Painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists from 63 countries competed in the most prestigious online art call, AMERICAN ART AWARDS, https://www.americanartawards.com/, where America’s 25 best galleries and museums score art in 50 categories. In this column, I’ll reveal the world’s best contemporary artists of 2019 one category at a time.

There were so many brilliant works entered that America’s top 25 galleries and museums had a hard time deciding, consequently many phenomenal pieces did not get enough votes to be winners this year — however the featured works in this article received the most votes and won 1st to 6th Place in the 2019 AMERICAN ART AWARDS. Congratulations to all these artists for scoring above the stiff competition.

BIO OF 1ST PLACE WINNER Annuziata Orsini:

Born in Naples, Italy, this self taught artist developed a love and passion for the arts. At age 4 she creatively worked with pencils and astounded all that recognized her abilities. It was at age 12 when she was introduced to watercolors and at this juncture she realized the desire to incorporate as many colors into her work as possible, which is representative of her masterful paintings today. Annunziata creates with many mediums yet frequently works with acrylic paint. To see her joyous and colorful paintings is to love them!

Annunziata has exhibited her work in numerous group shows both at home in Italy as well as in several other countries. Her one-woman shows have received notable acclaim from critics and the public alike. She holds the honor of Academic Benemerito from the Academy G. Marconi. Maria participated in the 1983 exhibition, Naples per Totò — in the same year, she donated some paintings for the benefit of the Italian Association against Leukemia. A true renaissance woman, Ms. Orsini has also enjoyed the pursuit of literary and scientific studies, graduating with an advanced degree in mathematics. She went on to enjoy a distinguished educational career teaching Analytic Geometry to the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Naples for many years and later chairing the department of mathematics instruction and physics in the advanced secondary school.


1) Her paintings took part to the 20th INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION of Naive Art award “Lorenzo Prato”, April/May 2012. Inclusion in the Catalogue of 20th Exhibition.

2) Her paintings took part to the “ 42 ° International Naive Prize “Pierantonio Cavalli”, August/ September 2012. Her painting “Moments Of Reflection” was the winner of a silver cup.


1) Her paintings took part to the “21°International Exhibition of Naive Art”, May /June, 2013 in Mandria di Chivasso, Torino, Italy.

2) Her paintings took part to the “6th World Festival of Naive Art” in Katowice, Poland, from June, 14 to August, 18 2013.

3) Her paintings took part to the Biennial Naïve Art show at Musée d’Art Spontané (Bruxelles), from August, 16 to September, 7, 2013.

4) Her paintings took part to the 43° Edition of International Price of Naive Art “Pierantonio Cavalli”, in Varenna, on Como lake, Italy, during August/ September 2013.

5) Solo exhibition at the gallery “Librairie Desmos” — Paris (France), October 7 to 13, 2013.

6) She was the winner of the 1° prize in American Art Awards 2013 for the category naive. Winning work “Kites.”

7) She was the winner of the 5° prize in American Art Awards 2013 for the category naive. Winning work “Harvest Festival.”


• Participation in the 4th RENDEZ-VOUS DES ARTISTES Naifs, EXPOSITION DE VERNEUIL / AVRE, France, from April 26 to May 18, 2014.

• Participation in the “EXPOSICION INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE NAIF” at the BCM ART GALLERY of Barcelona, Spain, from April 4 to May 3, 2014.

• Participation in the 22nd INTERNATIONAL REVIEW Naive Art, Mandria di Chivasso, Torino, Italy, from May 16 to June 8, 2014.

• Participation in the 44th edition of the International Prize of Naive Art “Pierantonio Cavalli”, Varenna, from 23 August to 14 September 2014. Opera Rewarded: “Market in the shadow of the Empire.”

• Partecipation in “EUROPE en ARTS» à CARCASSONNE, France,from August 22 to September 6, 2014.

• Participation in “Naive et Singulier”, Biennale Internationale d’Arts 2014 Saint-Junien, France, from August 2 to 21 September 2014. Posted in Exhibition Catalogue with opera, full page.


• Participation in the 5th RENDEZ-VOUS DES ARTISTES Naifs, EXPOSITION DE VERNEUIL / AVRE, France, May/June 2015.

