allowed me to delve into my childhood fascination with metaphysics, but also gave me the opportunity to fuse an investigation of youth with a more pressing metaphor: the artist's buoying of gentleness, beauty, and delicacy slightly above dollar bills, the pecuniary responsibilities of adulthood. Trompe l'oeil enables me to create layers of tensions, space, and separations- - youth and age, play and fear. In a culture where speed and change cause stability and durability to implode, distort, and be recast, the artist is the magician, the one who must find transcendent images and compositions in which to embed a message, a feeling, a hope for the future."

The Reaper
First Place - Sculpture Category
Tyson Snow

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First Place- Sculpture Category - Tyson Snow "The Reaper"
14 x 26 x 7 inches - Clay for Bronze

Tyson Snow (b.1977) has always had a passion for fine art and a desire for an outlet where he could create work that was powerful, personal and beautiful. Tyson has worked tirelessly to improve that idea and has since found the pathway to success. Due to a compelling desire to create in different mediums, Snow began sculpting in clay/casting in bronze and painting in oils. His ability has allowed him to find early successes in both of those mediums. Tyson has been accepted into several museum and juried art exhibitions were he has been the recipient of 1st place ribbons, merit awards and purchase awards for his sculpture, paintings and drawings. He has also been selected as a semi-finalist and winner of several public works bronze monuments.

About The Reaper, Snow said, "For centuries religious leaders have used the symbol of The 'Grim' Reaper or Death to strike fear into the people as a method of manipulating and controlling them. If properly understood, death is not something to fear but is peaceful and beautiful. I chose to portray this ancient symbol as a woman. As a woman she represents women in general who have the ability to give new life. Death is a kind of rebirth. She is also calm, powerful, peaceful and comes to all. She does not cause pain, suffering or fear but releases us from them."

-Tyson Snow

The Red Gourd of the Day
Honorable Mention -
Figurative Category
Katsu Nakajima

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Honorable Mention - Figurative Category - Katsu Nakajima
"The Red Gourd of the Day"

64 x 51 inches - Oil and Gold Leaf on Canvas

Katsu Nakajima is an artist from Japan. He majored in chemical engineering and had no connections with the world of art until he landed a position as an art director after graduation. As an art director, he worked in the advertising industry, during which time he won the silver medal in the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno of the Czech Republic. It wasn't until the age of 50 that he chose to pursue a career in fine arts. He began learning the basics of drawing and started oil painting. The first landscape he painted won an award in a competition in Japan, and he won a series of three more awards that same year which encouraged him to continue.

About The Red Gourd, the artist said, "The climbing plant in this painting, Red Gourd of the Day, is a Japanese snake gourd, which entwines itself around other plants and trees as it grows and becomes big. It is unable to grow by itself, only managing to grow big by relying on others. It may appear weak at a glance, but it is actually supple, highly adaptable and even hardy. Although these characteristics cannot easily be anthropomorphized, I feel that it shares many of the traits of human society. Its tangled vines are extremely human-like in nature, and they also symbolize the intertwining of everything in nature. The three elements of the painting, the tree, the red gourd and the person are all interconnected in a subtle way, and bound to one another. The gold leaf in the background portrays the entire universe, while also giving the painting an appearance of being covered in a net. The composition of the painting was made as simple as possible through structural deduction as opposed to addition."

When the Sun Calls My Name
Finalist -
Landscape Category
Ken Salaz

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Finalist - Landscape Category - Ken Salaz "When the Sun Calls My Name"
30 x 24 inches - Oil on Linen

"I spent weeks on the Oregon coast painting the fascinating and quickly changing light conditions in the mists. I felt like a stranger in a strange world - the landscape was all so foreign, powerful, and raw. The light was potent, ever changing and it washed over me like a wave of mystery every evening as the sun descended into the ocean. One day, after working tirelessly for an extended period of time, something shifted, and it was as if the light from the sun illuminated the colors of my palette and extended the solutions to me. I was no longer painting with oils, it seemed I was lifting bits of light off the palette and placing them delicately on the canvas. The pursuit of classical painting has been a passion all my life. It is a great challenge and a beautiful pursuit. No serious pursuit of the craft and artistry of painting can leave a person indifferent to the mysteries and wonderment of the world around us and within us. I feel it is imperative to the world today and humanity that the creation of artwork strives towards harmony, truth, and beauty, to be brought into existence without apology. Regarding my self as an artist, I would like to quote C.S. Lewis. 'The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing...to find the place where all beauty came from.' "

- Ken Salaz

Honorable Mention -
Landscape Category
George Bodine

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Honorable Mention - Landscape Category - George Bodine "Adrift"
30 x 40 inches - Oil

George Bodine paints landscapes, cityscapes, and people. Recently, he has been travelling extensively in Europe, and his paintings reflect his unique vision here and abroad. He paints almost exclusively in oils, many of which are from small, niche manufacturers. George often hand stretches Belgian linen sized with rabbit skin glue and primed with white lead, techniques dating from the 16th century.

