World’s Best Animal Photogs / 2023 AMERICAN ART AWARDS: FREITAG, VAKHANIA, COLLINS, BANNON, SHOCKEY, CLARKE & MCCLURG

Thom Bierdz
4 min readNov 5, 2023

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Artists from 72 countries competed in the 2023 AMERICAN ART AWARDS. Twenty of the most revered galleries in the USA were sent around 2,000 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, can be seen in this series of articles.

USA’s top galleries decided winners in every medium: oil, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, pastel, realism, impressionism, naïve, abstract, expressionism, human figure, animal, landscape, fantasy, surrealism, pop, portrait, self-portrait, political, erotic, cubism, floral, humor, spiritual, etc..

Art collectors can see all the winning images and corresponding contact info to the best contemporary artists in the world here: https://americanartawards.com/2023-winning-artists-american-art-awards/

Winners in this category are from USA & SOUTH AFRICA.

ARTISTS’ CONTACTS / SEE MORE OF THE ARTISTS’ WORKS:

1st Place LAURIE FREITAG USA www.LaurieFreitag.com “Charley” 16"x20" Photo.

2nd Place — Tie TAMAR VAKHANIA USA ekaterinah@mac.com “Nene” 4x6” Photography.

2nd Place — Tie MALCOLM & CAROL COLLINS SOUTH AFRICA https://www.facebook.com/groups/1115162319142293 “Elephant Spraying Muddy Water” Photo.

3rd Place — Tie KAREN BANNON USA www.Karenbannonphotography.com “Harrison Happy” 15x20" Photo.

3rd Place — Tie ADAM SHOCKEY USA https://www.facebook.com/travelguyadam/ “Ngorongoro Tusker / Tanzania” Photo.

4th Place — Tie DOROTHY CLARKE USA https://www.facebook.com/DaCCreations1111 “Bald Eagle” 40x50” Photography.

4th Place — Tie MALCOLM & CAROL COLLINS SOUTH AFRICA https://www.facebook.com/groups/1115162319142293 “Hippo Eating Flower” Photo.

5th Place — Tie ADAM SHOCKEY USA https://www.facebook.com/travelguyadam/ “Views of Kilimanjaro / Amboseli, Kenya” Photo.

5th Place — Tie KAREN BANNON USA www.Karenbannonphotography.com “Migration Of The Monarchs” Photo.

5th Place — Tie ADAM SHOCKEY USA https://www.facebook.com/travelguyadam/ “Leopard on Vumbura Island / Botswana” Photo.

6th Place — Tie LANCE W. MCCLURG USA / CANADA lancewmg@gmail.com “Colony” Photography.

6th Place — Tie DOROTHY CLARKE USA https://www.facebook.com/DaCCreations1111 “Widow Skimmer Summer” Photography.

In 2023, AMERICAN ART AWARDS had submissions from these 72 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, Tobago, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA, Viet Nam, Wales, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

USA’s 20 Best Galleries & Museums who were asked to score online art in 2023 were:

American Art Awards 20 Best Galleries & Museums for 2023, in alphabetical order:

BEST IN ARIZONA: Exposures International Gallery Of Fine Art

BEST IN CALIFORNIA: Sparks Gallery

BEST IN COLORADO: Mirada Fine Art

BEST IN FLORIDA: MAC Art Galleries

BEST IN GEORGIA: Black Art In America™ (BAIA)

BEST IN INDIANA: Gallery Forty-Two

BEST IN KANSAS: CityArts

BEST IN KENTUCKY: KMAC Contemporary Art Museum

BEST IN LOUISIANA: Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

BEST IN MAINE: Clarke Gallery

BEST IN MONTANA: Cawdrey Gallery

BEST IN NEBRASKA: Kiechel Fine Art

BEST IN NEVADA: Elena Bulatova Fine Art

BEST IN NEW MEXICO: Thornwood Gallery

BEST IN NEW YORK: Gallery 23 NY

BEST IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Mary Martin Galleries Of Fine Art

BEST IN TEXAS: Ao5 Gallery

BEST IN SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota Art Museum

BEST IN VERMONT: Helmholz Fine Art

BEST IN WYOMING: Gallery Wild

American Art Awards https://www.americanartawards.com/ annually awards 20 museums and/or galleries, who agree to score art and award nearly 300+ deserving contemporary artists from 60+ countries: painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists.

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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.