• Her paintings took part to the 23ª RASSEGNA INTERNAZIONALE di ARTE NAÏVE, Mandria di Chivasso, Torino, Italia, from May 1° to 31 2015.

• Her paintings took part to the 45° Edition of International Naïve Art Price “Pierantonio Cavalli”, Varenna, Italy, from August 22 to September 13, 2015.

• Partecipation (after selection)in « Les Eur-open-Art » à CARCASSONNE, France, Agosto / Settembre 2015.

• Her paintings took part to the contemporary art exhibition “On the wings of love”, in Royal Palace of Caserta, Naples, Italy, on October 2015.

• One woman exhibition at the arts center “Contropiano”, Afragola, Naples, Italy, October 2015.

• One woman exhibition at the arts center “Club House Artisti”, Pollena Trocchia (NA), from December 6 to 12, 2015.

• Inserimento in Catalogo di Arte Moderna “L’Elite new — Selezione Internazionale d’Arte” anno 2015.

• Inserimento (con quotazioni e pagina intera a colori) in “L’Elite — Selezione Internazionale d’Arte” anno 2016.

• The painting “ Harvest Festiva”, winner of the 5th prize in “American Art Awards 2013, was acquired by the International Museum of Naive Art of Magog, Quebec, Canada. It ‘was defined by the Museum’s Acquisition Committee “Great quality work, a true museum piece.” It is part of the Museum’s collection and it has been published on the Museum homepage.


1) The painting “Supplies pic up” partecipated to the International Art Competition “Epifania 2016”, in “Eustachi” art gallery, Milan, Italy, on Genuary2016. It is the winner of a silver cup, Special Jury Prize.

2) Her paintings take part to the IV edition of “International Naive art show in Gualdo Tadino, Museum on May 2016.

3) Participation in the 6th RENDEZ-VOUS DES ARTISTES Naifs, EXPOSITION DE VERNEUIL / AVRE, France, from April 30 to May 22, 2016.

4) Participation EXPOSICION INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE NAIF at the Art Gallery BCM ART GALLERY of Barcelona, Spain, from March 30 to April 16, 2016.

5) Her paintings take part to the 31° Chelsea International Fine Art Competition — di NEW YORK CITY — 530 West 25th Street, 10001 New York.

6) Partecipation in the 24nd INTERNATIONAL Naive Art, Mandria di Chivasso, Torino, Italy, from May 13 to June 19, 2016.

7) Her painting “Carnival” is the winner of the 6th place on American Art Awards 2016, category 26.

8) One woman art show in Salerno, Italy.

9) Art Show in Sorrento, Italy.


1ST PLACE ORSINI ANNUNZIATA ITALY https://www.premioceleste.it/orsini “The Pick Up Of Supplies” 40x50cm Acrylic on wood.

2ND PLACE-TIE ZENYA GORLIK ISRAEL zenya.gorlik@gmail.com
“Farewell To The White Bull” 120x100cm Acrylic on Styrofoam board.

2ND PLACE-TIE MARTA PROMIŃSKA POLAND https://www.instagram.com/marta_prominska/
“Thither” Oil on canvas. 80x130cm

3RD PLACE-TIE AWILDA RIVERA USA arvelazquez5306@gmail.com
“Ghetto City #37” 12x16" Acrylic on canvas.

3RD PLACE-TIE ORSINI ANNUNZIATA ITALY https://www.premioceleste.it/orsini “The Bay Of Naples In My Fantasy” 23.6x7.9” Acrylic on wood.

4TH PLACE-TIE YURI LEMPL RUSSIA http://lemplart.com “Rio De Janeiro Favela” 40x60cm Oil.

4TH PLACE-TIE RONGRONG LIU CHINA 18621670606@163.com
“Oracle Bone Inscriptions And Chinese History” 31x23″ Oil on board.

5TH PLACE DIAKO FRANCE diako@diako.fr “Nyeki” 175x70cm Mixed media on canvas.

6TH PLACE AWILDA RIVERA USA arvelazquez5306@gmail.com “Farmer Life” 16x20" Acrylic.