He had never had an art lesson, and his distinct vision, coupled with careful, proven techniques, ensure that his work will be permanent and able to be handed down within families or collections over centuries. Bodine's goal is to produce work that will transcend time. His subject matter, and especially style or ""voice" in painting, is unique. His varied subjects keep him from being labeled as coming from one type or genre of painting. Consequently, his work is owned by diverse collectors varying from a U.S. Senator, a contemporary Art Museum, and a U.S. Embassy, in addition to hundreds of collectors in the U.S. and Europe. He will often work on a series of paintings, only to stop suddenly, sometimes never to return to the subject again. Although George has been reclusive by nature in associating with living artists and organizations, recently he was accepted into the Oil Painters of America. Additionally, he has held 10 consecutive one-man shows, almost all of which have sold out.

Flight: Homage to Da Vinci
Staff Award
Maureen Thompson

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Staff Award - Maureen Thompson "Flight: Homage to Da Vinci"
28 x 22 inches - Oil on board

"Throughout my career I have been privileged to study with many great artists. I studied Mural Painting, Figure Painting & Drawing with Ted Seth Jacobs in France and at the Art Students League in New York City. I studied Portrait and Figure painting with Daniel Greene in North Salem, and the Art Students League in New York City. I studied Classical Realist Painting with Michael Aviano at The New York Academy and at his private studio in New York City. I am presently working on a series of paintings that I call biographical still lives. Using this approach, I combine my love of painting with my interest in biographies. In these paintings I present objects that represent the passions and experience in the person's life. I enjoy researching a person, reading everything I can find and then going on a treasure hunt for those precious objects.

Flight: Homage to Da Vinci, focuses on Leonardo's fascination with how birds fly and his studies of flying machines. In this painting I have represented Leonardo's aerial screw, a helical structure covered with linen cloth, a device that was designed to compress air to obtain flight. His sketches illustrate an aircraft that was 15 feet in diameter and was to be powered by four men that stood on a central platform. The falling feathers, represent a story of how he would buy caged birds at the market and release them, then take notes and make sketches of their flight. In the background is placed a leather-bound notebook, a constant companion, and further to the left, in the shadows, an empty birdcage. I tried to imagine his studio with the natural light from a high window illuminating his worktable filled with inventions, sketches and thoughts. My favorite Leonardo Da Vinci quote is, 'The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.'

The oil painting is done on a gesso prepared Masonite panel. It is in a custom hand carved gold leaf guilded, Renaissance style frame."

- Maureen Thompson

Listen to Myself
Finalist -
Figurative Category
Hsin-Yao Tseng

Finalist - Figurative Category - Hsin-Yao Tseng "Listen to Myself"
16 x 16 inches - Oil on panel

Hsin-Yao Tseng, was born in Taipei Taiwan in 1986. He received both B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Fine Art Painting from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Hsin-Yao, having already developed a signature style, has had his work recognized by the major art magazines of today, as well as by an unprecedented number of highly prestigious galleries. This is remarkable especially in his young age. He paints in a Romantic, expressive manner that honors the Western tradition while signaling an edgy, contemporary complexity. He has a curiosity and energy that propel him toward experimentation and innovation; accordingly, he works in a range of genres: from lush evocations of San Francisco and other cities to expressive portraits and finally to lustrous interiors in which multiple figures enact a story. While his technical mastery is superb it is never arid or facile. Hsin-Yao's prose testifies to the fact that he is ambitious in the best sense; he is eager to push his art beyond what's immediate and popular towards the timeless and real.

"Listen to Myself is one of the very first pieces I did for my new body of work called: Disconnect. It's depicting the nowadays-modern living style with itsdynamic relationship between today's society and all the technology and the social media that surround us. We all know that people are checking their smart phones and ipad almost every minute now...answering emails, replying to texts, checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and it seems like we have everything in control, when in fact, those modern electronic devices have control over us. The girl with a headphone on is being contrasted with the busy city lights and traffic, showing how lonely and isolated we all are, how lost in fact we are without communicating with real people."

-Hsin-Yao Tseng

The Spectacle
Finalist -
Still Life Category
Joke Frima

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Finalist - Still Life Category - Joke Frima "The Spectacle"
21.65 x 27.56 inches - Oil on linen

"I had very good classical training in Florence at Studio Simi 1976-1984. After so many years drawing and painting from life models in the studio, I was hungry for the outside and for nature. The vegetation world attracts me. I am looking for form, voluminous fruits and big leaves. Plants for me represent life, youth, maturity and decadence; all present at the same time, like in a poem.

The Spectacle was in my own vegetable garden. The butternuts swell up to enormous proportions through the wet summer. I used the very low perspective to make the viewer enter the picture. I placed the grasshopper in the front row, so we can look at the spectacle with him.After my Florence years with like-minded artists, the coexistence with the artists back in Holland was hard. In order to continue my own painting I needed to hide and create my work in solitude. Now I am so happy with the window on the world that the Internet is offering. I can find like-minded people again. I find artists all over the world that appreciate a well made painting or sculpture and I can see their work too. That's why I am extremely happy to participate with my painting The Spectacle in the live travelling exhibition of the MEAM and Art Renewal in Barcelona and New York. I am especially looking forward to seeing other artists' works in the flesh."

- Joke Frima

Winter Self Portrait
Third Place - Drawing Category
Kamille Corry
Third Place - Drawing Category - Kamille Corry "Winter Self Portrait"
18 x 26 inches - Charcoal, Pencil, Pigment on Toned Paper

Trained in Florence, Italy and North Carolina with D. Jeffrey Mims, Kamille Corry is a contemporary realist painter based in Salt Lake City. She spends part of the year in Italy. She founded and directed The Corry Studio of Figurative Art from 2002 - 2012. She has taught intensive drawing and painting for over 19 years. Her work is primarily figurative, inspired by the patterns in nature and the human psyche.

