Feb
24
2015

Still Plenty of Time to Enter our 2015 Self Portrait Contest

Enter Now!

Last year we had over eleven hundred of people enter our Annual Self Portrait Contest with hundreds of great entries and 33 happy winners who walked away with a combined $4000 in prizes, the 1st place winner winning a $2,000 eGift card. We've had hundreds of entries so far this year and there is still plenty of time to enter your own self portrait!


So, up until April 5th, you can enter your own self portrait submission on our Jerry's Artarama Contest Entry Page. Our rules for the contest are simple: pick any wet or dry media (acrylics, oils, watercolors, colored pencils, pastels, you choose!), then paint or draw a picture of yourself and submit it to our Contest Entry Page. You can use any media as long as it is you!. Each contestant may submit one portrait apiece and the winners will be chosen from there. Voting will begin on April 6th and 30 finalists will be chosen by a community popular vote from our fans. 30 additional finalists will be chosen by a jury of artists.

All 60 finalists then will then be reviewed by a separate jury of professional artists who will decide the winners for First Place, Second Place, Third Place and 30 Honorable Mentions.

Last Year's First Place Winner

Outside Looking In by Daniel Vangeli 

All 33 Winners will be announced May 4th, 2015!

Contest Details

So enter today for your chance to win! For the full contest rules and details, check out our contest page. If you're looking for tips on how to create your own self portrait, check out this article: Tips for Drawing Self-Portraits

Feb
21
2015

Modern Art or CIA Weapon?

Was Art Weaponized During the Cold War?

It has been rumored for years, but recently its been proven that the CIA used artists such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and William de Kooning's art were exploited as propaganda for the U.S. during the Cold War with Russia.

Symbol of American Expression or CIA weapon?

Although it seems unlikely, the modern art movement was used heavily against the powers of the U.S.S.R. as a weapon of free expression against oppression. Although originally disliked among many Americans including President Harry S. Truman who described modern art as "If that's art, then I'm a hottentot ( a member of the Khoekhoe group of peoples.)", Modern art was the artistic trend of the 50's and 60's. Members of the FBI such as J Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy had embarrassed America with it's watch over free thinking, accusing many artists of being communists and a denunciation of everything avant-garde.

The U.S. and FBI were faced with a crisis, so the CIA were appointed to be the saviors of free speech. Although the CIA were first intimidated by this role as the protectors of free speech and modern art and music, it made sense that they could use this form of art as a weapon of propaganda to fight the ways of communism. The CIA pushed the creators of "modern art" to greatness with a long leash of what they would help advertise to help America be seen as a country that had true freedom.

 

This Rothko toured around Europe to help share democracy's ideals.

The CIA even sponsored art exhibitions and tours in Europe during the 1950s such as "The New American Painting" exhibition that toured every European country in 1958-1959. Even Millionaire Nelson Rockefeller was called in to help with paying for the movement since he had helped fund the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Overall, the avant-garde movement was a large success overseas as a movement in part to the CIA, who helped showcase it. The art, which we all now appreciate, helped share America's ideals of free speech and spread the idea of what art can be to many different nations. Did it help bring down the U.S.S.R? Only the first hand accounts of Europeans can say whether it helped or not, but we like to think that free speech and artistic expression are what makes us who we are today.

Feb
19
2015

Please Do Touch -New Exhibit Allows the Blind to Touch Famous Pieces of Art

Madrid's Prado Museum Introduces Unique Art Exhibition for the Blind

Guests feel a textured version of Velazquez's "The Triumph of Baccus" (image courtesy of Museo Nacional Del Prado)

The Museo Nacional Del Prado (Madrid, Spain) opened its first exhibit for the sight impaired recently which allows people to touch recreated famous classical masterpieces. For the visually impaired, this is one of the first exhibits of its kind to cater to the audience with the intention of allowing all people sighted and non-sighted to experience famous paintings. It also might be one of the first exhibits where "touching the art" is actually encouraged in a fine art museum!

The exhibit, titled "Hoy Toca el Prado" opened January 20th and features famous works such as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and El Greco's El caballero de la mano en el pecho. However, you wont find any originals in this exhibit, all paintings have been recreated with special textures so that people can now feel how the paintings look. Each painting has been "enhanced" using sophisticated 3D printing techniques to give certain fabrics, skins, hairs and other elements unique and identifiable textures.  

No bullet proof glass here. Touch this version of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa all you want! (image courtesy of Museo Nacional Del Prado)

So far, the exhibit has received positive revues with sight impaired patrons excited that the exhibition is catering to them and allowing them to experience art in a new and accessible way. "Hoy Toca el Prado" also features audioguides and texts in braille for its informational materials.

And while the exhibit should appeal to the museum's sighted guests with its own unique merits, the museum is also offering opaque glasses so that everyone can experience the exhibit on a level footing. 


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