The venerable organization celebrates its 25th anniversary exhibition in Dallas
This story was featured in the May 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art May 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
This month the Oil Painters of America unveils its National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils at Southwest Gallery in Dallas. With over 200 paintings on view, the show opens with a reception for the artists on Friday, May 13, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. An awards ceremony follows that includes special events in celebration of OPA’s 25th anniversary and over $100,000 in prizes.
Collectors will want to arrive in Dallas early since the days leading up to the opening offer multiple art-related events, including a panel discussion titled The Art of Collecting. The discussion begins at 3 p.m. on Friday and is moderated by OPA member artist John Pototschnik. Avid collectors—including Salmagundi Club chairman Tim Newton and OPA board member Jim Bruce—discuss how they began collecting and share a wealth of information that’s as appropriate for artists as it is for collectors.
Artist attendees are invited to participate in a plein-air painting event on Wednesday and Thursday, May 11-12, and the works they create are also for sale during the show. Southwest Art magazine sponsors a Pampered Paint Out at White Rock Lake on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This gives collectors a chance to watch the artists at work. An awards ceremony for the plein-air works begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Weekend activities come to a close on Sunday, but the show remains on display at the gallery until June 15.
Below we introduce you to a small sampling of the talented artists accepted into this year’s silver-anniversary show. Enjoy a preview of their accepted paintings as well as insight into each artist’s inspiration. —Laura Rintala
What inspired this painting? This painting resulted from a photo shoot at the Strasburg Rail Road [a restored railway that operates steam locomotives] and was inspired by the Rosie the Riveter figure from World War II. Some of the participants were women who are certified to work on steam engines and in the machine shop as riveters and welders. The experience inspired me to create an entire series for exhibition that I titled Silk and Steel. My motivation was to present feminine portraits juxtaposed against a background of heavy industry and to highlight the contributions of women in the workplace. This is the first painting in the series.
Where did you study art? I received classical training from the Schuler School of Fine Arts.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Some meaningful achievements include signature status in the Oil Painters of America and the top still-life award at an OPA national exhibition.
What are your goals for the future? This year I am looking forward to photographing Monument Valley in Utah and cowboys in southern Arizona. I suspect that I will be doing new paintings with western themes.
What galleries represent your work? Southwest Gallery, Dallas, TX; Gallery Elite, Carmel, CA; The Good Art Company, Fredericksburg, TX; Weiler House Fine Art Gallery, Fort Worth, TX; Main St. Gallery, Annapolis, MD.
What inspired this painting? THE FAVORITES is a painting of my wife, Carol, looking at Adolphe William Bouguereau’s painting IDYLLE ENFANTINE (1900). It occurred to me that my favorite person was looking at my favorite painting at the Denver Art Museum.
Where did you study art? I studied at Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, Colorado Mountain College, and the Art Students League of Denver.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Some of the highlights include winning five Emmy Awards for my courtroom art when I was a news artist. My dance paintings were honored at New York City’s Lincoln Center, in celebration of the New York City Ballet’s 50th anniversary. I also became a signature member of the Oil Painters of America, and I currently teach drawing classes at the prestigious Art Students League of Denver.
What are your goals for the future? My goals are to continue to grow and evolve as a painter, to do more sculpture, and mainly, to just enjoy the work.
What galleries represent your work? I am represented by Santa Fe Art Collector, Santa Fe, NM; Marta Stafford Fine Art, Marble Falls, TX; Art Images Galleries, Denver, CO; www.zhibit.org/mitchcaster.
What inspired this painting? STUDIO DOG was inspired by the comforting and nonjudgmental presence of my dog, Annie, seemingly melting into the floor of my studio. It’s an example of painting what you love, where you can bring something extra to your expression.