About her drawing, Winter Self Portrait, Corry said the following; "This drawing was done during a period when I was reconsidering everything I was doing in my life, including my work. It reflects the world and circumstances around me (the landscape) that was in a state of change and turbulence (twilight and the wind). I was the instigator of this change, and yet suspended in limbo, feeling I had no control, or direction. The gilded maple seed pod represents potential, yet it is barely being held onto by the tightly clasped hands. The gold pigment in the sky is symbolic of the future and also the beauty of what has been. The direct gaze to the viewer is an attempt to understand the deepest parts of the self.

The human figure, in all its infinite beauty of rhythm, expressiveness, anatomical structure and design, is inexorably infused with the most complex of all the features: the individual soul."
-Kamille Corry

You and Me
Honorable Mention - Animal Category
Julie Bell

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Honorable Mention - Animal Category - Julie Bell "You and Me "
36 x 48 inches - Oil on Wood

"In 1999, I was given an assignment by TOR Books to paint several book cover illustrations that prominently featured wolves and jaguars. At the time, although I had always loved animals, I didn't know how much I would come to love painting them. These initial assignments ignited a new direction in my art: a breakthrough in exploration and understanding of how I could use my art to express what was important to me as a human being.

The deep observation that is necessary for me to paint my animal subjects always causes me to feel a connection with them. This feeling is so powerful and so good that it is literally addictive and watching groups of animals bonding with each other is even more so. I came to realize that this connection I was feeling with them was taking place in the part of my brain that is practically identical to theirs: the emotional mammalian brain that pre-exists the higher thinking part that makes us human. The very fact that a large part of our brain is all about emotion and communication is proof that connection with others is a vital part of our survival. People have told me that when they look at my animal paintings, they feel like they are 'one of them'. They can truly identify.

The tender but solid bond of these two lions in You and Me reminds me of myself and the love of my life, my husband, Boris; but also, in the more universal sense, You and Me represents you, the viewer, and me, the artist. I'm communicating with you on a subconscious level because we are this."
- Julie Bell

Honorable Mention -
Imaginative Realism Category
Giuseppe Guindani

Honorable Mention - Imaginative Realism Category - Giuseppe Guindani
"Mooncalf "

47.2 x 66.9 inches - Oil on Linen

"Each of my pieces revolves around an elusive fragment of narrative, suggested by literature, nature, or simple life experiences. The whole effort of creating the painting is aimed at capturing this vision and eventually presenting it to the viewer in the form of a theatrical scene, inhabited by both human actors (sometimes faceless, sometimes wearing masks that I create) and elements of nature. It becomes an illusion within the illusion.

Mooncalf is inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest, and the word is one of the (mostly derogatory) epithets used to address the character of Caliban. I've never attempted to directly portray this character, but Caliban, with his primitive, innocent amorality, has inspired several of my works. The figure in Mooncalf is confined to the top of his fragile stilts but, as a result, he is suspended in mid-air, between the ideal and the real. Mooncalf, like Caliban, is at once the untarnished heir of the island as well as the subdued, debauched fish he's been made into by others."
- Giuseppe Guindani

Sustainability - Triptych
Honorable Mention - Imaginative Realism Category
Janne Jääskeläinen

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Honorable Mention - Imaginative Realism Category
- Janne Jääskeläinen "Sustainability - Triptych"

138 x 55 inches - Oil on Canvas

Janne Jääskeläinen grew up in Espoo, Finland. Throughout his youth he had a passion for realism in the visual arts and experimented in various media ranging from traditional drawing to digital animation. In 2007 he moved to Florence, Italy, to study traditional skills in oil painting and sculpture. Janne continues to live in Florence, painting and sculpting in his studio and working as the Florence Academy of Art's director of anatomy as well as a principal instructor at the school.

"The triptych Sustainability is a representation of mankind's relationship to the environment ignited by the growing amount of concern we have about the state of the planet. The panels depict a timeline: The left panel, 'Past', shows the effects of the industrial revolution on the environment and the right panel, 'Future', portrays the responsibility we have to hand over the safe-keeping of the environment to the next generation. The main panel, in the middle, is 'Choice' and it is meant as a metaphor for the present moment. It speaks to our current state of confusion surrounding all the environmental issues, the work needed to be done in order to address these issues and our personal choice, as individuals, as to whether we will partake in the process of building a better future for us, our children and the environment."
-Janne Jääskeläinen

Shared Happiness
Finalist - Figurative Category
Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez

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Finalist - Figurative Category - Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez
"Shared Happiness"

43.3125 x 19.6875 inches - Oil on Belgian Linen

Aurelio Rodríguez López is a Spanish self-taught artist. He has won national and international awards, such as the 1st International Biennial of Pastel Painting, ASPAS, Spain, 2011 and the International Pastel Salon of Perigord, France, 2013, and two honorable mentions in the international contest "ModPortrait" in 2013 and 2014.

His portrait Lascelle was selected for the BP Portrait Award 2012 and his life-size portrait of the bullfighter El Juli is hung on the walls of Malaga's Centro del Arte de la Tauromaquia Museum. His portraits are in private collections in more than 50 countries, including those of royal families and celebrities, though he is known for other subjects as well.

