Christopher attended the Savannah College of Art and
Design. He trained in all media, but currently favors
pastel, charcoal, acrylic, and watercolor.
Instructional Courses Now Offered
Because we have always sought a close association
with art educators, museums, and galleries, we have
composed a series of online courses designed to
augment college level work in the Visual Arts. We
have carefully composed such a program consisting
of four separate courses, each of six weeks duration.
Part of this program references our new video library
where we invite you to hang out and add to your art
knowledge. Another resource we've added to keep
your art skills sharp are links to every art museum in
Nearly all the free artist resources we offer, as well
as the low cost online art courses, are paid for by
funds generated from our art contests. Next time you
enter one of our art contests you'll know that you get a
world of value in return!
An oil painting, a watercolor, and a photograph took top honors at our themed show, "The Colors
of Autumn, the Feel of Winter," which wrapped up at the end of December.
Christopher Reid, Joseph Swenartin, Cynthia Fleury Are the Award Winners in Our 21st Show
Christopher Reid, Winter Woods, watercolor, 12 x 16
North Carolina artist, Christopher Reid won top place
for his work "Winter Woods." Joseph Swenarton,
working in his Florida studio, took 2nd place with his oil,
"Waiting for Spring." Art photographer Cynthia Fleury of
Minnesota won 3rd place honors with "Lake Superior
Joseph Swenarton, Waiting for Spring, oil, 24 x 30
Cynthia Fleury, Lake Superior Blues, photography
Capturing the mood of falling snow and of being there,
Christopher Reid says: "Winter Woods is more about
mood than about subject matter. I wanted to capture the
stillness and silence of the scene, I would like for the
viewer to almost hear the quiet of the falling snowflakes."
The Visual Arts Video Library is designed to
provide working artists with a valuable tool by
which they can broaden their knowledge and
understanding of why they create the art that
they do. The library can also be used as a
source for inspiring original art work, as well
as offering visual cues to aid in skill
Cynthia Fleury, no stranger to winning honors in past AJAS shows, said that she composes her
photographs as if she was working on a painting, adding that her approach is more artistic and
intuitive, rather than technical.
Joseph Swenarton used a palette knife in his piece. If you're curious as to how Joseph, living in
sunny Florida, managed to paint such a moving rendition of winter, he said that he's drawn to
northern landscapes, maintaining half jokingly that he may be the only Florida artist painting oak
trees instead of palm trees. As a child, he said that he was raised up north and that he misses the
change of seasons.
"Look for art exhibitions where the jury is composed of art educators,
curators, critics, and gallery directors."
|Bridging the Gap Between Artists and Museums
Curators and critics can miss worthy artists who later win
respect. This disconnect is not new. The struggle for
lifetime recognition has even troubled art celebrities
including James Whistler, Vincent Van Gogh, Vermeer,
and Amedeo Modigliani.
By Michele L. Bechtell - Director of the Madison Museum of Fine Art, Madison,
Michele L. Bechtell
Be honest. What type of art do you create? Is it powerful contemplative art? Or is
it decorative? There is no shame in declaring your works as solely intended to
decorate a room or hotel lobby.
There is prosperity for artists in the decorative arts industry. Many talented artists
convert walls, windows, and floors into a pleasing aesthetic experience using a
variety of media. So, embrace your style and look for the proper audience and
Are you essentially a graphic designer? Are you an illustrator? Are you a
photographer? And if so, what kind?
Present your work to the appropriate audience. If you are seeking recognition as a
fine art artist, beware. No serious collector or art museum wants an imitation of an
earlier artist. The audience for imitations is the decoration industry. There is
something different about a “fine art” artist. Fine art exudes a rarefied essence, a
rigor, an intriguing pulse, a mesmerizing atmosphere, a unique “je ne sais quoi”
that differentiates it from decorative art.
Avoid an attitude of entitlement. The early 21st century is marked by a broad
feeling of entitlement in many aspects of American community life. And art is no
exception. A syndicated column in a local newspaper recently admonished
readers with an obligation to buy art from local artists because they are struggling.
That is nonsense. Most everyone strives for recognition in his or her profession,
and art is no exception.
