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best of america 2021

The Dana Gallery, Missoula MT is hosting our 

Join us for an exciting week of awards,demonstrations and networking!
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about the event

Celebrating its 31st “Best of America” National Juried Exhibition, the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters from all across North America and International Artists to apply to our exhibit honoring the Best in oil and acrylic painting. NOAPS has been showcasing the talents of oil and acrylic painters since 1991.

Opening & Awards Reception, September 10, 2021 at the Dana Gallery, Missoula, MT

AWARDS: Best of show $5,000, $30,000 cash and sponsor awards


Exhibition dates: September 10-October 9, 2021

Application Dates: March 23-June 30, 2021


Notification Date: July 26, 2021

artist eligibility 


All NOAPS members: 18 years of age or older residing in the United States, Canada and

Mexico. Other International artists may apply but please take into consideration shipping and custom fees since this is a gallery show.

  • The ‘Best of America’ is a juried competition open only to members of NOAPS.

  • The 2021 annual membership is $50 and can be paid when entering this exhibit or through the Membership Link at

entry process

All entries will be submitted via Juried Art Services (JAS) JAS provides a comprehensive ‘Help’ menu. NOAPS is also available to help with procedural problems. Email: for assistance.

  • Digital files should be saved in universal .jpeg format for JAS entry and should be between 1400 pixels and 4000 pixels longest dimension at 300PPI (pixels per inch).

  • Art work must be original two dimensional with mediums limited to oil and acrylic paints

  • Completed in the last three (3) years (2019 and newer)

  • Not previously accepted in any other NOAPS Exhibit (including NOAPS National Exhibitions, and Fall and Spring International Online Top 200).

  • Maximum size of the art excluding frame shall not exceed 1200 square inches (Example: 30 x 40 in= 1200 square inches). No Exceptions.

  • NOAPS is dedicated to exhibiting excellent works of fine art which promote the artist’s artistic ability, vision and creativity within the traditional art forms of oil and acrylic painting. In this respect All artwork should be original and created from conception to completion by the artist’s own hand in Oil and/or Acrylic only. Artists are permitted to use their own photos as reference materials in the creation of their artwork. No mixed media, painted giclee prints, or any other type of digital or photographic reproductions in conjunction with the Oil & Acrylic qualify. No artwork copied from other artists work or published photos, or created in an instructional setting are eligible.


The annual 2021 NOAPS membership of $50 is required. If you are not currently a member, pay the membership fee through the membership link at or when entering this exhibit.

  • The annual membership is valid from January 1st to December 31st of each year.

  • To verify if you are a current 2021 NOAPS Member, please check our Members Directory Page. A 2021 will be listed after your name if you are a current member.


The fee to enter is $30 for the first image and $10 for each additional image UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 5 IMAGES.

  • Example: maximum of five (5) entries= $70 plus current 2021 NOAPS membership if not already paid. Payment may be made by Pay Pal or Credit Card.

  • Entry fees are not refundable.

Award Judge 2020

awards judge panel

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Albin Veselka
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Born in 1979 in Wyoming and living most of my life in Idaho my interest in art came at about six years old. I am very grateful to my parents who were instrumental in encouraging my interest and development in art even when resources were scarce.

   In 2006 I received my BFA from Brigham Young University Idaho. I credit the knowledgeable and student oriented faculty of the BYUI art department for giving me "the tools all representational artist must have to open the door to communicating in the visual arts". Early in my career I also received direction which helped me break into the gallery scene while I was a college student. Since then I have continued developing, and have been blessed to receive recognition and honors that have aided my progress. 


I currently live in Franklin, Idaho with my wife Jenee and our four children where I paint full time. Family and art work together for me. They support what I do for a living, patiently dealing with all the ups and downs of living with and being provided for by an artist, and they inspire my work which also allows me to be free to spend time with them when they need it most instead of being tied down to a schedule set by someone else.


   For me the richest blessing of art is enriching the lives of others. There is something of the divine that comes through the work of one who has mastered his mode of expression and who has something good to say. When that message comes through and awakens something within the viewer that improves his or her life; that, I believe, is the higher purpose of art. That is the intent of my work. 

