Academy of Realist Art

Congratulations to ARA students and faculty, shortlisted in 16th International ARC Salon competition

10 Nov, 2022

Join us in congratulating 21 of our students, alumni, and faculty who have been shortlisted as semi-finalists in the 16th International Art Renewal Center (ARC) Salon Competition, for a combined total of 29 shortlisted entries.

Sixteen of those entries moved forward to the finals! The winners will be announced on January 2nd, 2023. 

The ARC Salon is billed as the most prestigious realist art competition in the Americas and perhaps the world. In 2022, the ARC received over 5,400 entries from 75 countries. The competition offers over $100,000 in cash awards and international recognition through partnerships with prestigious magazines, galleries, museum exhibitions, and a strong online presence.

Congratulations to all the artists! Keep scrolling to see the shortlisted work from ARA, and our sister school ARA Boston.


Denise Antaya
Coming Home

Coming Home includes a farm house I go by and have painted many times. It is a calming scene that makes me feel like home. The light captures the setting sun where the sky goes from gold to blush.

Denise Antaya
Dance of Light

Dance of Light should have been a pretty boring painting if you only consider the bare trees. But the rippling water and pattern of the reflections in the pale morning sunrise transformed this often overlooked scene.

Robyn Asquini
La Sarta

I created this still life, La Sarta, which is Italian for “The Seamstress,” as an ode to my Nonna. When I was growing up, my Nonna worked as a seamstress and made clothes for the family. On a recent visit home I came across boxes of my Nonna’s old sewing materials, including her ribbon, thread, scissors and thimble. My intention for this piece was to convey the look of a classic Italian fashion atelier; a red dress is taking shape over a well-worn mannequin. The tapestry in the background is a tree of life, linking this work with my Nonna’s own creations.

Julie Beck (ARA Boston)
Jeez, Louise

“Jeez, Louise” is an homage to Louise Nevelson, a sculptor I admire. The all-white still life painting is a classic, but the all-black still life, with the added abstract qualities of Nevelson’s work was an exciting challenge to take on.

Julie Beck (ARA Boston)
Perspective: the Vanishing Point

“Perspective: A Vanishing Point” is another homage to one of the best – Rene Magritte. Magritte actually did his own series on reworking some of his favorite artists in his Perspective series, replacing figures with coffins. This was my way of creating a Julie Beck still life, addressing some of the same concepts, iconic imagery and Magritte, but in my own language.

Rita Chlebus

I believe the painting reveals the painter. It’s a mirror of the painter’s emotions and state of mind. After a very challenging year, that included a devastating personal loss, I was able to quiet my mind and find peace and serenity while painting this composition. The clay vase and silk fabric are items collected in my travels from eclectic antique and consignment shops. The blossoms represent the beauty and fragility found in life and nature.

Lynne Crouch
Heritage Charge

Barbara Cufino
Dancing Feathers

I’m honoured to be selected as a semi-finalist in the ARC Salon with a still life of a small delicate orchid plant in a reflective golden pot surrounded by playful dancing feathers. It was a labour of love, as well as a challenge as each flower shriveled and died. Several orchid plants later and I now possess a deep respect of artists whose passion it is to portray the beauty and elegance of these priceless works of art.

Aman Grewal

Sima Kian
The Look

Fanny Wai Fun Ku
Women’s Load

It is harvest season and these two women in are plodding along a rural road in northern Ethiopia with their large bales of straw. The grain and chaff have been removed from it by walking cattle in a circle over it. The straw can be used for bedding, cattle food, fuel, thatching or mixed with clay as a building material.

Christopher Laffin
The Cellist

This portrait is of Bryan Epperson, recently retired principal cellist with the Canadian Opera Company, a friend and neighbour. It was wonderful having him play in my studio for me. 

