America's Best Galleries & Museums To Decide World's Best Contemporary Artists

America's Best Galleries & Museums To Decide World's Best Contemporary Artists
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Many accomplished artisans from across the globe are now entering their JPEGs in, arguably the most prestigious online art competition because of the caliber of past winners - and also the jurors. Owners, directors or employees of 25 of the most reputable American galleries and museums have agreed to score 50 categories of art; predominantly painting, digital art, photography and sculpture.

American Art Awards: “We are delighted to give emerging, mid-career and blue chip artists from every country an even playing field. No resumes or bios are allowed so all the judges see are the online images with the artist’s name, title, size, medium, email address and web site address. For a small fee, which goes to the cash prizes and our administrative costs (the galleries do not get paid), each artist has the opportunity to receive feedback or praise (direct, or by score count) from the best galleries and museums in America. The 300 highest scoring artists that win 1st to 6th Place in these 50 categories can benefit greatly from this unprecedented career validation via these esteemed art institutions, some of which have existed 100 years or more. Each spring, American Art Awards decides the 25 Best American Galleries And Museums, who in autumn decide the best contemporary artists in the world.”

Previous winner Bruce K. Lawes: “I have entered the American Art Awards for the last four years winning and placing in many categories. I have seen a rise in my exposure and my paintings have increased in value by four times. I am regularly contacted by galleries from across the U.S. and beyond...”

The American Art Awards categories range from Human Figure in Oil, Acrylic, Pastel, Ink, Watercolor - to Art Brut, Cubism, Humor, Pop, Religious, Surrealism, Fantasy Landscape - you name it.

Some of the world’s best realists have won for portraiture, while more adventuresome brushstrokes have swept the Self-Portrait category, and yet fauvist newcomers often do better in Naive or Expressionism. The Digital Art, Photography and Sculpture categories are harder to predict. As is Political Commentary.

What is predictable are that the most entered categories for almost a decade are Impressionism Landscape and Abstract. Traditional works often take the first category while nontraditional canvases usually win Abstract.

2016’s Abstract winner Ivan Grozdanovski is from Serbia:

Daniel Bulimar Henciu of Romania took 1st Place last year in Impressionism Landscape. See Hencui’s site here:

The international competition also offers three cash prizes. "BEST OF SHOW" is for the piece that receives the highest number of votes in one category. "MOST WINS" goes to the artist who enters numerous pieces in numerous categories and gets more wins than any other artist. "MASTERPIECE" is for the piece entered in numerous categories that wins the most categories, and if tied, receives more gallery votes in its' combined categories than any other piece entered in numerous categories.

DEADLINE TO ENTER is July 30, 2017.

The 15 Best Galleries and 10 Best Museums will see and score the art in August. The 300 winners will be emailed privately by mid-September to reveal their independent wins, but no one will be told all the winners at that time because boasts an exciting 50 DAY REVEAL to the public: at least one article per day announcing one category of six winners, which will extend through September and October.

Last year, America’s Best Galleries And Museums awarded artists from 40 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, USA, and Wales.

American Art Awards: “Each year some of the galleries are so impressed with an artist or two that they contact them directly for representation. We love that this happens, but cannot guarantee that of course.”

Some images courtesy of

The voting 25 BEST GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS follow and are featured here:

Highlight Hollywood, January 20, 2016: "The impressive AAA board chooses only one gallery per state per year. Their selections are based on years established (some galleries with 60+, most with 20+), industry reputation, online buzz, location, size (often 20,000 to 60,000 sq ft), socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references...."

BEST IN PENNSYLVANIA -- JAMES A. MICHENER ART MUSEUM. "... 40,000 sq. ft.... world-class group of paintings... permanent collection of more than 2,800 objects... accredited world-class facility... diverse program of educational activities... more than 135,000 annual visitors..."

BEST IN LOUISIANA -- NEWCOMB ART MUSEUM. "... legacy of education, social enterprise, and artistic experience. Presenting inspirin exhibitions and programs that engage communities... founded in 1886... recognizes the contributions of women to the fields of art and design...."

BEST IN ILLINOIS -- HILLIGOSS GALLERIES. "Chicago’s Premier Art Gallery for 20+ years. The two-story 8,500 sq. ft. gallery is the epitome of a well-oiled machine... perfect marriage of artist, collector and setting... original paintings by the world's finest living artists, as well as fine prints by historic and 20th century masters."

BEST IN NEVADA -- THE METROPOLITAN GALLERY OF LAS VEGAS ART MUSEUM. "... over 20,000 sq. ft.... intellectual excellence and leadership... dedicated to raising awareness... promotes an understanding and appreciation of art by making accessible to the public fine art exhibitions, educational programs, and cultural events... local, regional and international artists... "

BEST IN KENTUCKY -- E&S GALLERY. "... professionalism, reputation, gallery space, exhibitions, artist roster and clientele... 11,000 sq. ft. gallery, custom framing and art publishing... African American art with an unmatched selection of artists, medium, subject matter, and genres. ... "

BEST IN MISSISSIPPI -- OHR-O'KEEFE ART MUSEUM. "...just as Ohr (1857-1918) rose from devastating personal and professional loss to create an extraordinary body of work, so too the Ohr-O’Keefe has risen from Hurricane Katrina’s destruction... diverse cultural heritage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast... compelling exhibitions and educational experiences......"

