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Jurors

This year the International ARC Salon will be juried by several members of our prestigious ARC Board of Judges as well as some special guest jurors (four jurors per category). We have made sure to include jurors in each category who have specialized knowledge in the field they are adjudicating. In addition to the 21 jurors listed below, we have another 20 or so jurors involved with selecting the winners of our partnering awards. To learn more about our partnering awards and the jurors of those awards, please visit the awards page.

ARC Salon Judges by Category:

Fred Ross ARC Chairman

Fred Ross

Founder and Chairman of the Art Renewal Center, Ross is the leading authority on William Bouguereau and co-author of the recently published Catalogue Raisonné William Bouguereau: His Life and Works. Ross received his MA in art education from Columbia University. His speeches and essays are read by over 300,000 art professionals, educators, students and fans each year; and have become required reading in countless classrooms. Ross is also a well known collector of 19th century European painting and of Contemporary Realism as well.

Kara Lysandra Ross ARC Co-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer

Kara Lysandra Ross

Kara Lysandra Ross is the Co-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer for the world renowned Art Renewal Center (ARC). She is also the Chief Executive Officer for The Da Vinci Initiative, dedicated to introducing skill-based art education in public and private schools K-12. She holds a BA in Art History from Drew University. As an art educator she has been a contributing writer for Collections Magazine, and Fine Art Connoisseur, and has been published frequently in other magazines and newspapers. She was the co-editor of the William Bouguereau Catalogue Raisonné and author of chapter 28 in the published second edition. She served on a panel focused on the future of representational art at The Realist Art Conference (TRAC) in 2014 and in her role at the ARC spearheaded the introduction of the live exhibition associated to the ARC Salon Competition serving as chief organizer. She is an ARC Salon Judge, and has served as juror in other competitions for organizations such as the International Guild of Realism, the South African Portrait Society, IX Arts, and the Ani Academy. She is also an expert on 19th century Academic French and English painting and is currently researching and writing the catalogue raisonné on Edmund Blair Leighton, for which she is accepted as the world authority, authenticating works by this artist for Sotheby's, Christie's, and Bonham's among others.

Dr. Vern Swanson

Dr. Vern Swanson

Swanson has his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England and was the Director of the Springville Museum of Art, Utah, where he has served for over 30 years. He is a lecturer/scholar/writer and expert on 19th Century European Art and Russian Art through the 20th Century. Swanson is the leading authority on Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and John William Godward and author of the Catalogue Raisonnés for both artists. In total, the number of books Swanson has published is well into the teens.

Michael John Angel

Michael John Angel

Michael John Angel is an ARC Living Master™ and regarded as one of the foremost figurative painters alive today; with his paintings hanging in both public and private collections on both sides of the Atlantic. From 1982 to 1988 he was the Director of the National Portrait Academy in Toronto, Canada, and from 1992-1995 the Assistant Director of the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. In 1997, his school, the Angel Academy was founded with the assistance of Lynne Barton. Angel Academy is now one of the most successful Atelier Schools in the world, requiring of its students the highest standards of traditional techniques.

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Juliette Aristides

Juliette Aristides

Juliette Aristides is an ARC Living Master™ and founding member of the Water Street Atelier with Jacob Collins, Aristides is a recipient of the Elisabeth Greenshields Grant; and founded the Classical Atelier at Gage Academy of Fine Art in Seattle, Washington. She has authored three books, Classical Drawing Atelier, Classical Painting Atelier, and Lessons in Classical Drawing, which includes an instructional DVD and quickly became a best seller. Her books have become well received guidelines for drawing and painting.

