National Art Exhibition 2024 (NAE)

Thank you for attending the 2024 National Art Exhibition (NAE). The NAE is one of the nation's most prestigious displays of traditional 2D media. Entries are selected via our 2024 juror Jean Pederson. Art pieces are submitted from across the United States, Canada, and Europe. 
Experience this impressive collection on display February 16 - April 12, 2024, at the Visual Arts Center. This exhibition is free to view during Visual Art Center hours. 
Winners of the 2024 National Art Exhibition will be announced February 22nd at 6:00pm. Tickets are available for purchase below. 
    • Monday & Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm
    • Tuesday & Wednesday & Thursday 10:00am - 7:00pm
    • Saturday 10:00am - 2:00pm

Guided Docent Tours are available, please contact the front desk to find out the schedule. 941-639-8810

NAE Events

Luncheon & Art Talk with Juror Jean Pederson

Whether you’re an artist or art appreciator, you will want to hear what Jean Pederson has to say. The story of how she got started to where she is now, is both captivating and inspiring. She will speak on her process of picking the winners and will be open for questions and answers. All this will take place surrounded by the impressive NAE artwork in our Main Gallery, Friday, February 16, 2024, at 11:30am

Master Workshop with Juror Jean Pederson

Join Jean Pederson in an exciting 3-day workshop at the Visual Arts Center (VAC). Great for all levels, beginners to advanced. Combine acrylic paint with mixed media products and techniques to communicate your ideas in fun, exciting, and meaningful ways in our own compositions. February 13th, 14th, & 15th, 2024 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Awards Reception

The public and members of the media are invited to raise a glass to the winners at the NAE Awards Reception on February 22 at 6:00 pm. Admission is $10 per person, available at the door or online at 


 Juror Jean Pederson


Jean is the author of "Expressive Portraits: Creative Methods for Painting People". She has been painting for over twenty years, balancing her strong teaching abilities, and writing with her continuing aspiration to convey her ideas in visual form.

Jean's traditional practice includes referential imagery of people, still life, landscape and abstraction. The layering of a variety of media offers Jean an assortment of possibilities within her work; quality of edge, line and texture all play a role within her imagery. Although Pederson is well known for her mastery of watercolours, mixed media has become an important venue for her creative expression.

The portraits in her paintings are based on people who she has met or impacted her. These subjects in her paintings often reflect different walks of life as well as diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. We are hard pressed to find a period in time when the human figure wasn't represented. Finding a way to express the human figure in a language that reflects the twenty-first century is perhaps the greatest challenge in figurative work today.


Juror’s Statement

"It is my desire to employ different materials, scale, and processes in my work...always taking risk, searching for that connection, that one "true" moment between myself, the subject, and the viewer".



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 gallery shop and art library and displays exhibits in three galleries year-round. 

This international event happens every 2 years and the Visual Art Center looks forward to hosting the next National Art Exhibition in 2026.
This website will be updated when more information is available.

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