BEST IN NEBRASKA -- KIECHEL FINE ART. "...few have the roster and esteem as Keichel... discerning eye... three story four gallery showplace... many of the top Midwestern Contemporary artists... "

BEST IN COLORADO -- COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER. "132,000 sq. ft... one of the only multi-discipline arts institutions... For nearly 100 years, the top cultural attraction of the Pikes Peak region... world’s finest art... extraordinary visceral experiences..."

BEST IN SOUTH DAKOTA -- SOUTH DAKOTA ART MUSEUM. "Since 1970... artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. Harvey Dunn, Native American art, Marghab Linens... 7,000 objects in its collection..."

BEST IN SOUTH CAROLINA -- MARY MARTIN GALLERY OF FINE ART. "... excellence and steady expansion... museum quality art including bronze and stone sculptures, original oil and acrylic paintings, extraordinary watercolors... number one tourist destination in America... on par with Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive and NY’s Fifth Avenue..."

BEST IN UTAH -- MEYER GALLERY. "... over 50 years, a contemporary art icon in Utah. The building (former First National Bank of Utah) is listed with the National Register of Historic Places and on the Park City Museum's Historic district tour. Featuring both representational and abstract works... " ttps://

BEST IN NEW MEXICO -- BLUE RAIN GALLERY. "...Santa Fe's exceptional exhibitor of all factions of art... pieces from noted glass artisans to bronze sculptures and wood sculptures to two-dimensional works, artisans contribute elegant to elemental, neo-traditional to transcendental, neo-tribal to contemporary Native American... "

BEST IN MISSOURI -- UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI MUSEUM OF ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY. "...Stunning collections across a wide range of cultures... Greek, Roman, Near Eastern art works, ancient Egypt, Byzantium, Asian, African, Ancient Americas, and Oceanic cultures... important collections in European and American art from the fifteenth century to the present... "

BEST IN CALIFORNIA -- CODA GALLERY. "A Palm Dessert landmark for thirty years, this contemporary El Paseo gallery has a vast collection of paintings, photography, sculpture, glass, and ceramic works by a wide range of established, mid-career, and emerging artists..."

BEST IN OREGON -- ROGER YOST GALLERY. "Located in a 1927 art deco tower in the heart of Downtown Salem, Oregon’s capital city... more than 7500 sq. ft.. of exhibit space featuring paintings and sculpture from Lithuania, The Czech Republic, Vietnam, France, Germany, Argentina, Russia, Spain, UK, Budapest and Hollywood. A second location coastal version in Newport..."

BEST IN ARIZONA -- BENTLEY GALLERY. "For 30+ years, Bentley Gallery in Phoenix has been synonymous with contemporary painting and sculpture in the Southwestern U.S.... mid-career and museum-collected artists from the states and Europe, as well as ancient art and artifacts... Chinese bi and cong from the Neolithic period co-exist seamlessly with contemporary works..."

BEST IN MAINE -- PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART. "Cultural heart of Portland... significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine... a steadfast commitment to their community and region... their high level of attention to the complexity of art and history exemplifies respect for artwork and art makers..."

BEST IN CONNECTICUT -- BRUCE MUSEUM. "113 years... high on a hill overlooking Greenwich Harbor... nearly 15,000 objects: paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, multimedia compositions... accreditation from the American Association of Museums, an honor granted to fewer than 5% of all museums. Voted the best museum in Fairfield County... "

BEST IN FLORIDA -- ART FUSION GALLERIES. "8,000 sq. ft.... in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Art District... preeminent gallery in Miami for integrating the best of Emerging to Mid-Career Contemporary artists... represents over 1,000... "

BEST IN INDIANA -- HAAN MANSION MUSEUM OF INDIANA ART. "Holds the most extensive Indiana art collection in the US, including paintings from the Hoosier Group and Brown County Art Colony. Specializing in major oils, over 100 artists are represented. Haan is a true find; a rare hospitable time-capsule cradling a precious past."

BEST IN VIRGINIA -- WILLIAMSBURG ART GALLERY. "Located on Merchants Square along Duke of Gloucester Street in beautiful downtown Williamsburg, Virginia... Historic Triangle... a natural and inspiring home for art, dedicated to showcasing the beauty of the region as depicted by local as well as international artists, including exceptional work of Russian modern masters... a crossroads for art."

BEST IN GEORGIA -- HATHAWAY CONTEMPORARY GALLERY. "A premier contemporary art gallery located on the Westside of Atlanta. They give space to the cutting-edge artists of today to express creative voice and explore societal issues... committed to building a supportive, sustaining community for the arts."

BEST IN MONTANA -- DANA GALLERY. "4000 sq. ft. of space, making it the largest contemporary art gallery in Montana. Excellent 20+ year reputation. They represent Montana and regional painters many of whom are internationally recognized..."

BEST IN NEW JERSEY -- EVALYN DUNN GALLERY. "It is very rare to find a gallery so successful that it is approaching it’s 60th year... also features the finest 20th Century American and European art..."

BEST IN HAWAII -- LIK LAHAINA, LIK WAIKIKI. "Peter Lik has 12 exceptional gallery locations and is the most successful photographer in the world... sold upwards of $500 million of artwork... The 2014 sale of his B&W photo titled “Phantom” for $6,500,000.00 is the highest sum ever paid in its genre. Lik’s works make up four of the top 20 most expensive photographs ever sold."

Popular in the Community


What's Hot