Activity doesn’t guarantee an audience or income even for art masters. Many
Sunday painters are not fine artists. For the fine art artist, art is a passion and a
calling. It cannot be stopped by way of poverty, public rejection, critical review, or
True artists more often suffer despair when they cannot achieve a desired artistic
effect than worry about public appeal. Many artists support their art work through
Develop a signature aesthetic. Are you doing something different than other
artists, not for sensationalism but grounded in a unique artistic vision? During
academic training, all apples look like apples. And many artists can imitate
However, most museums and discerning collectors seek more. They are intrigued
when, after much practice and experimentation, the unique seed of an art genius
bursts forth in a signature “artistic voice.” It is that revolutionary uniqueness that
helps define an art master generations later. So find your unique aesthetic
Confront your fears. Many visual art masters did not bask in the adulation of peers
and public. Rather, in pursuit of their vision, they sometimes offended their
audience. Artists like James Whistler, Eugene Delacroix, Eduard Manet, Claude
Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock challenged artistic perceptions of
So be brave. Push to break through stylistic fears, perceived technical
challenges, or taboo subjects that intrigue you, not for the shock value, but
because you are compelled to create.
Go to Museums, Live in Museums. There are reasons that certain artists and their
creations withstand the test of time and are celebrated across decades and
centuries. World class art history museums celebrate the artists and original
artworks that defined and redefined human history.
Find an original work you admire or dislike and enter a virtual dialogue with the art
master. Take your sketch pad to the museum and experiment. Create a homage
to the art master. Attempt to reproduce an admirable visual attribute. Reinterpret
a work in your terms and artistic vision.
Above all, look, see, and reflect. Breathe though your eyes and celebrate your
artistic gift as part of the cultural continuum of man’s history.
© The American Juried Art Salon
Michele L. Bechtell has over 20 years experience in art brokering, art appraising,
and art education. She currently serves as Director of the Madison Museum of
Fine Art, a juror for the American Juried Art Salon, art appraiser, and a court
certified expert witness in art related matters.
|Establishing partnerships between artists and art museums
|Distributing top-quality art to U.S. art museums
Charles DeBus, Senior
Meadows School of
the Arts, Southern
Professor of Art,
Lynn Fero, Vice
John B. Henry, III,
Institute of Arts,
Michele L. Bechtell,
Museum of Fine Art;
Jule Collins Smith
Museum of Fine Art;
Philip R. Jackson,
of Art, Painting; The
Dr. Lee A. Gray
Dr Gwen F. Chanzit,
Curator, Modern and
Curator, Herbert Bayer
Collection and Archive;
Denver Art Museum,
|Dr Heather Campbell
Delaware Art Museum,
Peter Baldaia, Director
of Curatorial Affairs,
Huntsville Museum of
Art, Huntsville, Alabama
Griffin Museum of
Dr. Charles Garoian
former director of
Penn State's School
of Visual Arts
Aritsts, Curators, Educators, Museum Directors who
have raised the level of judging art here at AJAS
Special thanks to our friends and associates, including:
Communications Director: Bill Johnson
A Look at the Art in the 17th Biannual Show and
what the Awards Judge said
Lynda Burbank, a California artist, won the first
place award with her oil on canvas piece,
"Fox's Vanity Top." Second place was captured
by Ma SingLing, an artist trio from Taiwan, with
their oil and acrylic painting entitled "A Deep
Breath." Patrick Parise took 3rd place with his
acrylic on canvas work "Crossroads."
The Awards judge was Dr. Lee A. Gray, the
Curator of Exhibitions & Collections for the
Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum;
University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Fox's Vanity Top, by Lynda Burbank. 18 x 24. Oil
Said Dr. Gray about the second
place work: " I liked the idea of
using both oil and acrylic in this
work as well as the morphing of
representational fantasy with
abstract expressionism. "
The awards judge commented on the third place piece:"This work impressed
me for its use of color and line. I think the composition is striking because it is
both pleasing and challenging.
of the paint and manages to control and bring out the self-evolving spirit out of
the unpredictable and constant-moving characteristics of the image created.
The principle of their creation is to “interact with the constant-changing
phenomena by abiding by the never-changing innate virtue, and to abide in the
never-changing innate virtue while interacting with the constant-changing
phenomena of the world.”
