Congratulations to the winners of our inaugural Juried Open Online Art Competition! Artists from around the world were invited to submit their best works for online exhibition and awards.
First Place: Junghoon Lee
Second Place: Ned Mueller
Third Place: Ned Block
Ned is a very accomplished and highly respected artist, having been drawing and painting for over 60 years. He is a graduate of the prestigious Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles. He has participated in many of the major invitational shows in the country, including the "Artist's of America Show","Great American Artist's Show", "Prix de West Show", "Oil Painters of America", "Pastel Society of America", "The Northwest Rendezvous Show" and the annual "Plein Air Painters of America Exhibition. He shows in some of the Finest Galleries in the country, has won numerous awards and is included in many private fine art collections. He is a Signature member of the Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of America, California Art Club, Northwest Pastel Society, Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters, Northwest Renezvous Group, and the American Society of Marine Artists. Ned has been designated as "Master Artist" status with the Oil Painters of America. He has participated in the Autry Masters show the last two years in Los Angeles and he continues to challenge himself to grow artiscally. Ned is asked to jury Regional and National Art Shows and he loves to teach and share his many years of knowlege and experience and he teaches classes and workshops, Regionally, Nationally and Internationally.
I was nine when I arrived in Seattle, Washington from Chicago. My home was within blocks of the Seattle Art Museum. Looking back, the hours spent there may have sown the seeds of a life in art. As a teen, my interest in art grew, painting in a small home studio and taking as many art courses each semester as my high school would allow.
At the University of Washington, a major in industrial design soon gave way to sculpture where Everett DuPen, George Tsutakawa and Charles Smith each provided unique opportunities to learn. Classes in architecture and engineering taught me how to make pieces that won’t fall down or crumble under their own weight. My painting instructor, William Hixson, introduced me to the "continuum" which drives my work even today. Windsor Utley at Cornish School added to my base with one-on-one "crits".
After college, I set out on a career in Seattle as a graphic designer and copywriter. I became the creative director of a major Seattle advertising agency. Later, I found an interest in film, TV, and radio. Encouraged to freelance my skills, I concentrated on broadcast advertising and small films. Fine art took a back seat in my life.
In 1990, I announced to family and friends that, "I am going to be a full time sculptor!" You can only imagine how well that was received. It was tough at the start because I didn’t have a body of work. Undaunted, I was able to muddle through the first year or so. I'd show anywhere I was asked.
I had some early success and in 1992 Gloria Runnings in Seattle's Pioneer Square agreed to give me a show. It was well-attended and well-received. On the closing of the Runnings Gallery, my "home" for several years was the Patricia Rovzar Gallery across the lake in Kirkland. There were always pieces on display. Patricia understood the work and the acceptance was gratifying. I'll always remember that these two women gave me my "intro".
1995 brought the Bedford Gallery Collector's Show in Walnut Creek, CA with my sculpture, Prelude, being the centerpiece. Galleries in San Francisco and Carmel, California, began showing my sculpture. Not so much, though, in my home territory. The material and approach was foreign to that audience.
By 1999 the kids were married and the dog died. It was time for change. My wife, Julie, and I found our way to more rural Camano Island with its active art community, room to work...and lots of birds. As a founding member and past-president of the Camano Arts Association, I've served on the board and have participated in the annual Studio Tours.
In the early 2000's, First prize at the Edmonds Art Festival and invitations to show at Sculpture in the Park, a national, sculpture-only, exhibit in Loveland, Colorado, came at a good time. For three years Loveland gave me good national exposure. I added some galleries in California, Arizona, and in 2012, Oregon, where a major show is scheduled.
The years have been exciting and demanding. Do I love creating sculpture? You bet!