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Founding of NOAPS

In 1990 national artists Rita Orr, Joseph Orr, Dennis T. Yates and Pete Peterson, along with arts advocates William R. Mitchell, Martha Mitchell and Dr. Donald Ruthenberg, began planning a national exhibit that would focus on oil and acrylic media. A non-profit status was acquired and they were soon joined by Betty Fitzgerald, James Baumgartner and Kenneth Gerardy. On March 12, 1991, the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) was founded.

Initially the primary purpose of NOAPS was to present an annual, national juried art exhibition and competition called Best of America. The purpose was to offer an opportunity for artists to present and interact with the public and, by bringing awareness of North American talent, perpetuate oil and acrylic painting.

"Best of America" exhibit- award judges from 1991 to now:

1991 -  Sidney Larson, Professor of Art, Columbia College, Columbia, MO
1992 - Henry Adams, Curator of American Art, The nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
1993 - Joan Carpenter Troccoli, Director, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
1994 - Marianne Berardi, Director of the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, MO
1995 - Frank J. Sisser, Editor U.S. ART Magazine
1996 - Marsha Hollander Parker, Dean, Fine and Performing Arts, Lindenwood Collage
1997 - Marlene Perchinske, Director of UMC Museum of Art and Archaeology
1998 - M.Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief, American Artist Magazine
1999 - Sharon Hunter, Vice President-Academic Affairs, Lyme Academy of Fine Art. Old Lyme. CT
2000- Frank Sisser
2001 - Kevin Warren Smith, Coordinator of Program Development, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
2002- Graeme Reid
2003- Kent Addison
2004- Jennifer King, Former Editor of the International Artist Magazine
2005- Awards Committee, Barbara Lamy Cooney, Missouri Citizens for Art, Harold C. Hill, Society of Fellows of the Nelson Atkins Gallery of Art, Mark Nichols, Past President of NOAPS
2006- Sharon Hunter, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, CT
2007- Stephen Doherty, Editor in Chief on America Artist Magazine
2008- Tom Tierney, Co-Publisher of Art of the West Magazine
2009- Duane King, Executive Director of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
2010 - M. Stephan Doherty, past Editor, American Artist Magazine
2011 -  Tom Tierney, Co-Publisher, Art of the West Magazine
2012 - Jackie Warren, Marketing Director, Kansas City Artists Coalition

2013 - Phil Starke

2014 - Todd Williams

2015 - Charles Harrington, NOAPS Signature Artist and retired School of Art Professor Louisiana Tech University
2016 - Cheng Lian, NOAPS Master Artist

2017 - Jason Sacran, Plein Air Painter and Master Artist

2018- Adam Clague, NOAPS Member

2019- Jian Wu, NOAPS Master Artist

“Best of America” catalog covers

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