Dr Gray commented: "I chose
this one for first place because I
perspective was challenging
especially in light of it being a
mirrored composition. It is an
interesting take on a traditional
still-life rendering. The execution
is also impressive as the
painter clearly knows the
|All participating artists received
jury-scored evaluation on all work
submitted so they could learn from
The evaluations received showed the
scored form the jurors used in grading
each piece. Another purpose for
presenting the artists the scored forms
is that few, if any, exhibitions do this.
"We want to take the mystery of judging
art out of the closet and place it in the
artist," said Keith Yingling,
Communications Director of
Artjury.com/The American Juried Art
Salon. "hundreds of artists over the
years have contacted me, describing
how the judging forms have given
them new insight into their work. "And
that says it all," Yingling adds ..." where
there is insight there is growth."
What They're Saying in
Museums and Galleries
Consider this when entering a
Being accepted into a juried show
should not be primarily about
winning money. It's about improving
your art and gaining the respect of
museum directors and curators as
well as of the educational
community. Once you accomplish
this the path to professional (non
vanity) gallery representation lies
open to you.
Enter as many professional juried
exhibitions as possible. Look for art
exhibitions where the jury is
composed of art educators, directors
and curators. Having an online
presence is a big advantage. Many
museums, galleries, and collectors
review the exhibitions and prizes on
artist resumes. Treat each exhibition
as a necessary step by step
approach in an audience-building
When you do not win acceptance or
a prize, maintain the worth of the
competition. Study the differential
attributes of prize winning works for
possible inclusion in your work or
rejection by choice, not capability.
Do not always assume that prize
winning works are better works of
art. Rather, consider the possibility
that jurors favored a particular
aesthetic, style, region, or audience.
Strive for excellence in a mediocre
art era. American artists inhabit a
populist mass market culture that
indulges mediocrity, instant
gratification, and gross ignorance of
the God given intelligence behind
Part of the above article is based on, and written
by, Michele L. Bechtell - Director of the Madison
Museum of Fine Art, Madison, Georgia. Read
more of what Michele has to say ibelow
Dr. Lee A. Gray,
Curator, Exhibitions &
Collections, Paul and
Museum; University of
Louisiana at Lafayette.
Awards judge Dr Heather Coyle,
Curator of American Art at the
Delaware Art Museum
described the contest as
exciting and memorable.
A Deep Breath, by Ma SingLing. 39.37 x 78.74
cm. Oil and acrylic.
Crossroad, by Patrick Parise. 35 x 48. Acrylic on canvas.
We are pleased to announce that the three award winning artists in our 18th
biannual exhibition are:
Tina Rott, of New York, whose 3-D work made of cloth and cement titled
alright wins 1st Place; Carol Wontkowski, of Massachusetts, whose
photograph titled Lace In the Afternoon Series-Turbulence wins 2nd Place;
Eleanor Gilpatrick, of New York City, whose acrylic on canvas painting titled
In Afghanistan wins 3rd Place.
Congratulations to the award winners and those artists whose works were
accepted into our competition. Special thanks to all the artists who entered!
Alright, Cloth, Cement.left,right views
Tina says this about her art:"I have
always been interested in sculptural
forms that seduce the viewer through
a balance of contrasting materials
Currently in my work I am exploring
how materials naturally behave, on
their own, as well as in combination
with other materials. All materials
have inherent qualities, both
physically, and symbolically.
Once I learn what materials are
capable of, and how they are
traditionally perceived, I can push
them past their typical context and
give them a new identity in my work."
Tina is a graduate of Buffalo State
College, Buffalo, New York with a
B.F.A. in Sculpture & Painting minor.
|Dr Heather Coyle, the awards judge,
said this about Alright: "I first looked
at these images over a week ago,
and Alright is the work that
impressed itself on my mind most
strongly—the one I recalled most
accurately days later. I responded to
the scale of the work, as well as the
form, both of which echo the human
Since ancient times, in scale and
subject matter, sculpture relates to
the human form, and this is a
wonderful contemporary take on that
tradition. A cape, a bathrobe, a
monk’s robe, an Oldenburg cloth
construction—the work conjures a
series of intriguing associations. I do
not need to read an artist’s
statement (or even a title) to enjoy
this evocative work."
