Portrait artists from USA, China, Germany, Lithuania and South Korea receive highest scores in Category 32 of the 2017 AMERICAN ART AWARDS.
This year the American Art Awards (www.AmericanArtAwards.com), juried by the 25 Best Galleries & Museums In America (listed below), had online art images in 50 CATEGORIES submitted from artists in 56 COUNTRIES: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Wales.
The 1st Place to 6th Place winners in all 50 categories will be revealed in the news about a category a day, stretching into November, making this one of the longest winner announcements of any art competition in the world.
-----------------------------ABOUT 1ST PLACE WINNER MARY DE BENVENISTE:
Mary has known that she wanted to be an artist since early childhood and made this a lifelong pursuit. She attended Carnegie Mellon University, where she received a BFA in Painting, Design and Sculpture. Shortly after graduation, she visited Paris intending a short stay, but remained for almost forty years. While there she studied life drawing for two years at the Carrousel du Louvre and showed her work at the Salon des Independents, the American Embassy, the American Cathedral, the Mona Bismarck Foundation, and many one-woman shows at the American School of Paris and Marymount School. Mary received many portrait commissions, both there and in the US where she returned regularly with her children to visit her family on their farm in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Currently, her portraits hang from Dubai, to Paris, a castle in Scotland (Ambassador Pamela Harriman), Milan, Paris, England, and, in the US, from Greenwich, to Tampa and Atlanta to Los Angeles and Jackson Hole with the G.H.W. Bush Presidential Library and President Lyndon Johnson's Texas White House in between.
Currently, Mary receives about fifteen portrait commissions each year mostly by word-of-mouth. Painting is her life and a peaceful, almost daily, retreat into her studio. When not painting, Mary enjoys her two-hundred year old plantation home, “Whispering Oaks,” with her husband on the outskirts of Charleston, SC. Mary is an award winning member of the Atlanta Portrait Society, the Charleston Artists’ Guild, the Southeastern Pastel Society, and a member of Pastellistes de France, and the Copley Society in Boston. She has an ongoing FaceBook conversation with many followers where she discusses her current projects as well as aspects of her work such as the relationships shown between multiple subjects in the same painting (e.g., a favored pet, siblings, or a couple). So, her work is not only realistic portraiture but an attempt to capture the emotional relations of her subjects. Mary also has a website, www.MaryVillondeBenveniste.com, which shows much of her work.
Below are the 25 BEST GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS IN AMERICA who agreed to vote on the 2017 American Art Awards:
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...” http://www.michenerartmuseum.org/
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....” http://newcombartmuseum.tulane.edu/
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.”http://www.hilligossgalleriesil.com/
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... “ http://mglv.org/
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. ... “ http://www.eandsgallery.com/
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......” http://georgeohr.org/
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... “ http://www.kiechelart.com/
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...” http://www.csfineartscenter.org/
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...”http://www.sdstate.edu/south-dakota-art-museum/
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...”http://www.marymartinart.com/
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... “ https://www.meyergallery.com/
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... “ http://blueraingallery.com/
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... “ https://maa.missouri.edu/
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...” http://www.codagallery.com/
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...” http://www.rogeryostgallery.com/
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...” http://www.bentleygallery.com/
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...”http://www.portlandmuseum.org/
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... “ https://brucemuseum.org/
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... “ http://www.artfusiongalleries.com/
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.”http://haanmuseum.org/
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.” http://www.wmbgartgallery.com/
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.” http://www.hathawaygallery.com/
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...” http://danagallery.com/
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...” http://www.evalyndunnsgallery.com/
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.” http://www.lik.com/