This is the 11th anniversary for the international awards organization which decides the 25 Best Galleries and Museums in America, who decide the World’s Best Contemporary Artists. Gallery decisions are based upon years established, industry reputation, online buzz, location, size, socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references.

2019’s 25 Best Galleries & Museums asked to vote on art were:

BEST IN ARIZONA — EXPOSURES INTERNATIONAL GALLERY OF FINE ART: Rising like a gigantic mystical temple in Sedona, this 20,000 sf showplace displays the finest of every style from classical to contemporary. Serving private or commercial needs, offering small maquettes to monumental bronze and stone sculptures, original oil and acrylic otherworldly paintings, fine art jewelry, enchanting glass art… https://www.exposuresfineart.com/

BEST IN ARKANSAS — FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM: Originated in 1948 but fully re-branded in 2013. AWARDS: Preservation through Rehabilitation Award (2013), American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gulf State Region Merit Award (2014), and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Gold Award… http://fsram.org/

BEST IN CALIFORNIA — EXCLUSIVE COLLECTIONS: History of six galleries between California and Nevada honed expertise to assist significant collections of fine art and enduring legacy. Their red-carpet events showcase today’s most celebrated artists — from young emerging masters to established international masters… http://ecgallery.com/our-galleries/solana-beach/

BEST IN COLORADO — MIRADA FINE ART: Both the booming Denver gallery and owner/curator Steve Sonnen continue to be prominently featured in national and international art publications as well as appearing on numerous ‘Best Of’ lists. Lively spirited art, insightful exhibits, a Colorado vortex. http://www.miradafineart.com/

BEST IN HAWAII — SUNSHINE ARTS: 4,000 square foot structure on the Windward side of Oahu, offering over 2,000 original art images by 75 best-selling artists. For 23 years, this heralded Kaneohe landmark has been a favorite of local artists and nearby residents as well as international designers and collectors. http://www.sunshinearts.net/

BEST IN ILLINOIS — TRICKSTER ART GALLERY: The only Native American owned and operated arts institution in Illinois. 10,000 sf facility exhibits contemporary Native art (post 1960s) and first-voice multi-cultural arts with themes of veterans and social justice. https://www.trickstergallery.com/

BEST IN INDIANA — HAAN MANSION MUSEUM OF INDIANA ART: Holds the most extensive Indiana art collection in the US, including paintings from the Hoosier Group and Brown County Art Colony. Specializing in major oils, over 100 artists are represented. Haan is a true find; a rare hospitable time-capsule cradling a precious past. http://haanmuseum.org/

BEST IN IOWA — MOBERG GALLERY: Exceptional eye for contemporary masterpieces and represents 50 phenomenal Iowan artisans, procured work for museums, corporate collections, private collections and public art projects across the nation. Sets the standard for modern art in the Midwest. https://www.moberggallery.com/

BEST IN KANSAS — EVA REYNOLDS FINE ARTS: 30 years specializing in European and American contemporary original paintings and sculpture. A world-renowned fine arts service record among collectors and represented artists. Recognized by Ingram’s as a “Top Gallery in Kansas City.” https://evareynoldsfinearts.com/

BEST IN KENTUCKY — E&S GALLERY: For 30 years an iconic African-American gallery. 11,000 sf. Three stories of stunning space and empowering art. Unmatched selection of artists, mediums, subject matters and genres. Premiere selection of original graphics and sculpture by renowned old master artists. https://www.eandsgallery.com/

BEST IN LOUISIANA — NEWCOMB ART MUSEUM: Since 1886 acknowledging the contributions of women to the fields of art and design. Continually presenting innovative exhibitions and programs that engage communities, spark idea-exchange and instigate cross-disciplinary collaborations. https://newcombartmuseum.tulane.edu/

BEST IN MARYLAND — ANNAPOLIS MARINE ART GALLERY: For 40 years providing the best of marine art to the Mid-Atlantic collector community. Located at City Dock in Annapolis, they have an extensive collection of originals and limited edition prints of renowned artists John Stobart, John Barber, Willard Bond, Patrick O’Brien, Paul Landry, John Ruseau, and more. https://www.annapolismarineart.com/

