National Art Exhibition

The National Art Exhibition is one of the nation's most prestigious displays of traditional 2D media. Entries were selected via our 2020 juror Dawn Emerson. View this exhibit on display February 7 - March 25 at the Visual Arts Center. 
Congratulations to the Winners of the 2020 National Art Exhibition:
  • MERIT AWARD: “Red Coat” by Rebecca Witter of Englewood, FL
  • MERIT AWARD: “The Chalk Artist” by Kathy Simon-McDonald of Bradenton, FL
  • MERIT AWARD: “Harmony” by Oscar Vargas of Deerfield Beach, FL
  • MERIT AWARD: “Marabou 2” by Lee Andre of Boynton Beach, FL
  • MERIT AWARD: “One Step Forward” by Cheryl Fausel of Cape Coral, FL
  • EXCELLENCE AWARD: “Local Catch” by Donna Nyzio of Beaufort, NC
  • EXCELLENCE AWARD: “L’il Fred” by Gwenneth Barth-White of Placida, FL
  • EXCELLENCE AWARD: “Reawakening” by Elizabeth Weiss of New Orleans, LA
  • BOWLES AWARD FOR PORTRAIT EXCELLENCE: “Potlatch” by Claudia Selene of Ypsilanti, MI
  • AWARD FOR ABSTRACT EXCELLENCE: “Walls and Windows” by Daniel Remmel of North Palm Beach, FL
  • THIRD PLACE: “Yin and Yang” by Sandra Kuck of Boca Raton, FL
  • SECOND PLACE: “Reflections I” by Gerard Huber of Dallas, TX
  • FIRST PLACE: “No New Friends” by Corinne Forrester of Daytona Beach, FL

View the PDF Awards Program

This exhibit is free to view during regular hours. The Visual Arts Center will also be open the following Sundays for NAE visitors: 

    • February 23 from 10:00am - 2:00pm
    • March 1 from 10:00am - 2:00pm
    • March 8 from 10:00am - 2:00pm
    • March 15 from 10:00am - 2:00pm

Guided Docent Tours will happen on the following dates: 

    • February 18 at 1:00pm
    • February 29 at 1:00pm
    • March 13 at 1:00pm

Poetry Night March 4, 7:00pm

Join us for an evening of art and poetry! This free event will feature readings of selected poems inspired by NAE paintings.

Juror Dawn Emerson

Dawn Emerson is an internationally known pastel artist, art instructor and author. Originally from Massachusetts, she graduated from Brown University with a BA in English and a minor in art in 1977. She and her family headed to the Western United States in 1985, where she was inspired to change careers from graphic design to teaching art and design to children. In 1992 she began working with pastels and immersed herself in workshops with known pastel artists. By 1997 she was winning major awards, writing articles for various art publications and teaching her own workshops.

In 2008 Dawn began exploring printmaking. Monotype and other approaches like collagraphy and trace monotype offered new possibilities for combining pastel and mixed media with print making techniques. Many of these approaches are in her book, “Pastel Innovations,” which was published in 2017. The book has received international attention and is now translated into Russian, Spanish, and German.  She was invited to Moscow in 2019 and will be traveling to New Zealand and Australia in 2020.

Ms. Emerson’s work has been featured in many national exhibits, and is available through Mockingbird Gallery in Bend, Oregon. She is sought after as an artist, art judge, workshop instructor, and inspiring demonstrator. Her passion is to help people find their voice with art, to push the boundaries of the pastel medium, and to continue to grow as an artist.


Juror’s Statement

“Art is a way to connect with and interpret the world around us- its dynamic forces, power and beauty. As a Juror, I search for an artist’s unique ability to express the essence of our humanity through the visual language of mark making. In the hands of the artist the simple elements of color, shape, value, texture, line and space will transform a humble flat surface into a story that touches our very souls. Whether realistic, abstract, non-objective, or surreal—the empathetic insight, power, and skill of the artist will ring out honestly to reveal a level of observation and beauty that has the potential to heal a broken world and make our hearts soar.”


The Biennial National Art Exhibition is one of the nation’s most prestigious juried exhibitions of two-dimensional media hosted by the Visual Arts Center.

The nearly 1,000-member Visual Arts Center brings art and culture to its community through multi-media classes, state-of-the-art jewelry and pottery studios, workshops, lectures, and art festivals. The Visual Arts Center also boasts an outstanding art and supply store, gift shop and art library and displays exhibits in two galleries year-round. 

Make a Donation to support the National Art Exhibition (click here)