Thom Bierdz
11 min readJun 24, 2024


Artists from 61 countries competed in the 2024 WORLD ART AWARDS where 20 of the most revered galleries in the world were sent online images to score in drawing, painting, sculpture, digital and photography. The 300+ winning works, 1st to 6th Place (and ties) in all 50 categories, will be revealed in this column one category at a time, and also an upcoming movie.

The six cash prizes of arguably the most prestigious online art competition in the world go to fine artists in USA, China, Australia, Philippines and Macedonia, winning in the mediums of oil, pastel, color pencil, photography and digital.

Karen Bannon

I have been asked many times what kind of Art I make. When I said contemporary, their minds go to abstract. After some thought how to verbalize what it is I do, I settled on this. It’s guaranteed a laugh and sparks interest.

“My Art is like a child running with scissors. You’ll can’t guess what you’re going to get, but it’s guaranteed to be interesting.“

In 2012, I was diagnosed terminal. Given 6mos to a year. I had picked up a very rare lung disease. Aggressive and no cure. Just a short time later, I was diagnosed with my third battle with cancer. Aggressive stage 3 breast cancer after double radical mastectomies. With double threats to my life, I decided to move closer to the hospital at a gorgeous lake just outside of the metro. It was shortly after settling in that I saw all the beauty out there and realized I had never taken the time to enjoy. I picked up a camera. I had never shot before, but almost instantly I fell in love with photography and the creative approach. Photography and creating became my escape from the daily grinding ritual of the doctors and hospitals. It’s how I found peace. I did almost die many times and still battle some with a wounded immune system, but greatful for my recovery.

I am completely self taught. No how to vedios, no classes, or have I read my camera instructions. My Art is typically a combination of pictures I have taken and formed with what is in my head. It’s my emotions, my inner thoughts, subconscious at times. I am driven to create what is in my head. It is a creative release. A true passion. At times it’s a total addiction. I wouldn’t trade anything for these beautiful gifts God has given me. Believe in yourself. Trust your Art.

Shu Yu

Since graduating from Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in 1992, I have been engaged in personal artistic creation and work as a film and television director. Over the years, I’ve dedicated myself to exploring new forms of expression in digital art. I continuously investigate innovative painting techniques and experiment with new materials, aiming to create a novel artistic language.

Regarding my award-winning experience:

Between 2017 and 2023, I participated in seven editions of the American Art Awards, winning a total of 22 awards. In 2019, I received the Masterpieces Prize and eight category awards.

2018, Won the 1st place in the 28th latest Artavita Online Contest in the category of Digital Art.

My Works was shortlisted for the ArtGemini Prize twice between 2019 and 2021. (London& Singapore)

2022, Contemporary Expressions Awards,Contemporary Art Station Exhibition Madrid Station, Spain

2022, The short film ‘A Samsara on the Road’ has been selected for the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA) ‘Drift’ International Creative Short Film Award. Commemorating the 130th anniversary of the Society of Scottish Artists, it will be screened at the Summerhall cinema in Edinburgh.

About the Art Exhibitions I Participated In:
Art Expo New York (USA), Red Dot Miami (USA), Spectrum Miami (USA), ArtGemini Exhibitions(London, Singapore), Socoety of Canadian Artists Online International Juried Exhibition(CAN), Biafarin Online Art Exhibition (CAN ),50 Shades of Red Interactive Online Exhibition(UK), Florence Biennale International exhibition(ITA), SSA 130 Years -Annual Exhibition(Scotland), Participated in the ASEAN International Contemporary Art Exhibition for four consecutive years from 2019 to 2023.

John McCartin

Commencing full time painting in 2002, John has been catapulted from obscurity to international recognition as one of the world’s finest artists.

Since 2011 he has received well over 100 international art awards and is widely considered a master artist by many of the world’s leading artists and galleries. In 2014 John was hand-picked from those considered to be the best fine artists working in the world today to become an exhibiting member of the Art Guild ‘MASTER PAINTERS OF THE WORLD.’

John displayed a marked natural talent for drawing as a boy, commencing painting as a hobby at age twenty. With no formal training he has continued to develop his craft through a deep study of the work of a great many artists, past and present and is able to work effectively in most mediums across every genre.

Xiong Yanteng

is a young artist, a member of the Professional Alliance of American Artists and a member of the Portrait Society of America. His artistic journey began at the age of five. Graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts, Minzu University of China. During his undergraduate studies, he received prestigious awards, including the prestigious First Class Professional Scholarship and several honours. After graduation, he went to the United States to further his studies. He has won first prize and top three in international painting and portrait competitions many times. And has been selected into multiple group exhibitions and personal exhibitions on many famous art websites. His works have been selected for physical exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Italy, Spain, Beijing and other places, including portraits that have been selected for the famous American National Exhibition, and won the Jerry’s Artarama Award at the American National Exhibition. His works were selected for the 2023 Spanish International Contemporary Figurative “Modportrait Modern Portrait Competition” and was awarded an honorable mentions drawing. And the 2023 Titian International Portrait Painting&Sculpture Competition exhibition,Won the third prize in the exhibition. His portraits have been featured on Google, various art media, news outlets, and multiple social media platforms. It is worth noting that his first-place portraits have been published in many art magazines such as 《Art Connoisseur magazine》,《Artisi Magazine》,《American Art Collector Magazine》,《Art appreciation》,《Observica Magazine 》,《The Book of Arts 》,《Artistonish Contemporary Art Magazine》,《Art and Color 365》,《Art Seen — The Curator’s Salon Magazine》,《Art IDEAL》,《Circle Quarterly Art Review Magazine》 and 《Visual arts magazine》《Art Seen》 《LEONARDO Guide》 《The Best Of Drawing 》