Where did you study art? I studied painting at Kutztown University and took workshops from Kenn Backhaus, Nelson Shanks, John Osborne, and others. However, every day I study other artists’ work and processes because now so much information is readily available.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? I have had awards or been a finalist in the ARC Salon International, The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition, PleinAir Magazine, RayMar Fine Art Competition, the Portrait Society of America, and the Oil Painters of America exhibition, where I received an Award of Excellence. I’ve had 12 solo exhibitions. I’ve been honored to compete in Plein Air Easton twice. I teach in my studio and give workshops. It’s gratifying to have won awards for each of the genres I paint: landscape, still life, and figurative/portrait.
What are your goals for the future? My goals for the future are to continue to develop my work and exhibit my paintings in quality venues.
What galleries represent your work? Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; www.sandracorpora.com.
What inspired this painting? My selected entry is a painting of a 40th anniversary Shelby Cobra with a polished aluminum body. The distorted palm tree reflections definitely attracted my attention. I gravitate to shiny surfaces because they bend reality, allowing me to be a realist and abstract painter at the same time. I also enjoy the interaction between the man-made object and the natural environment.
Where did you study art? I received my MFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign. Of course, I study and learn every time I draw, paint, or look at art!
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? The first exciting moment of my career was to have a large painting of mine purchased by the School of Art and Design from my MFA show. A few years later, I was selected to participate in a weeklong workshop led by the famous and respected artist Philip Pearlstein. I took up watercolor after my MFA work was over, and I won Best of Show at the West Virginia Watercolor Society All-Member Exhibition. More recently, I found a very supportive client/patron. It is a great feeling to work with one person for numerous projects, and we have since become good friends.
What galleries represent your work? www.torvafineart.com.
What inspired this painting? I loved these beautiful orange-centered roses and the way the petals faded out to nearly white. That warmth coupled with the cool Eucalyptus leaves, and their small disc and oval shapes set against the larger, more intricate roses, looked beautiful together. I arranged them in a cascading design that was pleasing to my eye and gave me a large, showy focal area.
Where did you study art? Studio Incamminati, Scottsdale Artists’ School, Crealde School of Art, Pacific Union College, and University of Central Florida. I continue studying each year with master painters of our day.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Best of Shows from the Blossom Art Competition, the American Artists Professional League show, and the RayMar Competition. An Award of Excellence from the Oil Painters of America 2015 Salon Show. Two Merit Awards and an Honorable Mention from the Portrait Society of America Members Only Competitions. Best in Oil or Acrylic Award and Mayor’s Choice Award at the Carmel Art Festival, and Second Place from the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society 2013 On-Line Exhibition.
What are your goals for the future? To continue honing my craft through studying each year. To continue teaching nationally and in Europe also. To continue to strive for better design, temperature, and edges in my work in all genres.
What galleries represent your work? The Sylvan Gallery, Charleston, SC; Eisele Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; Del Monte Fine Art, Carmel, CA; Northlight Gallery, Kennebunkport, ME; www.stacybarter.com.
What inspired this painting? Last February I was visiting my mother in Ohio, where I grew up. I borrowed my mom’s car and started cruising the back roads between Springfield and Yellow Springs, the same roads I drove as a teen in the late 1970s. I remember lots of farms, and lots and lots of corn. It was the yellow street sign in this scene that first got my attention. There were actually four or five of them at this bend in the road.
Where did you study art? I graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City in graphic design but had no interest in painting at the time. Years later, I took a painting class, and then I was very fortunate to connect with a great instructor, Stanley Goldstein. He got me headed in the right direction.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Winning the top award at Sonoma Plein Air in 2007 and teaching workshops around the country and abroad, which is very stimulating (and stressful) and gives me an excuse and opportunity to travel a bit.
What are your goals for the future? I am always trying to improve every aspect of my work; it’s what makes me want to get out of bed every morning. I hope to do more traveling and painting. I would love to just hit the road for a couple weeks at a time and follow whatever inspiration I come across.
What galleries represent your work? Gardner Colby Galleries, Naples, FL; Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT; Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor, ME; Greenberg Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; www.timhornart.com.