Maryna Nemynushcha

Tim Rakarich (ARA Boston)
History Has Its Eyes on You

Kari Visscher
Boys Poking a Balance Bike with a Plastic Stick

This piece is of my two sons playing on our driveway on a sunny summer day with patchy light shining through a nearby maple tree. It speaks to the freedoms and security we get to enjoy. To watch my boys play without concern for their safety or health is a special privilege in this world. The gift to preserve their childhood innocence is priceless and one I am so thankful to have enjoyed.

Jeffrey Weekes
Robins Egg Blue

Robins egg blue… It’s a colour that stops us in our tracks if we are out walking, usually because we either see a fallen egg shell, or if we are lucky enough we get to see the fresh and vibrant colour while the chicks are still in their shells. I see this colour as a symbol of fertility, creation of new life and new beginnings.

The concept was to recreate a scene of innocence. Where the beauty of the natural world surrounds us and embraces us to allow the ebb and flow of the ever changing world around us to unfold. With the foundation of the nest resting within a gnarled branch, perched atop a sturdy rock in bed amidst the moss and fallen branches of the nearby forest all perfectly surrounding these soon to be hatchlings into a brave new world! Nature’s embrace.


Denise Antaya
Crimson Glow

Crimson Glow had all the elements I love in a landscape, the setting sun, distance and atmosphere and the ever present bit of water you often see in my work.

Denise Antaya
Fence Line and Where the Deer Run

In Essex County it’s very flat and some may say uninspiring. But if you look hard enough there are gems around every corner. I stumbled on this scene after a snow fall, which doesn’t happen often in the area. This field of beaten grass was the spark for Fence Line and Where the Deer Run.

Denise Antaya
Thin Ice

Thin Ice was another winter scene where the sun created a magic over an often overlooked scene. The lights and darks in the snow and the rays across the trees created a pattern where the warmth was welcome in this frigid morning.

Robyn Asquini
Portrait of Smruti

In this portrait I wanted to capture a moment in time speaking with Smruti over a glass of wine. Her pose is relaxed, elegant, and at eye level with the viewer it is as if she is in intimate conversation. Her gaze is thoughtful and understanding. I used a more fluid painting style and relaxed pose reminiscent of Sargent portraits, but wanted the piece to feel contemporary with vibrant flesh tones, energetic brush strokes, and stylish clothing.

Nancy Calder
Clock Tower

Clock Tower represents the challenges I experienced with my concept of time and place during the COVID lockdown.

Miki K. T. Chart
Staring at the Direction

During the pandemic, many societal problems were brought to the forefront, which affected me and caused artist’s block. My poet friend suggested that I try to write a poem by drawing it, using lines and tones, like writing a letter. In my drawing, I created a realistically rendered young woman as a symbol of strong determination and energy. I surrounded her with a background of random tones and strokes using a charcoal dust wash to express a roughened and restless emotion.

Emanuela De Musis (ARA Boston)
All the Iron Turn to Rust

Mingchuan (Mitchell) Hsu
Old Town Café

Mingchuan (Mitchell) Hsu

Eric Johnson (ARA Boston)
The Springtime of Youth

Alexandrea Nicholas-Jennings
Winged King of the Avians

Steven’s strong and slightly beaked nose is one of his many endearing features – it also influenced my bird tessellation design which serves as a flat backdrop to the King. Gold leaf is peppered throughout the tessellation creating a visual play between flat shapes and rendered forms in this composition. Varying optical textures and the limited fall palette were influenced by the brisk autumn days of this painting’s conception.

Durer’s “Knight, Death and Devil” influenced his stance representing both “physical and spiritual” strength.

Anita Van Zeumeren
God is Red

Colonialism has left a legacy of pain in Indigenous Peoples and in the Earth itself. With a grateful heart to Indigenous elders, my awe and wonder in this beautiful earth has grown. I grew up hearing words like subdue or dominion. These moccasins belong to a female traditional dancer. As she moves gracefully, her feet never completely leave the ground symbolizing her inherent connection to the Earth. It is an Indigenous understanding of the Earth that will save us.