Lori McNee
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Lori McNee has become a well known and accomplished artist, teacher and author.  She is known not only for her outstanding artwork, but also for her lessons in art at  As author of ‘Fine Art Tips’ with Lori McNee, she compiled a resource for today’s artist comprised of numerous contemporary artists, with informative content for every reader. Of her own work, Lori states:

"Often metaphorical, my paintings echo the delicate balance between nature and man. My broad spectrum of work includes still life, nature, landscape and plein air oil paintings. While plein air painting out in the field, Mother Nature is in charge. However, while in the studio, I am able to create my own small universe. Whether it is a landscape or still life painting, I respond to the effects of color, light and atmosphere on the subject. Paintings are like windows to the imagination. In a world full of chaos, I strive to create a respite for the soul." 

Michelle Murray
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It is Michelle’s aim to capture the light and beauty of the moment... to tell the story of the splendor of life, while capturing thought, emotion and mood. Her focus has been figurative work and she is newly venturing into plein air landscape.

Michelle Murray is a Signature member of the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS), where she also serves as 2020 Executive Vice President, and previous President, 2017-2019.  She received the Best Narrative award for Bella’s Petals in 2018 and has had artwork featured in both Arabella Magazine and Informed Collector. She is an accomplished artist who has shown her artwork across the United States, Canada and Scotland


Bella’s Petals has been chosen for the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) April 2021 calendar image.

award winners

best in show


Lake Street El/ David Schweitzer

second place


Worship of the Ganga/ Pavel Sokov

best figurative


Slow Breath/ Patrick McGannon

third place


Sounds of Vivaldi/ Olena Babak

best realism


Jennifer-The Fire Inside/ Lee Alban

most original

best painting by a signature or master artist


Asian Preciousness/ Susan Hotard

Sky Sailors/ Barron Postmus

best use of values


Arnoldo/ Bill Farnsworth

best still life


Glissando/ Blair Atherholt

best composition


Bath Time for the Baby/ Ran Wu

best narrative


The Spellbinders Serenade/ John Buxton

best landscape


Merging/ Matthew Cutter

best impressionism


A Day at the Harbour/ Durre Waseem

best technique & handling


High and Dry/ Krystal Brown

best use of light and color


Tibetan Blue/ Jian Wu

awards of excellence

merit awards

accepted artists

BOA accepted 2021
Award winners BOA 2021

selection process

Each entry is reviewed and scored by an independent jury panel. The Jurying panel will consist of a minimum of 5 NOAPS Master Artists or Signature Members. The panel selects paintings for the exhibit based on the quality and individual mastery of the medium. IMPORTANT: Jurors in the panel make selections based on the image entered (make sure the image depicts a true representation of the painting). Jurors score the image only and do not see any information about the artist.

noaps “BEST OF AMERICA” awards
Awards include: Best of show $5000, $30,000 cash and sponsor awards

Signature and Master Artist Guild Qualifying Update
both Best of America National shows count for Signature Status

  • 6 points total over 5 years are needed to qualify for Signature Status

  • the "Best of America National Juried Exhibition" will count for 1 point per year

  • the "Small Works Best of America National Juried Exhibition" will count for 1 point

  • a maximum of 2 points attainable per year

  • Note: For members who have accrued ½ points in past Small Painting Exhibitions: you will be granted points under the previous system through 2021. In 2022 all point accrual will be under the new point accrual tabulation.

  • Once Signature Status is achieved, the awarded artist may use the initials NOAPS on original works of art and in their correspondence.


Master Artist Membership: Master Qualification begins AFTER the exhibit in which Signature status is attained. Master Artist Membership is awarded to active members, whose dues are current.

Both “Best of America National Juried Exhibitions” starting in 2018 count for Master Status

  • when a Signature Artist receives three (3) TOP Master Qualifier Awards in a five (5) year period in the “Best of America National Juried Exhibitions” they are now qualified to make a submission to the Masters jury committee headed up by NOAPS Master Artist, Cheng Lian

  • Email – title the email “Masters Submission”

  • Please submit: 10 original artwork images, Biography and any published articles or related achievements

  • These TOP Qualifier Awards will be clearly identified as Masters Qualifier Awards before the start of the Best of America Exhibit. They include Best of show, 1st, 2nd, and all “Best of” category awards.

