National Art Exhibition - February 2 – March 20, 2018

11th Biennial National Art Exhibition

Held in Historic Punta Gorda, FL - February 2 – March 20, 2018

Sponsored by the Mary Ellen Byrd Legacy for the Arts

Best of Show: $2,000 - Total Prize Money Over $7,000

The Biennial National Art Exhibition hosted by the Visual Arts Center is one of the nation's most prestigious juried exhibitions of two-dimensional media. The 2018 National Art Exhibition will be open to the public February 2 to March 20, 2018. While you're enjoying the exhibit, don't forget to vote for the People's Choice Award for just $1. The winning artist will receive half of the proceeds. 

Information for Artists

Entry into the 2018 NAE closed midnight on December 10, 2017. If accepted into the 2018 NAE, you will receive further instructions by email regarding receiving and other important information.

Important Dates in 2018

  • January 26, 27 & 29: Receiving for shipped and hand-delivered work from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center
  • February 1: Still Life Demo, 9:00 a.m. Purchase tickets HERE
  • February 2:  Exhibit opens to the public
  • February 8: Awards Reception at the Visual Arts Center
  • March 20:  Last day of Exhibit
  • March 21 & 22: Pick up hand-delivered work from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center; return shipping begins.

Special Exhibit Hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Awards Reception: Raise a Glass to the Winners!

The public is invited to joi us at the NAE awards reception February 8 at 7:00 pm. Admission is $5 per person (at the door). The works selected for the show will be determined on the basis of digital images. Awards are based upon actual artwork.

Best of Show: $2,000
Second Prize: $1,000
Third Prize: $750
Bowles Award for Portrait Excellence: $750 (Eligibility for the Bowles Award is limited to paintings, drawings and pastels)
People’s Choice Award: $1 per vote (50/50 split between Visual Arts Center and winning artist)
Additional monetary awards for excellence and merit will be given at the discretion of the judge. Total prize money will be in excess of $7,000.

NAE Poetry Night March 12

Join us for an Evening of Poetry and Art on March 12. The event will take place at 7 p.m. and is free of charge. Ten poets will read their NAE painting-inspired poems. We are inviting anyone who is interested in participating in the Evening of Poetry to write a poem inspired by one of the works of art on display in the exhibit and submit it for consideration. Those interested in witing a poem should download the Call for Submissions. For questions about submitting your poetry, contact Dorothy Brooks at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for info. 

 Levin in studio

Juror Steven J. Levin at work on "Peonies and Butterfly"


Juror Steven J. Levin

Steven J. Levin is a classically trained oil painter working in the realist tradition. He is associated with the group of artists known as Classical Realists who trace their artistic lineage back to the Boston School of painters working at the turn of the 20th century. Mr. Levin’s work displays a thorough understanding of light and form, a deep reverence for beauty, and a decided respect for the works of the Old Masters. Mr. Levin cites the works of Edward Hopper and Jan Vermeer as his main artistic influences. His evocative works offer a unique interpretation of traditional and contemporary themes.

Mr. Levin has been an Art Renewal Center (ARC) recognized living master for over 15 years. He is the recipient of many national awards, including first place in the 2016 ARC Salon in the still life category. Mr. Levin has exhibited widely and has been featured in group shows in New York, Chicago, Beijing, and Barcelona. He has held numerous solo exhibitions at San Francisco’s John Pence Gallery, the premier realist gallery on the West Coast. He is also represented by Tree’s Place Gallery on Cape Cod. 

Still Life Demo

Steven will give a still life demo February 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. In the demo, Steven will talk about  his basic method and materials including palette, brushes, composition, etc. He will  demonstrate his process of drawing, laying in and finishing a still life and generally discuss how he goes about translating the colors, forms and textures of nature into paint. Tickets are $30 for VAC members and $40 for non-members. To purchase your tickets for the demo call (941) 639-8810. 

Juror’s Statement:

“I believe that, first and foremost, painting is a craft. It requires skills, knowledge, and ability. But painting is, of course, more than that. An artist takes those abilities and imbues them with personality and emotion in an attempt to capture an intangible thing that speaks in a language unavailable to any other mode of expression.”