About his work he says: "When I have made up my mind about a subject and a composition, my goal is to communicate through strong images. I achieve this final result by the use of heightened technique, light, color and detail. Often, I use these elements only as a vehicle to transmit a feeling, a memory or an emotion. That is what is important.

The painting Shared Happiness is a reminiscence of a most impressive and instructive trip through Kenya and Tanzania, where I had the chance to know and interact with the native people. When I first started taking the photographs of this little girl, she began by showing me her shyness, then her joy and finally her ability to share and trust. It was a wonderful and unforgettable moment when she saw the image of herself for the first time in the display window of my camera. And that is the reason why I titled this painting Shared Happiness."

Lessons in Classical Painting Publication Award
Tadashi Kashiwada

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Lessons in Classical Painting Publication Award - Tadashi Kashiwada

12.5 x 16.1 inches - Oil on Canvas

"I have liked western classical paintings ever since my teens, especially paintings from the 16th through 19th centuries. Every time masterpieces by great painters such as Tiziano, Caravaggio, Frans Hals, Velázquez, Rembrandt, or Vermeer came to Osaka, Japan, I went to see them and I was deeply impressed and excited. When I lived in England (1996-1999), I don't know how many times I visited the National Gallery in London. I would like my work to be part of a long and living tradition of figurative art which originated in the western world. Enjoying the depth of oil painting, I want to create my own unique strokes and texture. The world I want to paint is a world which has some relation to "the real world" but at the same time cannot exist anywhere but on the canvases I paint. My hope is to express potent fragments or abstractions of reality, which I catch here and there from the contemporary world by simply being alive and exposed to society.

Fugitive is a small painting, but I wanted it to have emotional force. When I was painting it, I wasn't trying to do anything technically innovative, but my goal was to create a composition in a way that would amplify the feelings expressed on the model's face. Each person can interpret it their own way depending on their personal experience."
-Tadashi Kashiwada

Iceberg VIII
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. Award Finalist
Francois Chartier

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Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. Award Finalist - Francois Chartier "Iceberg VIII"
24 x 24 inches - Oil on Canvas

"After evolving in the advertising world for over 25 years as an art director and an illustrator I felt the need to pursue in greater depth my own artistic journey. Painting was the logical direction, as my experience, personal taste, longings and training had prepared me for this path.

Since realism has always been of tremendous interest to me it was natural that this was the direction my art should take. Although my paintings are realistic, my goal is to create, through the layering of mediums, the illusion of depth and a sense of a presence beyond what is found in photographs.

My choice of subject is usually dictated by the rhythm, shape, color, light and shadow I obtain by staging objects, flowers or people together. I am drawn to painting large scale works where my subjects, always painted bigger than life, are given room to seize the viewer. Then, as the viewer becomes involved in the painting, life's smaller details are revealed in their beauty and simplicity.

My work has been presented in Galleries throughout Canada, United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Mexico.

Many of my paintings belong to both corporate and private collections throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Chile and Europe."
- Francois Chartier

Of Earth, Heaven, and Sea
First Place - Drawing Category
Victoria Steel
First Place - Drawing Category - Victoria Steel -"Of Earth, Heaven, and Sea"
17 x 11 inches - Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper

"I was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's original tale of The Little Mermaid. Most know the story to have a happy ending. However, in the classic tale, the heroine realizes that by the end of her allotted time on earth, she cannot get the prince to fall in love with her. Her sisters barter with the antagonist (the sea witch) and are given a dagger that the little mermaid must slay the prince with, which will allow the mermaid to live on. Instead of doing this, the mermaid throws herself into the water and dissolves into sea foam. Her new found soul does not fade, but rather becomes an air wraith that is promised to heaven. Anderson's tale paints the heroine as a more beautiful, more innocent soul- untouched by jealousy and emitting a love more pure than the will to survive. What may be surprising to most is that Anderson's original story was written as a heartfelt love letter to a man named Edvard Collin. The story is said to symbolize his inability to have Collin just as a mermaid cannot be with a human."
- Victoria Steel

Falco Luciferus
Honorable Mention - Still Life Category
Vince Natale

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Honorable Mention - Still Life Category - Vince Natale "Falco Luciferus"
15 x 15 inches - Oil on Hardboard

Vince Natale attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and graduated from the DuCret School of Art in Plainfield, New Jersey. He has been a muti-genre illustrator of book covers & interiors, magazines, institutional and advertising projects. His work has spanned the range of Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Fashion, Romance, Portraiture, Mystery and Adventure, although he has always favored the darker and more fantastical, mysterious side of picture making.

About himself and his exhibiting work he said the following, "In recent years the itch to express my own visions, beyond the confines and whims of the illustration market has become a veritable rash and so I began the journey of establishing myself in fine art. I've received numerous awards for both my commercial and fine art work, and have been represented in The Society of Illustrators of New York and Los Angeles, as well as Spectrum Fantastic Art and the Art Renewal Center's annual competition and in books and other illustrative and fine art publications. Though my personal work is derived, mostly, from emotional feelings and abstract thoughts, my purpose is to present imagery that doesn't necessarily interpret or define, but stimulates thoughts and feelings in others.