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Daniel Graves

Daniel Graves

Daniel Graves is an ARC Living Master™. He was a student of Richard Serrin at the Villa Schifanoia Graduate School of Fine Art, and studied under Nerina Simi, daughter of the Florentine painter, Filadelfo Simi, a student of Gérôme. Daniel Graves went on to found The Florence Academy of Art in 1991, where he still serves as the Academic Director. In April 2008 Daniel Graves and The Florence Academy of Art received the Excellence in Art Education Award from the Portrait Society of America. The academy’s programs in Florence, Sweden and the U.S. are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

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B. Eric Rhoads

B. Eric Rhoads

B. Eric Rhoads is the Founder and Chairman of Streamline Publishing, Inc., publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, which provides art collectors and enthusiasts with in-depth editorial coverage of historical and contemporary representational art authored by well-known experts. Rhoads also publishes PleinAir, a magazine focused on representational landscape painting with in-depth coverage of historical and contemporary artworks painted en' plein air and in studio and the Plein Air Convention. The company also produces artist videos with many masters including ARC Living Master™ Max Ginsburg. Rhoads, an entrepreneur, founded the company in 1986 and produces other magazines and conferences. He is a well known author and blogger on art marketing, has released a DVD series for artists on art marketing, and is also a landscape and figurative painter.

Jeannie Wilshire

Jeannie Wilshire

Jeannie Wilshire is the Co-Director of the Association of Fantastic Art, dedicated to the promotion, recognition and elevation of the art of imaginative realism. The AFA is the organization behind the groundbreaking IX symposium, the annual celebration of imaginative realism (founded in 2008) and the IX Exchange, the online nexus for collectors of original paintings, drawings and sculpture from this style of realist art. In addition, she is the author and designer of Visions of Never: The Collection of Fantastic Art (2009) and the forthcoming History of Imaginative Realism. She is also the designer of IlluXConcepts Volumes 1-5 and The Art of the Dragon: The Definitive Collection of Contemporary Dragon Paintings (2012). She was honored to be a guest curator of AT THE EDGE: Art of the Fantastic, the most comprehensive exhibition of imaginative realist art ever to be mounted in the US. AT THE EDGE premiered at the Allentown Art Museum in June of 2012, drawing record crowds to the museum. She is currently curating the upcoming infra:REAL - The Art of Imaginative Realism show for the Jonathan Levine Gallery in NYC, which premiers in August of 2015. Together with her husband, Patrick, she has been collecting original imaginative realist art for 15 years.

Anthony Waichulis

Anthony Waichulis

Anthony Waichulis is an ARC Living Master™ and is regarded as the premiere trompe l'oeil painter living today. Celebrated by critics and collectors alike, Waichulis' works have been published in nearly every major art publication worldwide including but not limited to: The Artist's Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, American Artist, American Art Review, American Art Collector, Art News and Art-Talk. Anthony has exhibited in a salvo of key venues across the country including the Smithsonian Institute, National Arts Club, Orlando Museum of Art, Butler Institute, Washington Museum of Fine Arts, The World Arts Museum in Beijing as well as many others. He is also the founder of the highly successful Waichulis Studio and co-founder and chief curriculum designer of the International Ani Art Academies project. In 2011 The Waichulis Studio merged with the Ani Art Academies project to form the domestic flagship of the Ani project, The Ani Art Academy Waichulis in Wilkes Barre, PA. Since then the Ani Art Academies project has seen the launch of two international Academies, Ani Art Academy Anguilla and Dominicana. Additional Academies using Waichulis' now celebrated curriculum are also scheduled to open in Thailand and Sri Lanka in 2015.

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Guest Jurors

Arantzazu Martinez

Arantzazu Martinez

Arantzazu Martinez is a figurative oil painter and an ARC Living Master. After graduating Fine Arts in Spain she studied at the New York Academy of Art and the Water Street Atelier. She has since painted for Lucasfilm as part of the Star Wars Visions project, represented Spain in the Images of Russia project, and won Best in Show ARC 2015.

She is the co-founder and a principle instructor of Atelier Madrid. Motivated by experience, the Atelier Madrid has provided a space dedicated to teaching the classical process of drawing and painting in the traditional manner.

