Sun. Sep 27th, 2020

Expressionism Category In 2015 American Art Awards Goes To Artists In US, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia And China

I interviewed president of, Thom Bierdz (author, actor and painter of the BLUE X paintings), and asked which artists this year won the EXPRESSIONISM – HUMAN FIGURE category.
Bierdz explained, “Expressionism is always an exciting category, and this year Linda Lowery’s oil titled Howl scored highest. The 25 galleries score each piece up to 3 points, so with this low scoring system we get a lot of ties.”
This year the online contest, juried by the 25 Best Galleries In America, had submissions from 35 countries including Aruba, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain,South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, UK, United Arab Emirates and USA.
In a series of articles expanding into October, Highlight Hollywood is showcasing the 1st to 6th Place winning images of the 2015 AMERICAN ART AWARDS, one category at a time.
1st      LINDA LOWERY    USA    “Howl”    24 x 30″    Oil on canvas.
2nd     RHEE HYUN KIM     SOUTH KOREA    “Sacrifice”    410 x 610mm     Acrylic on board.
3rd      PATTY RAE WELLBORN    USA   “Blue Child Two”     24 x 30″    Oil on canvas.
4th      PATTY RAE WELLBORN     USA   “Walk In The Woods”   18 X 24″   Oil on Canvas.
4th      STEVE SALO     AUSTRALIA    “Pollock”   22 x 17″    Oil on canvas.
5th      SUNGWON CHOI    INDONESIA   “The Giant Step”    800 x 600mm    Acrylic paint.
5th      CHEN DU LIU     CHINA   “12 Immortal Generals—Dragon ”   17 x 24mm   CG2D.
6th      CHEN DU LIU    CHINA    “12 Immortal Generals—Tiger”   17 x 24mm    CG2D.
6th      ASHLEY TSANG    USA    “Fragmented”   26 x 29″   Color pencil, sharpie , mixed media, acrylic.
Born in Oklahoma, Artist Linda Lowery moved to Washington, DC with her family when she was nine months old; they wanted to be near the monuments and museums that filled the city so her first visit to the National Gallery of Art as made before she could walk.
Growing up, Linda enjoyed drawing, painting and working with her hands doing crafts, often becoming frustrated when she couldn’t get the likeness that she wanted; as with her parent’s interest in the arts, serendipity intervened again instilling a perseverance to continue until she got the look that she wanted, an important trait that serves her well now.
Her appreciation for the arts grew large over time so Linda majored in art as an undergraduate and received a BFA with honors from Ohio Wesleyan University, spending part of her junior year in Vienna, Austria where she studied drawing at the University of Vienna. She received her MFA from George Washington University but all of her graduate classes were taken at the Corcoran School of Art, which was affiliated with GWU at the time. She studied painting with Thomas Downing, one of the leading painters of the “Washington Color School.”
After college Linda got a job as a commercial artist but found it often frustrating albeit good training in detail work. When it came to aesthetics, the customers always got their way even though her taste and theirs often clashed. Most of the work was boring and didn’t pay very well. This was pre-Photoshop so it was excruciatingly mindless detailed work that had to be done by hand. Finally it was either become more serious about commercial work or get into something more lucrative. She opted for the latter and sought her fortune in information technology. That satisfied part of her, but she still longed for more time for fine art and finally gave up seeking a fortune to devote all her efforts full time to painting.