Falco Luciferus is a faux Latin name I made up for a painting of a fictitious character, though the image based on a real bird skull that I have. I was looking at this skull and investigating some of the structures and protuberances that looked a little alien to me. I started to wonder what these things might look like if embellished or elaborated on beyond what I know as real. As I started sketching and adding things, it started to look a bit sinister and the name 'Devil Hawk' came to mind; a kind of predatory, fighting bird from long ago. Maybe it was used in battles between ancient feuding kingdoms for reconnaissance, or to intercept the enemies' carrier pigeons or their own spying birds? I thought the name should sound more Latin-esque to lend it an encyclopedic, legitimate feel, hence, Falco Luciferus. I painted the skull on a bed of red rose petals to impart a sense of the bird's regal heritage as well as to lend an air of romance to the picture."

Her Day Out III
Finalist - Figurative Category
Tony Pro

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Finalist - Figurative Category - Tony Pro "Her Day Out III"
24 x 36 inches - Oil on Hardboard

Tony Pro was born in Northridge, California in 1973. He grew up in Southern California under the guidance of his father, Julio Pro, a successful southwest wildlife painter. Pro received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from California State University, Northridge while simultaneously studying drawing with famed illustrator, Glen Orbik. It was at this time that he learned the value of academic figure drawing and the importance of applying these strict study principles to his craft. With this methodology, Tony became an exemplary, self-trained painter. Pro embraces romanticism in painting which places the feelings of the artist above all else. Whether it be through his figures, portraits, still-life or landscapes, he paints life seen through his own eyes. Pro is currently the Executive Director of the Coppini Academy of Arts in San Antonio, TX where he resides with his family.

The "Her Day Out" series was created from Pro's love of the Roaring Twenties era and his love for backlighting subjects. Pro states, "The elegance and quiet aura of these kinds of moments are some of my most favorite things to paint."

Honorable Mention - Animal Category
Radoslav Kirilov Vasilev

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Honorable Mention - Animal Category - Radoslav Kirilov Vasilev

70.55 x 70.55 inches - Oil on Canvas

"Pearl is a beautiful dog who walks every morning at a park near my atelier. She is the representation of 'Elegance' in my series titled What Color Is the Heart?."

- Radoslav Kirilov Vasilev

"The prodigious artist of Bulgarian origin, Radoslav Kirilov Vasilev, has a strong background in the world of painting. Based in Zaragoza, in a short time he has made several new exhibitions, has been selected for prestigious painting competitions and his works are now in important public and private collections around the world.

Vasilev ventures into the artistic expression of other times and cultures, from traditional Japanese print to the official portrait developed in European courts over the centuries. With virtuoso technique he is able to emulate dominant stylistic conventions such as the cool tones and delicate pattern of neoclassical design.

Their role is not intended for technical display, but he uses the resources of art as a means of expression and deep reflection. His work continues to be an exquisite gallery where the animal world comes to life and interest. One constant in his work is the use of animals as the reflection of our vulnerable but beautiful condition. His creatures represent human emotions. Sometimes the protagonists (dogs, sheep, vultures, etc.) are the resources used to satirize contemporary society."

- Anna Adell (Journalist and Art Critic)

Dragon's Lineage
Best Social Commentary Runner Up
Hanwu Shen

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Best Social Commentary Runner Up - Hanwu Shen "Dragon's Lineage "
60 x 48 inches - Oil on Canvas

Shen was born in 1950 in Wuhan, Hubei province. His family was poor, but he was very good in school and was admitted to the best mid-school in Wuhan. His ideal major would have been in Civil Engineering and Architecture at Tsinghua University's, but because of the Cultural Revolution he was forced to go to rural areas and work as a farmer. He lost the opportunity to go to university and did not even have the chance to go to high school. His life was very poor and difficult in the countryside. He had a talent for drawing and started to draw portraits of the dead, many times from the actual corpses, before the bodies were buried. This was a skill appreciated by the deceased's family and this allowed him enough money to just buy his next meal. He gained respect among the local communities, and was regarded as a distinguished guest. His artistic fame first began before he had even taken formal training. In 1972 he painted a work depicting a Chinese soldier taking his two children to see a sculpture that reflected the hard life of farmers before 1949, when they were oppressed by landowners. The painting titled "Do Not Forget the Past" had an enormous social effect. It was shown on the news and the Hubei Province published millions of copies of this oil painting and the image had great influence nationwide. In 1986, Shen entered Wuhan Art Academy and became a professional artist. Throughout the 1990s his oil paintings were frequently exhibited in national fine art exhibitions and in 1995 Shen became a member of the Chinese National Artists Association. He later served as the Director of the Wuhan Artists Association where he had once studied. His works sell regularly at Sotheby's Hong Kong and he has been exhibited in numerous collections and is in many collections.

About his work Shen says the following "My paintings depict the most basic level (grass roots) of everyman in China. I represent the goodness of human nature and my figures tend to have the expression of hope in their eyes which shows the yearning for a better life."

Eartha Delights IV
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. Award Finalist
Lacey Lewis
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. Award Award Finalist - Lacey Lewis "Eartha Delights IV"
48 x 36 inches - Oil on Canvas Adhered to Panel

Lewis has become well known for her depictions of modern-day burlesque performers. A quixotic celebration of feminine power and eroticism, Lewis explores the idea of women as sexual subjects as opposed to sexualized objects. She recently completed a residency with the Art Students League of NY where she was able to work with some of NY's most well-known performers. "When I work with burlesque artists, I get to collaborate with people who feel very little shame about their bodies or their identities. It's really a freeing experience, and I live a little vicariously through painting them."

