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~    F   R   O   M       N   O   A   P   S       H   I   S   T   O   R   Y    ~

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National artists Rita Orr, Joseph Orr, Dennis T. Yates, and Pete (A.K.) Peterson along with arts advocates William R. Mitchell, Martha Mitchell, and Dr. Donald Ruthenberg began planning a national exhibit in 1990 which would focus on paintings of  oil and acrylic media. A not for profit status was set up and these  visionaries were soon joined by Betty Fitzgerald, James Baumgartner, and Kenneth Gerardy.
a_Rita_Orr a_Joseph_Orr a_Dennis_T_Yates Pete Peterson Photo img024
On March 14, 1991 a small but determined group of individuals founded the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS).  The primary purpose for this not-for-profit organization was an annual national juried art exhibition and competition that came to be known as NOAPS annual ‘BEST of AMERICA’ exhibit. The idea for this exhibition was to offer an opportunity for artists and for the public to interact while insuring the perpetuation of the art of painting in oil and acrylic. At the same time,  there was a desire to add to the cultural enrichment and awareness of artistic talent in North America
 
The first ‘Best of America’ Exhibit took place at Columbia College Lake Campus in Osage Beach, Missouri. At that occasion, Dr. Don Ruthenberg, then President of Columbia College, said:“I think this will become a monumental event.” He was right on that evening of October 12, 1991 in the presence of the sixty selected paintings for that first show. Sidney Larson, professor of Art at Columbia College and Fine Arts Curator was the exhibition judge and she asserted that by its very nature, the exhibition delineated a broad profile of American Art. And, it still does! Hence, were NOAPS proud beginnings.
 
Many years have passed since that first ‘Best of America’ exhibit but the mission remains intact. In 1993, the exhibition was shown at the prestigious Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art in Bolivar, Missouri. From there on and until 2004 the ‘Best of America’ exhibit opened either at Columbia College or at the Dunnegan Gallery of Art traveling some years to multiple locations. Countless people have worked to make it possible since those early beginnings till present time. Prospectus, registrations, installations, shipments, and of course the extremely difficult task of selecting only 60 to 90 pieces of art from an average 700 entries every year.  Among these individuals from our past with the arduous job to judge, there are recognized artists, art professors, or editors of art magazines. To all the judges for every exhibition go our appreciation and salute.
 
It is interesting to observe the transformation of the annual ‘Best of America’ catalog through the years. They became more colorful and elaborate with time.
NOAPS own logo also changed through the process and it developed into a sophisticated gold logo that encompasses the level attained by the society. In the year 2000, the cover page of the catalog was enriched with total color coverage for the first time.
 
For artists, just to be selected into the ‘Best of America’ exhibit has always been an honor. Many of them received additional recognition through the numerous awards bestowed by the society or by the various Suppliers Awards provided by sponsors. However, probably the top award for  NOAPS artists is to be included in the Signature Artist Guild which allows them to use the NOAPS designatory letters after their name or signature as acknowledgment of artistic achievement.
 
It is not easy to be included in the NOAPS Signature Artist Guild. As a matter of fact, only around 150 artists have earned this distinction in all exhibitions since its inception in 1991 from hundreds entering the Annual ‘Best of America’ Exhibit. To be included, artists meet the criteria when their art is accepted and exhibited in three out of five consecutive NOAPS annual ‘Best of America’. We are very proud and we recognize these members for their consistent excellence. The names of all the Signature Artists can be seen in our web site at Signature Artist Page.
 
Among the Signature Artist Guild, there is a selected and very small group that has achieved the recognition of Master Artist designation which is awarded to Signature Artists whose work has been selected for special awards in Best of America Exhibits. The names of the Master Artists can be seen in our web site at Members Directory Page. To all our Signature Artists selected through our previous exhibitions, thank you for setting a high bar for all NOAPS members to reach. We are proud to showcase your work in oil and acrylic.
 
NOAPS history continues and our ”Best of America” exhibit will open again each fall. Registration opens in January or February of each year through www.juriedartservices.com. We invite all artists to be part of NOAPS long and proud history.
 
“BEST OF AMERICA” EXHIBIT – AWARD JUDGES from 1991 to current:
1991 - Sidney Larson, Professor of Art, Columbia College, Columbia, MO
1992 - Henry Adams, Curator of American Art, The nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
1993 - Joan Carpenter Troccoli, Director, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
1994 - Marianne Berardi, Director of the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, MO
1995 - Frank J. Sisser, Editor U.S. ART Magazine
1996 - Marsha Hollander Parker, Dean, Fine and Performing Arts, Lindenwood Collage
1997 - Marlene Perchinske, Director of UMC Museum of Art and Archaeology
1998 - M.Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief, American Artist Magazine
1999 - Sharon Hunter, Vice President-Academic Affairs, Lyme Academy of Fine Art. Old Lyme. CT
2000 - Frank Sisser
2001 - Kevin Warren Smith, Coordinator of Program Development, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
2002 - Graeme Reid
2003 - Kent Addison
2004 - Jennifer King, Former Editor of the International Artist Magazine
2005 - Awards Committee, Barbara Lamy Cooney, Missouri Citizens for Art, Harold C. Hill, Society of Fellows 
           of the Nelson Atkins Gallery of Art, Mark Nichols, Past President of NOAPS
2006 - Sharon Hunter, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, CT
2007 - Stephen Doherty, Editor in Chief on America Artist Magazine
2008 - Tom Tierney, Co-Publisher of Art of the West Magazine
2009 - Duane King, Executive Director of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
2010 - M. Stephan Doherty, past Editor, American Artist Magazine
2011 - Tom Tierney, Co-Publisher, Art of the West Magazine
2012 - Jackie Warren, Marketing Director, Kansas City Artists Coalition
2013 - Phil Starke
2014 - Todd Williams
2015 - Charles Harrington, NOAPS Signature Artist and retired School of Art Professor Louisiana Tech University
2016 - Cheng Lian, NOAPS Master Artist
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Click on each thumbnail to expand the “BEST OF AMERICA” A Tradition of Excellence Exhibition, Catalog Cover
BEST OF AMERICA 1991 BEST OF AMERICA 1992 BEST OF AMERICA 1993 BEST OF AMERICA 1994 BEST OF AMERICA 1995 BEST OF AMERICA 1996
BEST OF AMERICA 1997 BEST OF AMERICA 1998
BEST OF AMERICA 1999 BEST OF AMERICA 2000 BEST OF AMERICA 2001 BEST OF AMERICA 2002 BEST OF AMERICA 2003 BEST OF AMERICA 2004
BEST OF AMERICA 2005 BEST OF AMERICA 2006
BEST OF AMERICA 2007 BEST OF AMERICA 2008 BEST OF AMERICA 2009 BEST OF AMERICA 2010
BEST OF AMERICA 2011 BEST OF AMERICA 2012
BOAE2013CatalogCover 20150301_154856 2015frontcovercatalog 2016frontcovercatalog
Some recent catalogs are still available.
Please send your inquiry
to executiveNOAPS.org@gmail.com
and purchase them through here.
CATALOG BOAE - Paperback
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COPYRIGHT © 2015 by NOAPS - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
NOAPS - National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society
An Alliance of Exceptional Artists Showcasing Outstanding Works of Art in Oil and Acrylic Media
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