Her paintings are in the permanent collection of the European Museum of Modern Art and a number of top collections, including the Ibex Collection. She is an Ibex Master and will be exhibiting her personal masterpiece, after two and a half years of work on it, together with fifteen of the finest global contemporary figurative super-realist artists, at the Ibex Masters exhibition in New York in September 2019. Arantzazu is a passionate advocate for women in art and is a regular speaker on the issues faced by women seeking to build a career as a professional artist.

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Jean Stern

Jean Stern

A recognized authority on California Impressionism, Art Historian Jean Stern has extensive experience in the field as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher. He is the executive director of the Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine. In over twenty-five years at the museum, he has established a national presence for the Irvine Museum in the fields of California Art and History through a noteworthy international series of books, exhibitions, lectures, articles and video documentaries. In his career, he has presented over 250 lectures and judged and juried nearly 100 art competitions. Mr. Stern has written essays for over 25 books and museum exhibition catalogues, such as all three PLEIN AIR PAINTERS OF CALIFORNIA series. He has presented tours and lectures on California Art in numerous museums including the International Cultural Center, Krakow, Poland; Mona Bismarck Foundation in Paris, France; National Academy Museum in New York as well as many others. He was a consultant to and appears in IMPRESSIONS OF CALIFORNIA, a PBS documentary video series on art in California, and on PLEIN AIR: PAINTING THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE, (PBS 2007). Since 1992, the Irvine Museum, with Jean Stern as director, has produced a number of traveling exhibitions, including SELECTIONS FROM THE IRVINE MUSEUM (1993 and 2010); ROMANCE OF THE BELLS, The California Missions in Art (1995); GUY ROSE, and more. In 2017, Mr. Stern received the prestigious CHEVALIER OF THE ORDER OF ARTS AND LETTERS by the French Ministry of Culture. He has also been presented with three LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: by the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association in 2013; by the Plein Air Painters of America in 2014; and by PLEIN AIR MAGAZINE, at the Third Annual Plein Air Convention in Monterey, CA, in 2014.

Dan Thompson

Dan Thompson

Dan Thompson, an ARC Living Master™, has won numerous awards including Grand Prize for Best of Show in the American Society of Portrait Artist’s International Portrait Competition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Erlebacher Award from the New York Academy of Art, two Ethel Lorraine Bernstein Memorial Awards for Excellence in Painting from the Corcoran School of Art, and two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants.

He co-founded two schools of Art in New York City: The Grand Central Academy of Art and the Janus Collaborative School of Art. Thompson has served on the MFA faculty of the New York Academy of Art for 15 years, the Art Students League of New York and is a senior faculty member of Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art in Philadelphia.

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Jeffrey T. Larson

Jeffrey Larson

Jeffrey T. Larson was born in 1962 in Two Harbors, Minnesota and grew up in the Twin Cities. Jeffrey has been trained in the manner of the Old Masters at the prestigious Atelier Lack, a studio/school whose traditions and training methods reach back through impressionism and the 19th centuries French academies. He followed his four-year formal training with museum study in the United States and abroad. Larson has a long history of gallery and museum shows featuring his work, including a solo exhibition at the Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN. He has won a large number of awards and accolades including 1st Place Still Life in the 2008/2009 ARC Salon Competition, 1st Place Figurative in the 12th ARC Salon Competition, 2nd Place Still Life in the 7th , 8th , and 11th ARC Salon Competitions, Best Miniature in the Susan K. Black Foundation’s International Art Competition, three 1st place wins in the Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competitions in 2009, 2012, and 2013, serving as a juror in their 2010 competition. Larson has also be featured in various articles and programs such as PBS, US Art Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, and American Art Collector. In 2016, Jeffrey and his son Brock founded the ARC Approved, Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art in Duluth, MN.