Eartha Delights IV was a commission inspired by a previous painting of one of Lewis's favorite models. The patron had fallen in love with a particular shade of blue that the artist also favors, and liked the overall composition and color scheme of the existing work, but wanted a painting larger in scale. Connecting with the client over a mutual appreciation of the Art Deco movement, Lewis was inspired to create a composition that reflects that style. The decision to put the model in profile was made so that it would echo the geometrics throughout the piece in the tufting, beadwork, and tassels. The artist says, "One thing I love about this painting is the variety of textures. There are heavy jacquard fabrics, shiny light satin fabrics, tapestries, thin fringes, heavy rope fringes, tassels, glass beads, feathers, and crystals, woods, metals, and of course human skin. It was a treat to use so many techniques all in one painting."

Know Not Thy Pending Fate - Triptych
Knohl Collection Award for History for Literature Inspired Art
Christina Mastrangelo

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Knohl Collection Award for History for Literature Inspired Art -
Christina Mastrangelo "Know Not Thy Pending Fate - Triptych"

62 x 45 inches - Oil on Canvas

"I want my art to explore the balance of mankind's struggles and achievements in a universal context; to explore life, death, love, loss, connection, and beauty, transcendence of time and place. This piece delves into the layers of Dante's Divine Comedy, the unknown realm of the afterlife, and an internal search for an answer.

The side panels of the triptych depict figures suspended in limbo. They are surrounded by darkness, thus blind to their own fate and to those around them. They are balanced, but only because their attempt to shield themselves from the shame of judgment has contorted and compressed them. According to Dante, the choices we make in life follow us into death. As he points out: 'In the realm of the Inferno, we remain physically locked tightly to one another, yet we are unaware of how close we are - unknowingly disconnected, absorbed in our own self-interests.' The triptych's central, arched panel represents a space beyond that of the side panels, similar to an upper spiral of Dante's Purgatory. The figures are no longer engaged in stagnant conflict, they are stretched out in a far lighter atmosphere. They are unwrapping and filled with a sense of ease as they rise upwards. As their journey continues, they remain unsure of their fate, but trust that as they ascend, they are leaving the 'self' behind in order to connect with a universal human spirit."

- Christina Mastrangelo

Other Voices
Honorable Mention - Drawing Category
Stephen Bauman
Honorable Mention - Drawing Category - Stephen Bauman "Other Voices"
25 x 29 inches - Graphite on Paper

Raised in Miami, Florida, Stephen followed his older brother into the cultures of graffiti, punk rock music and skateboarding at a very young age. Decorating large walls and other surfaces introduced him to the basics of design and drawing, and it's revealing that, even then, he incorporated such figurative elements as faces and bodies into his creations.

Everything changed when Bauman arrived in Italy to attend the Florence Academy of Art, the large atelier founded in 1991 by the American artist Daniel Graves. Here the young man acquired even stronger drawing skills while excelling at the academic curriculum, which inculcated in him a deep appreciation for the harmony and beauty of nature.

Bauman now makes work that he considers a conflation of his Florentine training and his graffiti heritage. Though these impulses may seem contradictory, he emphasizes how much they have in common, comparing, for example, graffiti's linear gestures and rhythmic shapes with the human body's contours and forms. Today Bauman works in various genres: portraiture, still life, landscapes, interiors, almost always juxtaposing natural forms with 'unnatural', imagined, or otherworldly elements that often function as symbols. These may be literal, such as the skull hovering near the top of Other Voices, or implied, such as sudden value changes that so well-trained an artist would not normally make.

Bauman's overall objective is to unite what he calls "representation and magic", or, if you prefer, "sight and feeling" into images that honor the significance of both. More broadly, his scenes are intended to convey how it feels to be alive itself, a magical experience, and to underscore the interconnectivity of all human beings.

The Javelina Clays
Chairman's Choice Award
Teresa Elliott
Chairman's Choice Award - Teresa Elliott "The Javelina Clays"
22 x 36 inches - Oil on Aluminum

Teresa Elliott is an American contemporary painter living and working in her desert studio eighty miles north of the Mexican border in far west Texas. The painting, Javalina Clay reflects the primitive nature of this harsh landscape and the seductive qualities of the slick bentonite clay produced after intense rain showers. When the human form merges with pools of silken clay, ancient memories are stirred and timeless narratives replace all traces of modern existence. These are the Badlands of Texas.

Teressa Elliot has won many awards and honors, including Honorable Mention in Figurative, Art Renewal Center's International Salon, Chairman's Choice, Art Renewal Center's International Salon, ACOPAL Grand prize winner, America China Oil Painting Artists League Competition, Collector's Choice, 2012 American Art Invitational, Saks Galleries, Denver, CO, and People's Choice 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, Coors Western Art Exhibit. Elliot has also been included in several publications including American Art Collector, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, Artists Magazine, Cowboys and Indians, Poets & Artists, and Professional Artist's Magazine. Other exhibitions she has participated in include Solo Exhibition, InSight Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas, 2014; American Art Invitational, Saks Gallery, Denver, CO, 2014; Women Painting Women Invitational, RJ Demato Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY, 2013; Oil Painters Of America Exhibit, 2013; Contemporary American Realism group show, Beijing World Art; ACOPAL at The Butler Institute 2012; and National Wildlife Museum, Western Visions 2011, 2012.

