The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society just opened their 25th “Best of America” exhibition after an outstanding VIP Awards Banquet. Who took home top honors?
For 25 years and counting, The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) has hosted a prestigious competition that has continually been met with grand acclaim. “The 25th NOAPS Best of America Exhibit 2015” opened last Saturday, October 10, with a sold-out VIP Awards Banquet attended by collectors, connoisseurs, artists, and local officials from all across the United States and Canada. This year’s events and exhibition is being host by The Dunnegan Gallery of Art in Bolivar, Missouri, and The Vine Wine Bar and Art Gallery in the Lake of the Ozarks area of Missouri.

Brenda Pollreisz, “Morning Patrol,” acrylic on Masonite, 18 x 22 1/2 in. (c) NOAPS 2015

Over 700 entries are submitted each year to the competition, with only 110 accepted for the 2015 exhibition. Awards exceeded $17,000 in cash and sponsor certificates. Artist Linda Massey of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, took home top honors with the Best of Show award for her “Magnificent Seven,” a beautiful study of individuality, companionship, and loyalty. Set in a dark crimson background, seven hounds are found in a variety of positions. From standing to sitting, each subject displays an individuality of pose and expression, creating a captivating rhythm and movement across the surface. While most of the dogs gaze into the distance outside the frame, the central subject faces and engages the viewer directly with a welcoming expression.

Ann Kraft Walker, “Fallen in the Woods,” oil on linen, 18 x 16 in. (c) NOAPS 2015

Missouri painter Brenda Pollreisz earned second place for her “Morning Patrol,” which displays a prowling mountain lion in search of its next meal. The palette is particularly outstanding in Pollreisz’s work with a patterned arrangement of complimentary blues and oranges composing the shadowed rocks. Set against the cool tones is the earthy hues from the sun-bathed coat of the big cat.

A partial view of the VIP Banquet, October 10 (c) NOAPS 2015

Third place was given to Texas painter Ann Kraft Walker for her outstanding “Fallen in the Woods.” This still life displays Walker’s talent for capturing the phenomenon of light, but more importantly, the differences in texture between natural and man-made objects. The viewer finds on a tabletop an animal skull, deer antler, ceramic jar, and a curled, brown leaf. Each object has been treated with the utmost attention. Noteworthy are the minute details of each, the subtle grooves of the antler, the hint of cracks in the skull, and the weathered edges of the black jar.
A complete list of the 27 additional awards can be found here.
To learn more about this year’s event and how you could become part of “Best of America Exhibit 2016,” visit
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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