BEST IN MINNESOTA — MODERN ARTIFACT: Buys and sells some of the world’s most collected and demanded fine art, antiques and memorabilia. Innovative. Headquartered in Minneapolis with clients all over the world. Daily relationships with many art dealers, collectors and top artists. https://modernartifact.com/

BEST IN MISSOURI — HILLIARD GALLERY: 45 years… one of the oldest and largest fine art galleries in Kansas City… voted by Kansas City Visitor Center as Best Gallery In Kansas City in 2012… voted by Kansas City Magazine as the Best Gallery In Kansas City 2014… https://www.hilliardgallery.com/

BEST IN NEW JERSEY — EVALYN DUNN GALLERY: For 60 years, a family legacy serving the community with expert, innovative and personable staff. Features the finest 20th Century American and European art. http://www.evalyndunngallery.com/

BEST IN NEW MEXICO — PIPPIN CONTEMPORARY: On historic Canyon Road, an uplifting world of vibrant color as expressed in contemporary art. The richly sensuous visual experience is complemented by a warm, engaging and insightful staff. Passionate artists; energetic and tactile, elements of surprise and beauty. A special oasis to access pure emotions. https://pippincontemporary.com/

BEST IN NEVADA — THE METROPOLITAN GALLERY OF LAS VEGAS ART MUSEUM: 20,000 sf facility dedicated to raising awareness, understanding and accessibility for a wide range of fine art by local, regional and international artists. Also offers insightful educational programs and cultural events. https://www.mglv.org/

BEST IN OHIO — LEE HAYDEN GALLERY: Mastered the Mid-western art business. Very prominent Cleveland gallery; a collector’s favorite for decades, offering paintings, sculptures and rare prints from both emerging and world-renown artists. https://www.leehayden.com/

BEST IN OREGON — BRONZE COAST GALLERY: In its 24th year. Oregon Coast’s premiere fine art gallery specializing in limited edition bronze sculpture and original paintings by more than thirty award-winning regional, national and international artists. Also provides education in sculpture and the in depth process of bronze casting. http://www.bronzecoastgallery.com/

BEST IN SOUTH CAROLINA — MARY MARTIN GALLERY: Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, Mary Martin Gallery is a gem of the city. Representing artists internationally in her two locations, Mary exhibits an eclectic mix of paintings and sculptures that appeal to collectors from all parts of the world. No matter if you own a large collection of art or only one painting Mary believes everyone should experience the joy of having their very own art collection. http://www.marymartinart.com/

BEST IN SOUTH DAKOTA — SOUTH DAKOTA ART MUSEUM: Since 1970, for almost fifty years, this museum beautifully houses the artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. 7,000 objects in its collection include Harvey Dunn paintings, Native American art, Marghab Linens, and much more. https://www.sdstate.edu/south-dakota-art-museum

BEST IN TEXAS — AO5 GALLERY: Austin’s largest contemporary art gallery, featuring hundreds of emerging and established artists from around the world. With over 7,000 sf to explore, there’s something new to see on every visit. https://ao5gallery.com/

BEST IN UTAH — SOUTHAM GALLERY: Premier Utah gallery for almost 40 years. Sells the work of some of the most highly regarded artists in the western United States. Stunning realism and impressionism. Experience and insight to guide serious art portfolios. Endless satisfied collectors. http://www.southamgallery.com/

BEST IN WASHINGTON DC — LIK FINE ART WASHINGTON DC: With 17 locations across the country, LIK Fine Art showcases some of Peter Lik’s most notable and award-winning photographic masterpieces. Peter has spent over 30 years pushing the boundaries of fine art. A self-taught pioneer in the field of landscape photography, Lik’s works make up four of the top 20 most expensive photographs ever sold, the highest selling for an astounding $6.5 million in 2014. https://lik.com/pages/lik-fine-art-washington-dc

BEST IN WEST VIRGINIA — WEST VIRGINIA STATE MUSEUM: Established 125 years ago with the intent to collect, preserve, present, promote and document West Virginia’s every aspect of history, culture, art, paleontology, archaeology, and geology representing all its people and industries. http://www.wvculture.org/museum/State-Museum-Index.html



* * * * (Info there on entering, too.)

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORs, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 10 new books (6 volumes of art). President of www.americanartawards.com