American Art Awards Winner Launches A New International Art Competition: The Spiritual Art Awards

Thom Bierdz
4 min readSep 27, 2019


I was first introduced to Carolyn Quan and her innovative artwork back in 2012 a few years after we launched the American Art Awards / I had admired her work ever since I discovered it online and wrote to her encouraging her to submit her gorgeous/layered/ethereal art to the awards competition.

Seven years later, she is the recipient of 16 American Art Awards in the Manipulated Human/Animal Category. Every year we look forward to seeing her new creations and entries into the competition and presenting them to our America’s top galleries / our judges.

Carolyn is not only a winner of our awards, but also the winner of many others including art festival awards in Beverly Hills, Chicago, San Francisco, St. George, and La Quinta. Two of her nudes were acquired in 2012 by The Kinsey Institute in Bloomington Indiana for their permanent art collection.

Best known for her provocative nudes, her unique and skillful artwork is created by digitally layering and blending together a combination of her own original photographs. The results are dreamy, other-worldly images that evoke a world untouched by man-made objects. Inspired by spirituality and her love of nature, the theme of oneness is often expressed in her evocative work.

Photo of Carolyn by Mark Gebhardt.

“My mission as an artist is to remind people that we are one with nature — that we are organic beings, just like the trees, the flowers, the water, the air, the animals that we share the earth with and ultimately, the energy that the universe is made up of, that we are all a part of — that we are one with spirit as well as one with each other and the natural world”.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Carolyn’s creative ambitions took her to New York City when she was 24-years-old when she began a long and successful career as an Art Director in the music and entertainment industries. Throughout her commercial art and design career she has worked with many celebrity recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Grateful Dead, Carly Simon, Yes, Jeffrey Osborne, Jerry Garcia, and Jon Anderson among many others. Clients included PolyGram Records and Video, CBS Radio, BET, Warner Music Int’l, BMG and EMI Records, etc.. After 9/11 and 11 years in New York, Carolyn moved to Hawaii where she began her fine art career. She owned two fine art galleries, one on Maui and the other in Waikiki on Oahu and predominantly sold her art through her galleries. In 2008, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began showing and selling her art at juried art festivals around the country and now enjoys success residing in Palm Springs.

Carolyn is someone who is dedicated to her growth as an artist but also to her spiritual well-being. “My spiritual practice has been a big part of my development as an artist, and in the evolution of the art that I create. I feel that the energy that moves through me when I create art is often coming from another source other than myself or a combination thereof, a co-creation. When I tap into this creative energy and manifest it into tangible art, I feel like I am on my higher path and fulfilling my life purpose.”

Carolyn has created a new international art competition inspired by the American Art Awards. The concept of the Spiritual Art Awards had been floating around in her head for a couple of years and this year she decided it was time to get it launched. The awards are dedicated to honoring some of the best works of art every year, that embody a spiritual message or theme. It is an international art competition and the Call for Entries is open until November 30, with judging taking place in December. “Winning American Art Awards has been wonderful in enhancing my career and the awareness around my art, and it has inspired me in many ways. What Thom has created with the American Art Awards is an excellent model of a valuable and important art competition. I hope to accomplish the same with the Spiritual Art Awards.” Details about the awards and how to enter the competition can be found at

To learn more about Carolyn and her art please visit



Thom Bierdz

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORS, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 12 books: 6 on art. President of WAA & AAA & ACCA.