Recently, Linda began painting portraits of newborn babies, inspired to begin a series by a picture taken of her son when he was just a few hours old. She was fascinated by his face, which clearly showed the trauma of birth from the baby’s perspective. Much has been written and described of the birthing process from the mother’s view, so Linda felt that her work could describe what a baby went through, transitioning, as it were, from the comfort of the womb to the relatively harsh hospital room environment. One of her strong motivations was to recognize that babies already have a depth of experience and emotions at the moment of birth, both good and bad, and thus evoke the realization that adults might admit to their own range of experience and emotion.
Linda’s intuition was affirmed by viewers reaction to the paintings of babies, including one woman who said she couldn’t look at them for long since she was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome dating from when her own children were newborns. Others included parents who recognized each expression from their own children, to pediatricians who identified the image of their patients, and finally to young adults who just stood and stared.
Over time, Linda developed a variety of techniques based on the subject matter at the time, from the still form of models to working from photographs of babies. In that case she does a charcoal sketch before beginning a painting, then sketching the image on the canvas before beginning to paint.
Her goal is not to produce a photographic likeness of the subject at hand, but to work loosely and allow the paint and brush strokes to make a statement in the finished painting. In this way each of her works are imprinted with her own unique style, adding a personal touch that becomes easily recognizable to those who have the good fortune to see her work in exhibits throughout the region.
Linda belongs to several local art organizations, each of which have exhibits throughout the year in their own galleries, typically one month in duration.  She supports these organizations by exhibiting her work and participating in fundraising efforts.
She is also active in her church and in Sukyo Mahikari, a charitable organization that promotes improvement of the world through improvement of the individual. These are among the few other regular activities that she participates in which don’t involve art directly.
In 2013, Linda was awarded a summer residency at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a major facility in Alexandria dedicated to artistic expression in a variety of endeavors. This opportunity allowed her both to work in a large studio in a building full of studios and over 100 other artists. The Torpedo Factor is open to the public and during her summer there, over 1,200 people walked through her studio allowing her the opportunity to talk with them and get their reaction to her art, something not generally available during gallery exhibits which offer much more limited access to visitors.
While Linda has difficulty pin-pointing her ongoing motivation in producing works of art, there is no uncertainty in the emotions felt from the state she is in when creating art nor in the empty feeling when she cannot get to the studio and paint; those who know her background can understand this perhaps better than she, especially considering that these feelings have been developing almost from the time when her own face exhibited the expressions she now finds so fascinating in newborn babies.
BEST GALLERY IN ARIZONA — Exposures International Gallery Of Fine Art: “Sedona’s largest gallery… Arizona’s largest gallery… largest gallery in the Southwest! …20,000 square feet of extraordinary display. 18 years…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN ILLINOIS — Hilligoss Gallery: “…has been Chicago’s Premier Art Gallery offering every kind of painting, from Renoirs to emerging local impressionists…two-story 8,500 square foot gallery is a beautiful and surreal timeless world unto itself, with a large staff and millions in annual revenue…”     SEE FULL STORY HERE:

BEST GALLERY IN NEBRASKA — Kiechel Fine Art: “For almost thirty years… specialized in 20th Century American Art with a focus on artists from the Midwest… three story building and exterior spaces…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:

BEST GALLERY IN NEW YORK STATE — LIK SOHO: “Lik is the most successful photographer in the world… 15 GALLERIES, TV show… sold upwards of $500 million to collectors, royalty, presidents and celebrities… his B&W photo titled “Phantom” sold for $6,500,000.00… Lik’s works make up four of the top 20 most expensive photographs ever sold…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN CALIFORNIA — Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery: “…20 years… three locations… excel in fine art acquisitions, consulting, custom framing, art installation, corporate collections and award design…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:

BEST GALLERY IN NEVADA — Exclusive Collections Gallery: “Collectors range from A-list celebrities to U.S. presidents… does an astronomical amount of business… is continually expanding, with four other stunning locations – Beverly Hills, San Diego and Laguna Beach.” SEE FULL STORY HERE:

BEST GALLERY IN CONNECTICUT — Westport River Gallery: “… expertise in fine European, American & Asian fine art… web site reads like a library… on highly collectible international artists’ works… preeminent dealers of Pissarro – and not only Camille Pissarro,… but also H. Claude Pissarro, Paulemile Pissarro and Lelia Pissarro.” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN TENNESSEE — Stanford Fine Art: “…the premier purveyor of historical, Impressionistic and regional art in the Southeast. For over 25 years… Nashville’s premier art gallery… works… from the 19th century to the present… exemplary aesthetic standards, museum quality…”
BEST GALLERY IN  OREGON: BRONZE COAST GALLERY: “…one of Oregon Coast’s premiere fine art galleries for more than 20 years. They even provide education in sculpture and the process of bronze casting…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN FLORIDA — Art Fusion Galleries: “Established in 2001… represents over 900… known as the preeminent gallery in Miami for integrating the best of Emerging to Mid-Career Contemporary artists… 8,000 square feet… in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Art District…”
BEST GALLERY IN TEXAS — Laura Rathe Gallery: “…two stunning galleries, one in the Dallas Design District… other on Houston Gallery Row… a leading source for contemporary art in Texas… established, mid-career artists… acquired into world-renowned private, corporate and museum collections…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN LOUISIANA — Jonathan Ferrara Gallery: “…focused on cutting edge works… with a sense of purpose, mission, and message… provocative… New Orleans gallery has become a fixture on Julia Street’s gallery row, the premier art corridor in The South.” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN KENTUCKY – E & S Gallery: “…a nationally recognized leader in the African American art industry. Established in Louisville, KY in 1989… grown to a more than 11,000 square foot gallery…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN COLORADO — Mirada Fine Art:   “… on numerous ‘Best Of’ lists. We love the art, we love the spirit, we love the upward trajectory, we love the history… special, insightful and unique…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN MISSOURI: The Hilliard Gallery:“41 years… one of the oldest and largest fine art galleries in Kansas City… voted by Kansas City Visitor Center as Best Gallery In Kansas City in 2012… voted by Kansas City Magazine as the Best Gallery In Kansas City 2014.” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN OHIO — Lee Hayden Gallery: “… a prominent Cleveland gallery for a decade, offering paintings, sculptures and rare prints from dozens of internationally acclaimed artists…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN NEW MEXICO — Zane Bennett Contemporary Art: “…museum appeal…powerful 10,000 square foot space… Phenomenal.”
BEST GALLERY IN SOUTH CAROLINA — Mary Martin Gallery Of Fine Art: “…on par with Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive and NY’s Fifth Avenue. This prestigious French Quarter gallery… classical to contemporary works of originality and beauty… established and mid-career painters and sculptors who forge new ground. Notable artists of museum quality…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:

BEST GALLERY IN HAWAII — Genesis Galleries: “16 years… two wildly popular galleries on the Big Island… Genesis Kings offers international work while their Queens location offers only authentic Hawaii work… Known along the Kohala Coast as the highest-rated destination in galleries by Trip Advisor… “ SEE FULL STORY HERE:

BEST GALLERY IN IOWA — Steven Vail Fine Arts: “…one of the state’s better-known galleries for contemporary and modern art… international and high-profile artists, such as Damien Hirst, Willem de Koonig, Chuck Close, Henry Moore, Not Vital and Donald Judd whose works have been exhibited in famous art museums across the world…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN IDAHO — The Art Spirit Gallery: “… 20 years… high-quality, original work by regional artists… 4,000 square foot… unimaginably high ceilings… promote high-quality art in the resort community of Coeur d’Alene…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN MINNESOTA — Doubletake Gallery: “…a fine art consignment and brokerage service gallery …international Internet presence, with millions of hits…open-to-the-public showroom… LeRoy Neiman, Salvador Dali, Peter Max…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN NEW JERSEY — Evalyn Dunn Gallery: “It is very rare to find a gallery so successful it is approaching it’s 60th year…features the finest 20th Century American and European art.” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN ALASKA — Annie Kaill’s Premier Fine Art: “…forty years… commercial regional art by both emerging and mid-career artists, as well as the Northwest’s most famous painters …devotion to the authentic Alaskan landscape…” SEE FULL STORY HERE:
BEST GALLERY IN UTAH — Southam Gallery: “…36 years… one of the premier galleries in the Inter Mountain Region… some of the most beautiful paintings we have ever seen anywhere… “ SEE FULL STORY HERE:
AAA1512.9  Movie of Bierdz’s BLUE X paintings:
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AAA
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