|Tina Rott Wins Top Award in 18th Biannual Show
Artist Tina Rott
Bay State Photographer
Takes Home 2nd Place
Artist Carol Wontkowski
Awards Judge Heather Coyle says of
Turbulence: 'Like many of my favorite
photographs, Turbulence presents an
image that requires deciphering. I did
not immediately know what I was
looking at, and the title (and series
title) helped me to recognize the
subject. Formally strong, this
photograph balances motion and
stasis, color and tone, angular and
organic forms. The disorienting
perspective recalls high Modern
photographs, yet there is something
warmer here. I appreciate the way
the photographer played the
movement of the lace curtains
against the stability of the window
frame, and I like the way the
photograph nearly becomes a study
in black and white."
NYC Artist Eleanor Gilpatrick Captures 3rd Place
Award with In Afghanistan
Eleanor comments:"In Afghanistan is
part of my 'Issues of Our Time' series.
It is based on a photograph in an
exhibit by Afghan women university
students, 2005. The photo shows that
Afghan women are not forced to wear
the Burqa and can travel without a
male family member, such as on this
remote village road. But the Taliban and
religious terrorist rule has influenced
women to cover their faces with a
Before, women would only cover their
heads, not their faces. I had
permission to use the photo as a
basis for my painting from the
Afghanistan Independent Human
Rights Commission (AIHRC), which
sponsored the exhibit."
Heather Coyle, Awards Judge,
says: "I was first struck by the
balance here. The paint is expertly
handled and the composition is
striking. I like how the figures—with
their intensely colored attire—create
strong masses against the pale
Artist Eleanor Gilpatrick
In Afghanistan, 20 x 20, acrylic
Carol Wontkowski describes
"My work is a reflection of both the
beauty and emotional response I have
to a subject. Typically, I am drawn to
"In 'Turbulence (from Lace in the
Afternoon Series), I was initially taken
by how the afternoon light filtered
through the lace curtain in the image
"Lace in the Afternoon" (thus the title of
the series). As I began to photograph,
other objects from different angles with
lace became interesting so I
expanded. Overall, it took several
months to capture images I thought
and felt reflected different scenarios of
lace in the afternoon.
"Also in this series, I was attempting to
capture the lace curtain when the wind
took it. One particularly breezy day, I
wondered what the curtain might look
like when taken by the wind if I lay on
the floor and shot up. The result is
Carol attended the Rhode Island
School of Design after studying
What was the inspiration of this work? Patrick Parise answers: "Crossroads was
part of a solo show called 'Abstractions' in 2010. Thirty one were created, coming
from many drawings over a three year period. It was the first piece created and
became the pathway for the creation of all the others. To me Crossroads
represented the many decisions that have to be made concerning what kind of art
you will make and how to execute those ideas."
You can view more works of the three award winners at Emerging Artists
Audience disconnects can cause artists to question the
value of exhibitions. Yet the exercise of making application
and attending exhibitions remains a worthy one. Visual art is
worthy of the pursuit of excellence.
Many art museums and galleries host juried exhibitions
to recognize emerging artists, promote art education, and
introduce the public to the dynamic evolution of art
history. Not all emerging artists gain the recognition they
desire or deserve.
(Lace in the Afternoon Series) Turbulence
19th Show Awards to Three Artists
The three artists demonstrated action throughout their work. As French artist
André Masson once said: "Great painting is painting in which the spaces
between the figures are charged with as much energy as the figures that
The artists are: Sabine Blodorn, Queensland, NSW, Australia; Lucie Boswell of
Californa, and Richard Horrocks of Utah.
"Voodoo" is built along a vertical grid with interacting objects and forms that invite
the viewer's eyes to explore the depth of the painting. The viewer is constantly
guessing the meaning of each element encountered.
Muted colors establish themselves in an interlocking symphony of movement
suggested by the forms. A nice sense of depth is created by these colors and
shapes. When the visual experience completes, one is left with the impression
that the work is a voodoo mask on steroids.