Minotaur (Part 1)
Honorable Mention - Drawing Category
Albert Ramos Cortés
Honorable Mention - Drawing Category - Albert Ramos Cortés
"Minotaur (Part 1)"

17 x 19 inches - Graphite on Paper

"Entering a labyrinth can be a deliberate choice. Often times it is a random event and it occurs every second of every day of everyone's life. This first part of my diptych 'Minotaur' depicts the former, the heroic act of crossing a new and unknown threshold knowing that one might get lost with a monster waiting patiently in the dark.

To paraphrase J L Borges: the labyrinth is the entire universe. It is any situation the Hero is willing to engage in. The beast is also the 'me', the 'ego', the self that someone told us we are and the role we have been executing automatically for our entire lives, until we decide to become a Hero and willingly enter the labyrinth to defeat the beast.

This painting is about me and also about you. It is about daily struggles and colossal endeavors. It is about honoring the most sacred of all the journeys: the journey to become a Hero. All my current work is about this one big journey, its challenges and the solutions to them.'
-Albert Ramos Cortés

Ready for Takeoff
Honorable Mention - Still Life Category
Richard Hall
Honorable Mention - Still Life Category - Richard Hall "Ready for Takeoff"
40 x30 inches - Oil on Canvas

"I was born in England in 1952. I spent my early years painting in my attic bedroom of our Victorian home, studying the great British painters Constable, Turner and Gainsborough. When I headed to university to study painting, traditional methods were out of fashion and conceptual art had come into favor. At college we talked about art and concepts, but rarely practiced it.

After graduation I moved to the United States and had a long career painting in the decorative art industry. It was two major life changing events that led me to realism. The first occurred one night when at age 56 I had a mild heart attack. Although I was a successful abstract painter, I found the work unchallenging. I made the decision to completely change my work and to concentrate on realism, working exclusively in oils. Through trial and error I developed my own style.

The second major event was becoming a grandfather. This was when toys began to make their way into my paintings. As I explored the antique stores for still life objects, I also found vintage toys to bring home for my grandchildren. Their enthusiasm reminds me to always keep fun and imagination in my life and art.

Ready for Takeoff is an expression of excitement and adventure. Placing the pedal car on an incline, tied only by a string, creates tension and anticipation in the painting. One pull of the string will release the airplane into the unknown. The viewer is left to wonder, where is that plane headed, what will be the outcome, and what does the future hold?"
-Richard Hall

Thunderstorm over the Midwest From a Plane Window
American Fine Art Magazine Award
Joseph McGurl
American Fine Art Magazine Award - Joseph McGurl
"Thunderstorm over the Midwest From a Plane Window"

20 x 16 inches - Oil on Canvas

"As a realist, I work in a sphere which must function on several different levels. The most obvious level is the subjective; I choose to paint landscapes. However, reality as we can experience it and the ultimate reality that permeates time and space is my true subject. In a way, similar to a physicist using math and empirical observations to peer into the infinite, observing, meditating upon, and interpreting nature in paint is the realm where I come closest to answering these questions about man's place in the universe.

The plein air sketch forms the basis of my art making because it is a way for me to interpret what I am experiencing visually and emotionally. Despite the fact that many of my studio paintings are completely imagined scenes, they are informed by thousands of these sketches painted over a thirty year period. Working this way has required a significant amount of time meditating upon, observing, and desperately struggling to interpret nature in paint. Thunderstorms Over the Midwest From a Plane Window is unique in that it derived not only from my memory and imagination, but from a sketch made with a ball point pen.

Last year, I was flying to Indianapolis, and the plane was skirting thunderstorms over the Midwest. The contrasts between the light of nature, the light of man, the electromagnetic forces at work with the aesthetic beauty of it all was too compelling. I had a ballpoint pen and some note paper, so I drew a sketch of what I saw looking out the plane window. The sketch, my memory and imagination combined to create Thunderstorms Over the Midwest From a Plane Window."
-Joseph McGurl

Still Life with Judgement
Second Place - Still Life Category
Conor Walton
Second Place - Still Life Category - Conor Walton "Still Life with Judgement"
18 x 24 inches - Oil on Canvas

"This painting is an allegory of aesthetic judgement. Modern notions of aesthetic judgement are derived from Immanuel Kant, whose 'Critique of Judgement' is one of the books in the painting. Kant's basic idea is that art affords us an extremely pure pleasure, unmixed by any self-interest, because art is useless, a totally misconceived notion.

In this painting I've tried to make an image that articulates some of my feelings about the subject. With a cast of a human face atop, it becomes a metaphor for the coldly calculating brain behind the face (backed up by books of art theory, history and criticism) weighing, measuring, judging disinterestedly. The face is turned resolutely away from the earth and the fruity pleasures at the base, contemplating 'higher' things. But the face on the scales also invokes the symbolism of the Last Judgement and Weighing of Souls. So maybe the aesthetic judge is also up for judgement. These echoes of Christian iconography also help to amplify the religious feel of the picture, making it akin to a sacrificial alter or shrine.

