Wednesday, June 28, 2023

36th Annual Northern National Art Competition


As most of you know, recently it was my honor to jury the 36th Annual Northern National  Art Competition, which was staged in the beautiful campus of Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

As all great juried shows are, this was an immensely difficult show to judge, which is a good thing! I have juried and judged and curated a lot of art shows over the last few decades, and when I say that this one was by far one of the top shows with some of the best entries that I have ever had the honor to jury, I mean among the very top!

I was also superbly impressed by the diversity of the subject matter submitted - it covered practically the entire spectrum of the tapestry of the visual arts, and many of the selected entries pushed the envelope of contemporary art. 

Like any art competition, some works stood out almost immediately, but what singularly marked this show as a great competition was the significant number of entries that stood out. There are quite a few entries in this show which allowed some very talented artists to flex some powerful artistic muscles that deliver a powerful message to the solar plexus of the inquisitive mind – be prepared to be stopped in your tracks as you wander through the show. 

Finally, as always, I am honored to be able to judge and comment on the work of my fellow artists. I am humbled, kindled and educated by the talent present in this exhibition.  You can see the exhibition via a virtual tour here.

The Award winners:

Awards of Excellence


Joshua Newth / Caitlyn, Crown - Oil

James Swanson / Splash Landing - Oil

Emma LaPine / The Kindness of Transformation - Oil

Robert Jinkins / Scarecrow in the Garden - Mixed media

Special Merit Awards


Kyle Surges / Cocktail Party - Oil

Berthold Boone / House Paint - Acrylic

Andrea Kidd / The Mad Hatter and The Doormouse - Charcoal, white pastel

Benefactor Awards


Rebecca Korth / Rufous Martini Splash - Oil

Nate Wilson / Life Drawing - Charcoal on toned paper

Roberta Condon / Blanketed by the Barn Owls - Soft pastel on sanded paper

Sandra Cashman / The Gathering Storm - Oil

Mark Weller / Storm over Mendota - Timestacking photography

Donor Awards


Michael Nichols / Breath - Buon fresco

Sheila Stilin / Tom's Barn - Watercolor

Elizabeth Yarosz-Ash / Bon Vivant - Acrylic

Patron Awards

$125 - $150

Cassandra Smith / Embellished Deer - Taxidermy whitetail deer, embellishments, acrylic

Taylor Mazer / Water Towers - Pen and ink

Craig Blacklock / Light Waves Squared AAP970 - Photography

Audience Choice Award


Cassandra Smith / Embellished Deer - Taxidermy whitetail deer, embellishments, acrylic

Purchase Award

Nicolet College Permanent Collection Purchase

Rachel Catlett / Feeding the Flock, Sunburst - Oil