Much the same can be said of "Chinatown Red." In this work movement is
created on a muted horizontal grid suggested by figures dynamically positioned
along the base. The two color format of red and white works very well in
establishing visual suggestions of where the viewer's attention should be
Voodoo, Sabine Blodorn, mixed media, 100 x
80 x 2 cm
Chinatown Red, Lucie Boswell, digital
Destroying Angel, Richard Horrocks, oil, 36 x 48
directed. The final result of this digital\
work? All of its elements hang together
"Destroying Angel" is built on a diagonal
grid that in less practiced hands would
be distracting. Horrock's work however,
uses this grid to full advantage,
especially in the depiction of the blade
whose aspect appears at first glance to
be hanging outside the painting. The
overall effect of this work is that it
appears somewhat dangerous to view
because of its threatening action shown
on nearly every square inch of the
Saying it Best .... Artist
Daniel Henry Kahnwiler
What constitutes great painting? It was
no secret to French artist André
Masson. He said: "Great painting is
painting in which the spaces between
the figures are charged with as much
energy as the figures that determine
As the highly succesful 20th century
art dealer, Daniel Henry Kahnwiler,
said, "What matters is the whole, the
picture itself, and that all of its parts
must be equally important." Kahnweiler
was a personal friend of Masson's in
Web site © The American Juried Art Salon (AJAS). All Rights Reserved.
As an artist there are a lot of realities to face about showing
your work and marketing it. I have had galleries in New York
City wanting to display my work, but at a price; about $3.000
for promotional activity. Then there are the persons who
publish art books where you can buy a page or two for about
$800.00. The books supposedly go to various art galleries and
collectors. The bottom line here is it can cost a lot of money
before sales come if you go that route.
With the internet we have a whole new field to work with. By
creating a blog or website with your portfolio you can reach
Ontario Artist In Search of Sales Finds His Bottom Line
getting your work out there. I have dealt mainly with online juried art shows as a
way of showing my work.
I would love to do some shows in Europe or USA. But again, unless the
galleries cover all cost, most of us would not be able to afford to go that route.
The bottom line for me is I have a passion for my work. Travelling through the
wilderness is a whole different world of peace, tranquility and beauty. It's worth
more than money.
people all over the world. Entering online juried art shows is another way of
" Colored fabric always fascinated me. So, I have tried to include this beautiful
material in my art work. I use several textured fabrics, cut them in numerous
pieces that are then glued or fused onto a canvas background in layers, until I am
satisfied with the correct shape and color value. In a particular piece I try to stay
true to only one medium and generally do not mix different media. I take a lot of
photos of things that catch my eye. "
He adds that " at a later date, it is these photos that inspire me to create a
particular piece of art. It is my humble attempt to capture a tiny piece of the
grandeur and beauty I experienced, including the lush mountains, the powerful,
yet serene hues of the ocean and especially the flowers that truly capture my
"I am always drawn to their vibrant colors, and the simple delicate architecture of
the petals. I don’t try and recreate the photo but try and capture its essence as
seen through the creative mind’s eye."
Dattatreya has written us a How-2 article that won't fail to interest other artists.
Read it here.
Eldred Boze, Carl Gethmann, Dattatreya Phadke Win Focus Awards in 20th International Art Show
Digital art and fabric collage on canvas headed the list of accepted art in this
show that wrapped up in May, 2014.
Judges were quick to point out that the three Focus Award winners in this
exhibition offered eye catching work whose narrative was visually absorbing
and dynamically structured to lead the viewer's eye to every element on the
substrate. One judge commented, "It's pretty cool art and may be leading
Other accepted work in this show offers a glimpse at what is happening in art
at MIT in Boston: an article now being prepared by MIT artist Agta
Wiśniowska; a wonderful restaurant scene by Willow Bader; an intruiging
graphite on paper work by Katarzyna Jablonska; and a Kevan Simon wall
sculpture made of gears, rods, and found objects.
The work of Eldred Boze was accepted because of its imaginative
Fishing Boats 1 is
built on a cross
hatch of complexity,
yet is marine
identifiable by its
overall theme. Your
eye is guided
throughout the work
by this thoughtful
proof that digital art
can compete with
of an artist with
paint and brush.
Eldred Boze said he was recently on a trip and "a guide told us that he was
going to take us to a spot that was not visited by any other tour company. He
said we had only 15 minutes there but that it was worth it.
