Fri. Feb 28th, 2020

American Art Awards Selects Best Galleries In Sixteen States, Highlight Hollywood Exclusive Interview

American Art Awards Selects Best Galleries In Sixteen States. Sculptors, photographers and painters know there are a handful of respected online art contests but the American Art Awards is the only competition juried by 25 of the best galleries in America.

President of Thom Bierdz tells Highlight Hollywood, “When I co-created this contest four years ago, I wanted to get my fellow artists’ images critiqued by the most respected galleries in history. Even though millions of people know me from playing Phillip on The Young & The Restless and my Melrose Place role and other TV stuff, it was hard for me to get any gallery to actually see my own paintings a decade ago…” The self-taught Bierdz can now boast having artwork in galleries across the United States, as well as in movie star’s homes. He continues, “…It is really unheard of that a contest like this can get every artists’ image seen by so many established gallery eyes. It just doesn’t happen. By March 15 we try to select all 25 galleries because artists start entering in April. Tommy, I did my homework, and these are 16 of the best galleries currently in America.”

Wolfgang Roth & Partners Fine Art Gallery (Miami, Florida)
Chasen Galleries (Richmond, Virginia)
Park West Gallery (Southfield, Michigan)
Nunnery’s Gallery 119 (Jackson, Mississippi)
Catherine Kelleghan Gallery (Atlanta, Georgia)
Lee Hayden Gallery (Cleveland, Ohio)
Strecker-Nelson Gallery (Manhattan, Kansas)
McColl Fine Art (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Sunshine Arts (Kaneohe, Hawaii)
Exposed Gallery (Phoenix, Arizona)
Westport River Gallery (Westport, Connecticut)
Stephano’s Fine Art Gallery (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Monty Stabler Galleries (Birmingham, Alabama)
Depot Gallery (Ennis, Montana)
Mill Brook Gallery (Concord, New Hampshire)
Annie Kaill’s Gallery (Juneau, Alaska)
Bierdz explains, “What the American Art Awards gives artists, as well as a few cash prizes, is validity. These artists can forever add to their resume that 25 of the best American galleries voted their art a winner. This is an important credit. It totally substantiates their work. Hey, I am not the best artist out there, and I am reminded of that when I see the entries each year! But I do get to help other artists win awards, get art represented, sell their work and most importantly feel valuable. Think about it. Humans see the same thing everyday. On TV, at their jobs, out their car windows, at their dinner table. But artists conjure up images humans do not see everyday – and it inspires us, or makes us think, or makes us feel something additional. They expand our universe.” I asked Bierdz if he gets as mush satisfaction from acting as he does from painting. “When I am acting, I am told what to say, told how to say it, dressed by someone, and made to look like someone wants me to look. Then I give a little Thom Bierdz and hopefully that finishes what is a group project. But when I am painting, there are no edits and no one else dilutes what flows onto my canvases. All the artists that enter the contest deliver something very pure. I have gotten so much support for my art, and through I can support my fellow artisans, and get their art juried by these sixteen phenomenal galleries, and more.”

The American Art Awards is now accepting submissions. Info at

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett                                                                                                                       Photographs are Courtesy: Thom Bierdz’s Private Collection                                                                             Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd and at LightfootinHwd