What inspired this painting? FINALLY HOME was inspired by losing my two Brittanys for six nights in the Pecos, NM, wilderness area. When they were finally found by a group of high-school students—a few pounds lighter and exhausted but still together—they curled up on a large chair. The experience had bonded them, and I loved their physical connection in this painting.
Where did you study art? I studied art at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and worked as a public-school art teacher before pursuing my professional painting career.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? In 2015 I published Land of the Free Gold Star Families Edition, my second book of paintings of the 50 states and stories benefitting military families. Finishing the book and preserving their stories, along with finishing 50 paintings of the states where they lived, has been one of the highlights and great challenges of my life. This is my fourth national OPA show, and being in the 25th anniversary show is also a great highlight.
What are your goals for the future? My goals for the future include continuing to work with military families, celebrating the American landscape, and having more of a presence in the West, as I do in eastern galleries.
What galleries represent your work? Principle Gallery, Charleston, SC; Kensington-Stobart Gallery, Salem, MA; Eisele Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; Magnolia Art Gallery, Greensboro, GA.
What inspired this painting? This painting came about by chance. Late last summer I walked outside to watch a fading sunset and saw this remnant of what had been a huge storm. It was so far away that it was only a small detail in a much larger scene, and it appeared to be resting on the desert. It stood there for just a few more quiet, dramatic minutes before it evaporated into the warm, orange sky. The idea of painting it kept resurfacing in my mind over several months until I finally had to get it out there so it wouldn’t be lost.
Where did you study art? I am a self-taught artist, though several painters helped me along the way. I’ve learned the most by applying a handful of their pointers along with proven fundamentals and painting outdoors as often as possible.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? The most significant would be meeting Wilson Hurley when I was about 12 years old and later having a critique with Jozef Bakos a year or two before he passed away.
What are your goals for the future? To do my best to improve so I can more accurately convey what I see in the landscape.
What galleries represent your work? Purple Sage Gallery, Albuquerque, NM; Total Arts Gallery, Taos, NM.
What inspired this painting? This is one of my favorite people, whom I first met in Xizhou, China, in 2008. He really is a bit of a character, so my interactions with him were memorable. When I ran into him during my second visit six years later, he was carrying a stack of photos, including one of the two of us! I love his expressive face and tobacco-stained hands.
Where did you study art? I have a BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as working experience as a graphic designer and illustrator. I continue to be inspired and challenged by the work of many living artists.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? Two things come to mind: The first is to have attained signature member status in the Oil Painters of America. It is a huge honor. The second would be my travels abroad, particularly to China. It was on these trips that I discovered my love of painting people, and that has informed much of my work since.
What are your goals for the future? More! More paintings, more galleries, more sales, more workshops, more travels to paint more fascinating people! There are more than 7 billion people in the world; I have a lot to do.
What galleries represent your work? Linden Gallery, Ellison Bay, WI; Germanton Gallery, Germanton, NC; Greenwich House Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; www.susanploughe.com.
What inspired this painting? My painting was inspired by the song “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey. The impassioned lyrics stuck in my mind, and I was driven to depict them visually. Although I hoped to incorporate more elements from the song, I ended up loving the simplicity of my daughter’s pose and the subtle emotion it embodied.
Where did you study art? I earned my BFA in painting at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, but I longed for classical art training. I studied in the Boston School tradition for a month at Ingbretson Studio and then under Steven Assael and Vincent Desiderio at the New York Academy of Art, where I received my MFA.
What have been some of the highlights of your art career? It was an honor to be asked to paint a portrait of Myra Thompson, one of the victims in the 2015 Charleston church shooting, as a tribute to her and as a remembrance for her family. I have been fortunate to be in Women Painting Women shows and will be in the WPW traveling museum exhibition planned for 2017. I had the opportunity to teach at the Teaching Studios of Art in Long Island and Chelsea Classical Studio of Fine Art in New York City.
What are your goals for the future? I would like to continue teaching and take on more portrait commissions.
What galleries represent your work? Arundel Art Room, West Essex, England; www.stephaniedeshpande.com.
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