The figurative, category as always, received the most entries, so we've decided that next year we will create a separate category for single figure and a second category for multi-figure works. Since there is far more competition for figurative works it seems a lot fairer to those candidates. The level of skill and quality that we see coming in continues to be moving from excellent to incredible as we see great originality of emotion, poetry, perspective, composition and technical methodology.
As I said last year, the " Humanist, Classical, Traditional Realism is back in full force..." and it is "...the only paradigm of fine art capable of expressing the full range of human ideas, beliefs, concepts, values, and emotions. Just as the immense vocabulary of written language, with its endless complexity and sophistication, is capable of expressing any idea a human being can create, so too with a realist vocabulary, (all things in the real world around us), we are able to express the full range of human thoughts, ideas, concepts, beliefs, values, and emotions (including even those in fantasies, dreams, myths and legends) within the fine arts of drawing, painting and sculpture."
There are many wonderful works amongst the winners, Honorable Mentions and Finalists this year necessitating increasing by several pages this year's catalogs.
Please encourage every fine artist that you know to enter next year's ARC Salon™. We know that there are a number of top quality artists, including several ARC Approved Living Master's, whose lives, careers and commissions are doing so well that they did not have time to enter the salon. This is a mistake, for Traditional Realism needs to always have the best of the best competing if we are to once again see Traditional Realism reach the heights achieved in the past. It takes the pressure of the most skilled, the most talented and the most creative minds competing for the top prizes, with the kind of advancements that only can come from continuous feedback and cross pollination of skills, methods and brilliant ideas.
For those who did not win, and those who did not even make it to the finals, many of you still demonstrated very high and advancing levels of quality and accomplishment. Please don't be discouraged. There is always next year, when with hard work and uncompromising dedication you just may be a winner. Many of this year's winners only won after several years of disappointment.
Different artists hit full stride at different times in their lives. Michelangelo lived to 88 years old, but he produced his David when he was only 22. Bouguereau by comparison lived to 80 but did not start producing the paintings he is best known for until he was 40, and even then it was a 5 year transition before he hit full stride when he was 45 years old in 1870. He then produced hundreds of masterpieces well into 1903 when he was 78.
Once again, please join us in wishing warm and robust congratulations to all of our winners, honorable mentions and finalists.