Art Renewal Center Salon

Last year the Art Renewal Center (ARC) introduced the Plein Air Category to the prestigious ARC Salon Competition. The time has come again and the entry period for the 14th International ARC Salon is now open with a deadline of March 15, 2019. “Plein Air painting is a popular and unique style” says Kara Lysandra Ross, co-chair and C.O.O. of the ARC. “To paint outdoors, completely from life is its own skill, and one that we are proud to highlight in our competition.” Jurors for the Plein Air Category include plein air painting experts Jean Stern and Eric Rhoads as well as art historians and published authors Dr. Vern Swanson and Kara Lysandra Ross.

Art Renewal Center

Along these lines the ARC has also introduced a new category in the 14th ARC Salon Competition titled Fully From Life. “The Fully From Life Category was created because there are a large number of artists who feel strongly about working without photographic references and do not want to compete against works that use photographic references. We have and will continue to allow works created using photographic references to compete in the ARC Salon as they are an important part of the 21st Century Realist Art Movement and many spectacular works are created using photographic references. However, we wanted to give artists who feel strongly about working from life the opportunity to compete in a way that they are comfortable with. We hope this will pull many artists into the ARC competition who do not chose to compete in other competitions for this reason. We still encourage works created from life to compete in the other categories of the competition as well. Artists can enter the same work in multiple categories as they see fit.”

Oil paintings
Damien Gonzales, “Vallecito Mountain – Taos,” 2016, oil, 9 x 12 in. Plein air, currently on exhibit with the 13th ARC Salon Exhibition

The category was partly created due to the encouragement and support of the Florence Academy of Art, which is sponsoring the category at the suggestion of Daniel Graves.

“Working directly from life poses unique challenges to the artist. The natural world cannot be copied — it must be interpreted. In the absence of an intermediary, like photography, to assist in the translation of the subject, the artist is guided only by his or her individual exploration of the subject to create a uniquely personal representation of reality.” –Jordan Sokol, instructor, Florence Academy of Art.

Art Renewal Center Salon

Jurors include a panel of individuals who are known to be a part of the fully from life philosophy: Dan Graves, Juliette Aristides, Kamille Corry, and Dr. Vern Swanson.

In addition to these two categories that focus completely on works from life, the ARC Salon hosts the largest number of categories in any representational art competition, eleven in total. Other categories include: Figurative, Portraiture, Imaginative Realism, Sculpture, Drawing, Still Life, Landscape, Animals, and a separate student category for 13- to 19-year-olds called the Da Vinci Initiative Category.

Oil paintings
Jane Hunt, “Q Road Sunset,” 2017, oil, 10 x 16 in. Plein air, currently on exhibit with the 13th ARC Salon Exhibition

The competition culminates in a live traveling exhibition of many of the winning works. In this past competition works traveled from the Salmagundi Club, NYC, to Sotheby’s Los Angeles, to the MEAM (European Museum of Modern Art) in Barcelona, Spain, where the show is currently still on view.

Oil paintings
Mary Pettis, “Cove Patterns and Turtles Too!,” 2017, oil, 16 x 20 in. Plein air, currently on exhibit with the 13th ARC Salon Exhibition
Oil paintings
Joseph McGurl, “Twilight Comes to a Western Town,” 2016, oil, 9 x 12 in. Plein air, currently on exhibit with the 13th ARC Salon Exhibition

To learn more or to enter, visit the ARC Salon Application Pages.


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