The fruit at the base is a sort of natural, earthy counterpoint to the strange, artificial construction above. Painted with the brightest, purest colours and most alluring textures I can muster, I want the whole picture to appeal to your sense of touch, and to your appetites. Although I intend my paintings to honour Nature and appeal frankly to the senses, to pleasure and passion, in my demand for rigorous formal order and intellectual content, I know I'm also inside this painting's coolly calculating intellect."
-Conor Walton

Prince Caspian
Chairman's Choice Award
Seth Haverkamp
Chairman's Choice Award - Seth Haverkamp "Prince Caspian"
24 x 36 inches - Oil on Board

Seth Haverkamp grew up in upstate New York surrounded by a family who embraced creativity. He spent his youth drawing and panting with his parents and older siblings, summers with his grandparents where he would watch his grandfather paint relentlessly, and winters in front of the fireplace drawing anything and everything.

Seth is found now painting along side his artist wife, Catherine. He is a painter who represents the world around him. His primary subjects are his children who he enjoys portraying as solid, stand-alone figures.

In Prince Caspian, the first painting of his son, Seth simplifies his representation of him. There is nothing to distract you from the look the child is giving. The simple, strong lighting reels you in. The body language adds weight and gesture. His expression has you question. In response to the painting Seth says, "This is my son. My hope was to capture the complexity of emotions that this particular child employs. The flowers are there to show that he is a sensitive little boy."

Dreamer's Descent
Honorable Mention
- Imaginative Realism Category
Dorian Vallejo

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Honorable Mention - Imaginative Realism Category - Dorian Vallejo
"Dreamer's Descent"

45 x 73 inches - Oil on Canvas

"This painting is part of a series in which I used a dream world of floating figures, forests, water and other natural motifs to suggest the realm of the unconscious.

In much of my work, I'm often working to string together several ideas into a single image, coherent to me, but open-ended and suggestive enough to allow the viewer to engage in their own search for meaning.

Here the words 'falling asleep' or the literal descent into sleep, struck me as our path to the realm of the unconscious. The dream world so often explored by psychologists, isn't a tangible concrete reality; instead, it is an ephemeral, constantly moving, mysterious dance and I sought to represent that.

I changed my original title Free Fall in favor of it's current title, but there too it was meant to overlap as a reference to our planet, it's 'free fall' movement through time, the black void of space and our connection to that as human beings.

Exploring visual metaphor in this way often offers surprises and works to engage the concepts, observations and questions about life and the human experience that are of interest to me."
- Dorian Vallejo

Forging the Iron Throne
Second Place - Imaginative Realism Category
Donato Giancola

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Second Place - Imaginative Realism Category - Donato Giancola
"Forging the Iron Throne"

30 x 30 inches - Oil on Panel

"Building upon the theme of 'painting between the lines' it was a thrill to create twelve images interpreting the world created by the writer George R.R. Martin and depicted in the HBO series A Games of Thrones. These twelve images would go on to become the 2015 calendar for A Song of Ice and Fire, the title of the literary series from which the HBO show is based on. The forging of the throne, an act frequently referred to within the novels, but never visualized, offered me an opportunity to delve into the narrative found in the novels regarding political power and to add a visual experience beyond just bringing lines of words to life.

The labors of the smith have long been a stand in for the physical exertions of humanity and our attempts to mold nature in our eye's image of reality. Here we see the reworking of the tools of destruction, thousands of swords being hammered into a new form, not into the shape of plowshares, but rather into that of a throne, a symbol of governance and social structure. The means necessary for a farmer to till his fields and reap a bountiful harvest comes not only through farm tools, but also through the peace provided by a strong and stable government.

Seeing the world of George R.R. Martin through these lenses opened this series of paintings up to broader interpretations; ones that went past simple character portraits or fanciful illustrations. Larger questions about conflict, family, loyalty, and wealth imbalances were raised as these images provided concepts which resonate with our modern world.

This is not a painting of a specific moment, but rather a way to taste the bitterness, brutality, and the passion life brings to us through our labors."
- Donato Giancola

The Fallen
Chairman's Choice Award
David Palumbo
Chairman's Choice Award - David Palumbo "The Fallen"
40 x 30 inches - Oil on Panel

"For some time now, I've been working with Sideshow Collectibles to help visualize an underworld mythology that they have been developing. This is among my favorites that I've completed so far.

The image was to be a portrait of Kier, a fallen Valkyrie and servant of Death who collects souls from the battlefield. As a violent force which thrives on senseless destruction, Kier is an allegory of war. My intention was to depict this terrible spirit absorbed in satisfaction from her completed task in the aftermath of a World War One charge. Those who have fallen under her sword surround her, already disappearing into the mud and earth, while she almost glows in her victory.

I've been interested in WW1 for quite awhile and I am surprised at how all but perhaps the most basic facts (when it happened and who "won") of such a terrible and important event have largely faded to obscurity in public knowledge. To me, the most tragic aspect of that war was the eager waste of so many lives and the determination with which it seems each nation was willing to sacrifice their own people. Those who fought were treated as pawns and cannon fodder, frequently charged directly (and knowingly) into certain death, all for the petty cause of nationalism. Everything which Kier represents can be said of World War One."

David Palumbo is an illustrator and painter living in Philadelphia PA. His works have received numerous honors including a Chesley Award, multiple Spectrum medals, and have been shown in galleries from New York to Paris.