  • With 2 Nationals per year, there will be 10 opportunities in a 5 year period to qualify for Master.  Please note that the Online International Awards do not count toward Master Status.

  • Upon approval of the Masters jury submission committee and Masters designation is received, the awarded artist may use the initials NOAPSM on original works of art and in their correspondence. This honor is awarded for life, unless forfeited by nonpayment of annual dues or resignation.

selection notification
 Artists selected for the Exhibition will be notified by email from Juried Art Services by July 26, 2021. An up to date email address is essential for notification.

art accepted for the exhibit


Upon receipt of the accepted paintings at the exhibit location, NOAPS and the Gallery retain the right to refuse to display and/or allow award judging due to: technical inaccuracy, misrepresentation, inadequate framing, or damage from improper packaging.

  • FRAMING: Gallery quality wood frames only

  • NOAPS strongly recommends Strong Boxes from Airfloat Systems or Masterpak. (Airfloat is a NOAPS Sponsor and they provide a 20% discount to NOAPS members, use code ‘NOAPS’). Similar shipping containers can also be accepted. All art received and displayed will not be returned until after the exhibit has closed. The gallery has 30 days after the close of the show to return unsold artwork.

IMPORTANT: Once accepted, failure to send the accepted artwork to the exhibit will result on a two (2) year disqualification period for the artist.

  • If the artwork is sold after acceptance but before shipping it to the exhibit, commission should be paid to the art gallery.  Please email if you pre-sell your painting.

  • Selected paintings will be showcased on, in the NOAPS Blog, and in NOAPS Social Media.

  • By entering, entrants are consenting to having a reproduction of their work used for promotion of the NOAPS Exhibits. You are confirming the work entered is your own and copyrighted images incorporated in your work have not been used.


All entries must be for sale. Paintings of all price ranges are accepted. Entrants price their work and should closely represent the established market value of the artist’s work. The price entered on the Juried Artist Services application form will be the price for the duration of the exhibit.

 Every reasonable care will be exercised with all artwork. NOAPS, The Gallery, and any other organization or individual connected with the exhibition will not be responsible for loss or damage of artwork while in transit. By entering this exhibit, the applicant agrees to the terms and conditions of the prospectus.

The artist will receive 55% of the selling price, with the remainder split at 45% to the hosting gallery.


Once your art is accepted into the Exhibition, please follow the shipping instructions carefully. Full shipping instructions will be provided with acceptance letters. All shipping charges to and from the Gallery are the responsibility of the artist. We recommend insuring your work before shipping.


Include in the shipping container:

  1. Return shipping label - choose Fedex or UPS

  2. HOW TO Create a return shipping label - example - If using UPS - Must open an account with them, then use their online program to "Create a return" - Enter all the information and print the label but do not schedule a pickup. Enclose return label in envelope for the gallery. There are no charges until the shipping company driver picks up the parcel and scans the shipping label.***Artwork will not be displayed if Return Label is not provided.

  3. $25 check made payable to Dana Art Gallery for unpacking/repacking fees.

  4. Hand deliveries must also include a $25 handling fee.

  5. NOAPS Artwork label attached to back of painting  (included in the acceptance letter from Juried Art Services).

  6. IMPORTANT: Shipping from OUTSIDE the USA must be shipped FREE DOMICILE or they will not be accepted. International artists please check all shipping restrictions and custom regulations before entering this exhibit. All Duties and Taxes must be paid by the artist

  7. Ship to address: Dana Gallery, 246 North Higgins Ave. Missoula, MT  59802


Applications Dates: March 23-June 30, 2021

Notification Date: July 26, 2021

Workshop & Opening Week Program: September 7, 8 & 9: Workshop with Albin Veselka; September 8 & 9, Plein Air Competition; September 10 & 11, Artist Demonstrations

Exhibit Grand Opening & Award Reception: September 10, 2021

Exhibit Closing: October 9, 2021


Your participation and support of the NATIONAL OIL & ACRYLIC PAINTERS’ SOCIETY is greatly appreciated.  GOOD LUCK!!


Please email to

The National Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society






Special Advertising rates in major art publications will be available for accepted artists
Publication names, dates and rates will be sent with notification to accepted artists

Shipping 2020 BOA
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