"As we turned around a port area, we could see hundreds of masts and
cabins jammed into a small port. You couldn't help but get a picture of
shapes and colors that were caught your eyes and interest. It took very little
editing to compose an interesting cacophony of intersecting shapes and
" I have always been intrigued with boats and their shapes but never seen
such a photographer's delight before or since."
A Mountain Spring is built around a centered waterfall that is visually
supported by water and rocks. The masterful handling of this work has
resulted in a perfectly unified theme. We asked its creator, Carl Gethmann,
to explain to us how he arrived at producing such a theme. He provided us
with an absorbing How-2 article that you won't want to miss.
Dattatreya Phadke is a
Consultant Pathologist at
St Luke’s University
Hospital Network in
versed in several other media, he now concentrates his
Eldred Boze, Fishing Boats 1
Incidentally, the introduction of the How-2 articles will be a growing resource
for artists on our website. We plan to add more such articles. Here's the link
Dattatreya Phadke,Sunset over Pinnacle Rock, fabric collage on
canvas, 16 x 20
Carl Gethmann, A Mountain Spring, digital painting on aluminum
panel, 15 x 20
art creations using fabric on canvas.
|"The more successful artist advice was always the
same: “You must be your own person and artist.”
|Lawrence Baker retired several years ago after teaching art for 30
years in the Cleveland, Ohio school system. His art career has been the
subject of numerous exhibitions in Northern Ohio art galleries and
museums. He writes us the following article:
|I remember the trips from Jacksonville, Florida to Savannah, Georgia. These
were usually trips to visit family. Of course, I had other family in the south. For
some reason, I remember the rides in the back of the car. For some reason I
thought of the car as a green 1953 Chevrolet. We would get up early in the
morning and ride in the car until we reached our destination.
I understand now there were legitimate reasons for a black family to start the
trip early in the morning before light. This time was the early 1950’s. Some
of those reasons as I see now as not wanting to be harassed by white
policemen along the way. Being sure; that when you had to stop; it was an
establishment that was friendly to black people. This is the way I interpreted
these family trips in the south for black families. I would sit and stare out of
the window as a small child. During these long lengths of time; I would
become transfixed in time. I would lose sight of time. The time no longer
became an issue. It almost became hallucinatory. Though obviously I was
moving; the panoramic view became stationary. I was immersed in the
setting. My mind became locked in some kind of distance within space. I felt
that I could walk within that space.
I think this is the period of my life that set me on the path as a visual artist. I
became more in tune with my environment. I looked at elements of my
environment with a kind of new insight. I paid more attention.
Of course; there were other moments and issues that have become a part of
me. I hope my work has and is reflecting of those positive moments and
Because of education I was able to come in touch with basic principles of art
and theory. With education I have learned about some of the variations in how
artists approach their work. Of course; there were other moments and issues
that have become a part of me. I hope my work has and is reflecting of those
positive moments and issues.
Some artist are trained. Others are not. Our desire to categorize or organize
our arts and artists is a part of the Western culture. The hope is that these
artists are reflective of the periods of time. That is not always the case. Some
artists chose not to associate themselves with the masses of the period.
I have met and held discussions with some prominent and more successful
artists than myself. In particular, I once had a long discussion about art with
Alex Katz, an artist of the Contemporary Period. Other artists that I looked
to for inspiration in my desire to succeed in art were Fairfield Porter, Vincent
VanGogh and Jacob Lawrence.
The more successful artist advice was always the same. “You must be your
own person and artist.” The meaning of this to me was; "your concept or
idea should be expressed as strongly as possible."
Lawrence Baker in his Cleveland,
Decaying Landscape, 26 x 40
Inclination, 26 x 40
Resulting Discovery, 26 x 40, graphite
Desert Plant, 26 x 40
All Artists Will Receive Their Judge's Completed Scoring Form - Read it Here
OUR 22nd INTERNATIONAL JURIED SHOW. ENTRY DEADLINE JUNE 1, 2015
THE AMERICAN JURIED ART SALON CORPORATION (AJAS)
for Artists Working in the Visual Arts
Each Artist Whose Work is Accepted Will Be Offered a Free YouTube Video of 10 Selected Pieces From His/Her Portfolio.