Xu Mangyao

Xu Mangyao

Xu Mangyao is a leading figure in contemporary Chinese realistic painting and is one of the few teachers who actively advocates study and inherit excellence in classical paintings in modern China. He has promoted the development of realistic art worldwide, by hosting a series of Classical Painting Seminars with European classical painting masters such as Antonio Lopez-Garcia, Golucho, and Odd Nerdrum in Spain, Italy and China. Xu Mangyao, was born in 1945 and is a famous contemporary Chinese painter. In 1980, he received his MFA in painting from the China Academy of Art, and later became an instructor at the CAA painting department. In 1984, Xu Mangyao continued to advance his studies at the Acaddémie des Beaux-Arts, Paris France, with Professor Pierre Carron. From November 1991 to January 1993, he returned to France as a visiting scholar for academic exchange at the National Academy of Decorative Arts in Paris (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs). In 1998, he began teaching at the Fine Arts College of Shanghai Normal University, and later became professor and dean of the Fine Arts College of Shanghai Normal University. Xu Mangyao holds the positions of Distinguished Professor and Ph. D. Tutor in the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts. He has held individual exhibitions and joint exhibitions in China, Hong Kong, Macao, France, America, Britain, and Belgium. His works have been aquired by museums and collectors alike.

Joseph McGurl

Joseph McGurl

Joseph McGurl was born in Massachusetts in 1958. He grew up working with his father, James McGurl, who was a muralist and his most influential teacher. He graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a dual major in painting and education, continuing his studies in England and Italy. In search of a more solid training in drawing, he sought out Robert Cormier, a devotee of the French Academy methods, with whom he studied figure drawing. McGurl's paintings have been included in several museum exhibitions in Massachusetts, New York, California, and Rhode Island as well as being exhibited in several group museum exhibitions which travelled throughout the country. He had retrospective solo shows at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum of American Art, and the Saint Botolph Club of Boston. He was a participant in the Sea to Shining Sea Exhibition which traveled to twelve museums over a four-year period. Representing Representation, included his work in their show at the Arnot Art Museum, and he simultaneously exhibited at the concurrent Representing Representation West which showcased at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. He also exhibited at the Salmagundi Club, NYC, Sotheby’s Los Angeles and the European Museum of Modern Art, (MEAM) in the 13th ARC Salon Exhibition. McGurl has been elected to the Guild of Boston Artists and is a former Copley Master with the Copley Society of Boston as well as a current ARC Living Master. He has won top awards from all three organizations including the John Singleton Copley Award for Artistic Achievement, 1st Place Landscape in the 9th and 13th International ARC Salon Competition, and an ARC Purchase Award for his work of Creation in Time and Space in 2013. He is also a former elected Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists.

Julie Bell

Julie Bell

Julie Bell is an ARC Living Master™ who was born in Beaumont, Texas. A former competitive bodybuilder, her knowledge of anatomy has allowed her to imbue her figures of humans and animals with grace and strength. Julie's work in the fantasy and science fiction field has appeared on hundreds of book covers, comic books, trading cards, and various collectibles. Every year, she and her husband, Boris Vallejo, produce the highly anticipated Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell Fantasy Calendar published by Workman. Julie Bell should also be singled out as winning the most awards in any one competition ARC has ever held, in the 2012-2013 Salon winning First Place in the Imaginative Realist Category, First and Third Place in the Animal Category, and five additional recognitions.

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Maudie Brady

Maudie Brady

Maudie Brady is the Principle Sculpture Instructor at the Florence Academy of Art (FAA) ’s campus in Florence, Italy, also serving as their Director of Anatomy and Ecorché. In 1995 she graduated from the University of Melbourne (Bachelor of Art) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Bachelor of Fine Art -Sculpture) in 1998 before continuing on to receive her Figurative Sculpture Diploma at FAA with a student teaching scholarship.

