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best of america small works 2021

Principle Gallery is hosting our 


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about the event

Celebrating its 4th “Best of America” Small Works National Juried Exhibition in 2021, 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, May 7, 2021 at Principle Gallery, Charleston.

AWARDS: Best of show $3,000, $15,000 cash and sponsor awards
Exhibition dates: May 7- June 1, 2021
Application Dates: November 20, 2020- February 15, 2021
Notification Date: March 15,2021

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' SMALL PAINTING NATIONAL Juried Exhibition is a juried competition open to current 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 is a free service and 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).  Please crop your image to include ONLY the painting; no frame or other background should appear in your image.

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

  • Completed in the last three (3) years

  • Not previously accepted in any other NOAPS Exhibit (including NOAPS National Exhibitions, and Fall and Spring International Online Top 150).

  • Maximum size of the art excluding frame shall not exceed 320 square inches (Example: 16 x 20 in= 320 square inches).

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 in Oil and/or Acrylic only. Artists are permitted to use their own photos as reference materials in the creation of their artwork, but not photos from other sources. 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 2020 NOAPS membership if not already paid. Payment may be made by Pay Pal or Credit Card.

awards judge panel

Lee Alban
Becky, Lady of Steam 36x24.jpg
Navajo Heritage 40x30.jpg

Lee Alban is a realist painter specializing in contemporary story telling. Currently specializing in two major narrative themes, the first celebrates the lives of Native Americans and the second brings attention to women who work at nontraditional roles. "Spirits of the American West" combines traditional landscape painting techniques with realistic trompe l'oeil renderings of vintage native American photographs. This exceptional technique symbolically returns indigenous people to their ancestral lands. "Silk and Steel" portrays beautifully rendered portraits and figures of women set against an environment of massive machinery, celebrating the contributions of these women in industry. They call themselves, "Ladies of Steam." Although distinct in both subject matter and technique, the two themes nevertheless share an emotional connection with the artist and collectors Recently he has been invited by the Reinert Gallery in Charleston to produce South Carolina Lowcountry Landscapes. Lee is a graduate of the Schuler School of Fine Arts, a highly acclaimed atelier in Baltimore, Maryland which has produced some of the country's finest artists. The emphasis is on traditional methods of surface preparation, grinding paint, and producing handcrafted oils and mediums.

Paula Holtzclaw
In Silence  Oil 30x40.jpg

North Carolina artist Paula Holtzclaw has gained a national reputation for her ability to capture the drama of nature on canvas. While Holtzclaw paints a variety of subject matter, she is most widely known for her landscapes where her fasination with light and atmosphere is most evident.  Included in many national juried and museum exhibitions,  Holtzclaw has been the recipient of notable awards such as Award of Excellence- American Women Artists, F & M Bank Purchase Award- AWA Haggin Museum, First Place- Salmagundi Club Nautical Show, Best in Show -Women Painters of the Southeast.  Recent publications include the November 2020 issue of SouthwestArt Magazine, the April 2019 issue of Art of the West Magazine, showcasing Holtzclaw and her studio and the January 2019 issue of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine’s, "Today's Masters”, Holtzclaw is a Master Member of American Women Artists (AWA), and Master Member of the Women Artists of the West (WAOW).  She holds Signature Memberships in numerous prestigious art organizations and societies including:  Oil Painters of America (OPA), American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), American Impressionist Society (AIS), and National Oil and Acrylic Painter's Society (NOAPS).  By invitation, Holtzclaw is an Artist member of the Salmagundi Club of New York and the Plein Air Painters of the SouthEast (PAP-SE). Paula is often called upon to serve as an entry and awards juror for regional and national exhibitions. Holtzclaw served on the Executive Board of American Women Artists from 2012-2019, a 501 (c) (3) educational nonprofit organization, dedicated to the advancement of women through the arts.

Donna Nyzio
Donna 2.jpg

Donna's work originates with the people she meets traveling to both remote and industrialized coastal communities from her Beaufort, North Carolina studio. Combining en plein aire and studio work, Donna's practice is anchored in combining realistic images with abstract elements to showcase and celebrate the coastal trades and wildlife she encounters. As a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists, American Women Artists, and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, she exhibits and sells in a variety of Museums, galleries and events. 

Awards Judge 2021 BOA Small

award winners

best in show


Humility/ Carmen Gordon

second place


Light and Form/ Jeremy Gooding

most original


Full Moon/ John Buxton

best painting by a signature or master artist


Arroyo Blanco II/ Mallory Agerton

best use of values

BOYD JR_DAVID_672660-1.jpg

Late Light/ David Boyd

third place


Juliette Roses in August/ Katie Liddiard

best realism


On Thin Ice/ Robert Seufert

best figurative


Village Teacher/ Lan Li

best landscape


Solstice/ Bill Farnsworth

best still life


best impressionism


Losing the Mamba/ Deborah Hill

Reverence for Red/ Pat Tribastone

best composition


90 in the Shade/ John Whytock

best technique & handling

Palecek_D. K._673587-1.jpg

Responsibility to Awe/ D.K. Palecek

best narrative


Cursive Writing: A Lost Art/ Betsy Kellum

best use of light and color


Plums and Roses/ Elizabeth Robbins

awards of excellence

merit awards

accepted artists

Accepted Artists
2021 BOA Small Award winners

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' Small Works National Juried Exhibition AWARDS

Awards include: Best of Show $3,000, $15,000 cash and sponsor awards

Signature and Master Artist Guild Qualifying Update

both Best of America National shows starting in 2018 count for Signature Status

  • 3 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 'Best of America' Small Works National Juried Exhibition will count for 1 point

  • a maximum of 2 points attainable per year

  • After 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 show 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 Exhibits. 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.

  • 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. An up to date email address is essential for notification.  Please be sure that your contact information in your Juried Art Services account is correct.

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 and finished edge gallery wrap are acceptable

  •  NOAPS strongly recommends Strong Boxes from Airfloat Systems. (they provide a 20% discount to NOAPS members, promo code NOAPS). Similar shipping container can also be accepted. All art received and displayed will not be returned until after the exhibit has closed.

IMPORTANT: Once accepted, failure to send the accepted artwork to the exhibit will result on a two


(2) year disqualification period for the artist.  Artwork must remain at the exhibit until the end of the show, unless released for sale by the gallery.

  • If the artwork is sold after acceptance but before shipping it to the exhibit, commission should be paid to the art gallery.

  • 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 - Fedex or UPS (this is created by the shipping agent)

  2. HOW TO create a return shipping label- example - If using UPS -Must open an account, 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 UPS driver picks up the parcel and scans the  shipping label.***Artwork will not be displayed if Return Label is not provided.

  3. $15 check made payable to The Principle Gallery for unpacking/repacking fees.

  4. Hand deliveries DO NOT require a handling fee.

  5. Artwork label attached to back of painting (this is 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


Applications Dates: November 20, 2020-February 15, 2021

Notifications: March 15, 2021

Artwork arrival ship dates: April 16-23, 2021

Shipping Address for artwork:

Principle Gallery Charleston

125 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Ph: 843-727-4500 



Opening Week Program: Events to be listed at

Opening Reception: Friday, May 7, 2021

Exhibit Closing: June 1, 2021

Your participation and support of the NATIONAL OIL & ACRYLIC PAINTERS’ SOCIETY is greatly appreciated. We wish you success in this event and may all your art career goals be met! GOOD LUCK!!


Please email to

The National Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society






Shipping 2020 BOA
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