Mario Bautista Panis

is a multi-awarded artist from the Philippines. He received his degree in Fine Arts from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. In 1993, he committed to the fine arts full-time. While most of his commission works revolve around portraiture and figurative work, his body of work, including those submitted to art competitions, encompasses a much larger range of subjects. His works in watercolor, oil and pastel have won major distinctions in local and international competitions. His early figurative works in watercolor won first prize at the Philippines’ Dept. of National Defense’s Centennial Painting Competition in 1998 (Revolt in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija) and earned him the distinction as one of Top Five Watercolorists for 1998 and 1999 by Gallery Genesis. His painting was also selected as one of 100 works for the juried exhibition of International Watercolor Society of California, USA in 2021. In 2009, he also won Grand Prize at the first LRT (Light Rail Transit) ART Competition for his oil on canvas. Portrait Society of America awarded him 8th place in its Members Only Painting Category for Non-Commissioned Portrait in 2017 for his oil portrait entitled, “Mang Erning II.” Under pastel, in 2014, his painting “Muriel,” was awarded the first prize under Human Figure & Portrait (Figura Humana Y Retrato) by ASPAS, Pintores Pastelistas Españoles, Spanish Pastel Society. On the same year, the same painting was chosen as one of the finalists in the Figurative Category by Art Renewal Center’s 2013–2014 International ARC Salon. In 2015, he was awarded the Ridgewood Art Institute Award and juried award winner at the Pastel Society’s 43rd Annual Exhibition in New York. His works in pastel also received Honorable Mention at the Annual Pastel 100 Competition in 2019 and 2021 and were juried and accepted by Pastel Society of Southern California in 2021. He won the following American Art Awards in 2022: 1st place in watercolor/figure category; 3rd place in oil/figure category; 4th place in portrait and 6th place in realism/human category. In 2023, he won the following World Art Awards: 2nd place, Abstract Category, acrylic on board; 2nd place, landscape with life, pastel; and 6th place, landscape, oil in canvas. He is a member of the Tuesday Group, Art Wednesday, Philippine Plein Air Group, Philippine Pastel Artists and of the Portrait Society of America. He was elected as a Signature Artist of the Pastel Society of America.

Divna Pesic Grozdanov

was born on 22nd September 1979 in Kavadarci, Republic of Macedonia. Best abstract expressionist in the world by American Art Awards.

She graduated from the Faculty of Philology in Skopje, Department of Macedonian and South-Slavonic Languages with American Studies. Later she finished Master of Economy science in Management and Banking.

Divna Pesic Grozdanov has been a professional sportsman for more than 20 years. She has been the best shooter of all times in the Republic of Macedonia in the discipline of small calibre rifle and air-rifle, holding 37 state records in both female and male competitions. So far she has twice become a champion of the Balkans and twice took part at the Olympic Games (Sydney, Australia, 2000, and Athens, Greece, 2004). She has been ranked among the top competitors in many European and World competitions.

Divna Pesic Grozdanov, 44, lives and works in the USA, creating mesmerizing oil paintings in a unique, recognizable style called Divnism.

Art collectors can see hundreds of winning images and contact info to all 50 CATEGORIES of winning artworks:

In 2024, WORLD ART AWARDS had submissions from these 61 countries: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Denmark, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, UK, Ukraine, USA, Viet Nam, Wales, Zambia.

The World Art Awards 20 Best Galleries & Museums for 2024 who were asked to score art: (in alphabetical order by country):

Best in Australia: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

Best in Chile: Isabel Aninat Gallery

Best in Columbia: Beatriz Esguerra Art

Best in Czech Republic: Knupp Gallery

Best in Georgia: UGallery

Best in Israel: Corridor Contemporary

Best in Japan: Nanzuka Underground

Best in Latvia: Galerija Romas Darzs

Best in Malaysia: Gallery des Artistes / Gallery@Tropicana

Best in Morocco: Comptoir des Mines Galerie

Best in Myanmar: New Treasure Art Gallery

Best in Portugal: Underdogs

Best in Taiwan: 1839 Contemporary Gallery

Best in United Kingdom: Miart Gallery London

Best in USA / Alabama: Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Best in USA / Arizona: Exposures International Gallery Of Fine Art

Best in USA / Iowa: Moberg Gallery

Best in USA / Nebraska: Kiechel Fine Art

Best in USA / South Dakota: South Dakota Art Museum

Best in USA / Utah: Ogden Contemporary Arts



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.