Awards include The Society’s Prize for FACE2019, Joint Winner for the Tom Bass Prize 2016, Best Nude for her Life Size sculpture ‘Laura’ at the 12th International ARC Salon Competition, and Honorable Mentions for ‘Wounded Faun’, ‘Muninn’s Fate’, and ‘Forsaken Son’ in the 13th and 14th International ARC Salons. ‘Laura’ was purchased by Museo Europeo de Arte Moderno (‘MEAM’, Barcelona) in 2017 for their Permanent Collection.

Richard MacDonald

Richard MacDonald

Richard MacDonald was born in California in 1946 and has spent more than 30 years creating sculptures that capture the beauty, romance and essence of the human spirit in motion. With inspiration ranging from live models in the Royal Ballet School, Olympic Games, U.S Open and Cirque du Soleil, his body of work stands apart as distinctive and unique. Richard MacDonald is considered by many to be the world’s preeminent living figurative sculptor. A leading advocate of the figurative movement in the arts, MacDonald’s work has been featured in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions, as well as museums worldwide.

Committed to inspiring future generations of artists, MacDonald is involved with numerous philanthropic pursuits and the development of the arts through mentoring programs and art education in schools and universities. A member of major international social and art associations, MacDonald has received countless awards, honors, and professorships, including recognition by the United States Olympic Committee. He has had the privilege of working with some of the greatest dancers and performers in the world, including those from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, and Cirque du Soleil. As a true visionary with the timeless human desire to create imaginative metaphors of the human psyche through representation of the body, each bronze by Richard MacDonald is part of an enduring legacy that brings figurative sculpture into the 21st century.

Mary Pettis

Mary Pettis

Drawing upon her classical, alla prima, and plein air training, Mary Pettis’ work stands on the cutting edge of the International Contemporary Realism movement. Mary has won awards in national and international painting events and exhibitions from New York City to Scottsdale and Maui to Barcelona. In 2017, Mary became the 9th American woman painter to receive the designation ARC Living Master (ARCLM) by the Art Renewal Center. She is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society (AIS), the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), and the Oil Painters of America (OPA). Her art has taken her to the far corners of the world: China, Russia, and much of Europe. She has exhibited widely, including the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and collectors of her work reach across the globe. Mary divides her time equally between the studio and outdoors. Her decades of training and the experiences from hundreds of plein air paintings are a catalyst for a symbolic visual language of expression that celebrates the beauty, dignity and worth of this world and its inhabitants. Mary and her husband Randy live along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in Minnesota. Her work, along with information on galleries, exhibitions, and workshops can be found on her website at www.marypettis.com.

Daniel Gerhartz

Daniel Gerhartz

Daniel Gerhartz is an ARC Living Master™ and has been featured in numerous publications including the hardbound book, Creative Oil Painting: Techniques from 15 Master Painters by Stephen Doherty. His teaching credentials include the Scottsdale Institute and his work is included in the permanent collection of the West Bend Art Museum in Wisconsin and the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama. Gerhartz also won Best of Show in the 1st international ARC Salon Competition in 2004, and is one of the few living realists to successfully penetrate the secondary market; with works selling at important auction houses including Sotheby's.

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Renée Bemis

Renée Bemis

Renée Bemis has served on the board of the Society of Animal Artists (SAA) for over 25 years with the last five years serving as the President. She is currently​ a fellow member of the American Artists Professional League, and a distinguished member of the American Society of Marine Artists, and Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. Renee has been a professional artist for 35 years. In 1994 Renée won her first monumental public commission "Returning on the Wings of Peace" a 16' foot sculpture depicting a Veteran with his child on his shoulders that was installed at the entrance of a Veteran's Hospital. In the ensuing years, Renée has created public monuments for Universities, Hospitals, Libraries, Parks, with one of her latest pieces being a memorial to the 9/11 Emergency Responders where Renée had steel from the North Tower as part of her design. She has won numerous awards including multiple “Best in Show”, “ Medal of Honor” and “President’s Awards” ​Renée’s sculptures have been acquired by museums for their permanent collection and are found in private collections around the world.

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