12th International ARC Salon Traveling Exhibition Opens at the MEAM (European Museum of Modern Art) Exhibition




On Friday, September 22, 2017, ARC (Art Renewal Center) held the opening reception and award ceremony for their 12th Annual International Salon Exhibition at the MEAM (European Museum of Modern Art) in Barcelona, Spain.  It was held in conjunction with the presentation of the winners of the 8th Contest of Figurative Painting and Sculpture 2017 (Figurativas 2017) sponsored by the Fundació de les Arts i els Artistes.  These are the largest and most prestigious representational art competitions in North America and Europe respectively, and in this combined show they have assembled the latest work of some of the best representational artists from all over the world.


Photo courtesy of ARC


Photo courtesy of ARC

In this annual showcase for top contemporary representational art, 85 works were on display in the ARC Salon and 91 works were on display in Figurativas 2017 show.  ARC reported that the entries to both competitions combined numbered over 5,500 works submitted by over 3,000 artists from over 90 countries.  When I think of the high quality of these artworks teamed with the sheer number of entries, it is an additional honor to have been included in this remarkable assemblage of work.















As an exhibiting artist I was invited to attend the opening reception and awards ceremony.  I could not resist a trip to enchanting Barcelona to see my work in what would be my first European museum exhibition.  The reception was a well-attended and wonderfully successful event.  There were four speakers for the opening ceremony – Kara Lysandra Ross, ARC Chief Operating Officer and the ARC exhibition organizer; Tenaya Sims, Recipient of this year’s Best in Show; Susan Tintori, Director of the Florence Academy of Art; and José Manuel Infiesta, MEAM Museum Director and Founder.  Awards were presented by Kara Lysandra Ross, and all exhibiting artists in attendance were called to the front for recognition, applause, and a group photo.



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Accepting awards from Kara Lysandra Ross


Having previously seen the majority of these works on display in the classic brownstone beauty of the grand Salmagundi Club on the first leg of the ARC Salon Traveling Exhibition, seeing them in the different context of the MEAM was interesting.  The rustic walls of the centuries-old building provided a striking juxtaposition to the polished works and made for a perfect backdrop to the show.  The setting and layout gave the paintings a chance to interact with each other and their environment differently – just as the personalities of people combine with one another for different outcomes, so did those of the paintings.





On Saturday, September 23, 2017, an additional event was held at the MEAM.  It included a screening of a short film with an overview of the judging process for Figurativas 2017;  a discussion with Tenaya Sims, Kara Lysandra Ross, José Manuel Infiesta, and Daniel Graves (Founder of the Florence Academy of Art) about representational art today;  and an Artist’s Roundtable led by Kara Lysandra Ross where all artists in attendance could participate in a discussion of the challenges, concerns, and hopes of today’s artists.




I feel it is really quite a thrill and an honor to be exhibiting in this incredibly prestigious salon and venue, and I am not alone in this feeling.  The sentiment was common, it seemed, among all the other exhibiting artists with whom I spoke.  Spending time with the artists whom I know was a pleasure, as was having the opportunity to meet more artists from both the ARC Salon & the outstanding Figurativas show.  I also enjoyed meeting the founder of the MEAM, José Manuel Infiesta.  He was a joy to speak with as he is a warm and engaging personality who is clearly passionate about promoting art and artists.

Jose and Nicole

Painter, Nicole Moné with José Infiesta, MEAM Founder



Opening night ARC Salon and Figurativas 2017


It is heartening that this resurgence in representational art is being fostered by those dedicated to reshaping the definition of modern art.  That “modern” can be representational and that artwork of classic beauty and skill is not only relevant, but steadily rising in the arena of contemporary interest.  Kudos to ARC and MEAM for joining forces with this amazing pairing of exhibits in their continuing efforts to support artists and advance representational art worldwide.


The 12th International ARC Salon Live Exhibition will remain on view through November 27th, 2017 at the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain and is the final leg of the traveling exhibition. For additional information about the show, please visit the ARC Salon website.
I have treasured this opportunity to show with world-class artists in outstanding venues and would recommend entering the ARC Salon to any representational artist.
Submissions are currently being accepted through November 15, 2017 for the 13th International ARC Salon – you may apply here: Art Renewal Center

Sedona Art Prize Grand Prize Winner

Back in February, I learned of the Sedona Art Prize through Facebook. I decided to enter several of my paintings. It was overwhelming and humbling to learn that I won the Sedona Art Prize 2016/2017 for my painting, Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler)! This painting has been very good to me and I would like to think that Aaron knows about the painting’s success. 

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Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler)  24×36 inches – Oil on Linen

This year-long competition receives thousands of entries. Twelve finalists are selected by a separate judge each month. At the end of the competition year the 144 finalists from all twelve months are judged by a a panel of final awards judges. 

Judges’ Comment: Blowing Smoke is a masterful painting on many levels. Painted with oil on linen, it depicts the late, renowned portrait artist, Aaron Shikler, famous for painting the official White House portrait of President John F. Kennedy, among others. Blowing Smoke’s striking composition is immediately dramatic and purposeful, from the effect of its surprisingly wide gamut of cascading light-to-dark color values to its clever, supporting latticework of subtly-defined geometric lines surrounding the subject’s organic forms. As a portrait, this work far surpasses the usual rendering of a likeness–its technical proficiency and excellence is practically assumed as the oil painting medium transcends to reveal a living, breathing man and his personal story. References to Mr. Shikler’s distinctive occupation include jars of brushes and a fine art print receding into the background. His head and shoulders seem enveloped in a halo of cool morning sunlight, with the sensation that illumination of the mind flows from such beautifully crafted imagery–one can imagine he is carefully considering what he is about to say. With the lighting of his pipe, artist Nicole Moné captures that unmistakable yet fleeting moment of ignition, with smoke and fire naturally rising from the pipe, a palpable moment in time. We find ourselves transported and suddenly engaged in conversation with a fascinating and accomplished celebrity artist who is about to answer our next burning question!

Huge thanks to the people of the Sedona Art Prize (Now known as Gateway International Painting Competition) and to final awards judges, Michael W. Cothren, Vince Fazio, and Victoria Oldham for this tremendous honor and such a lovely review of the work. Congratulations to all the Award winners and finalists! There were amazing artists in this competition!

Second place went to the beautifully painted Edward Inman Sr. by Suzie Baker

Edward Inman Senior by Suzie Baker    20 x 16 inches – Oil


Third place went to the impressive watercolor Spaghetti Junction by Alan Wylie

Spaghetti Junction by Alan Wylie  – 24 x 24 inches – Watercolor


Honorable Mentions

Ocean Lights by Leslie Sealy   Acrylic on Cardboard

On the Hill, California by Mason Manning Kang  40 x 30 inches – Oil

Gold Coins by Christine Debrosky   18 x 24 inches   Pastel

You can read the judges’ comments about all the winning paintings here: Gateway International Art Competition/ Sedona Art Prize Grand Prize Winners

The new Gateway International Painting Competition for 2017/18 began this August. If you are an artist – enter the competition! This is a terrific opportunity for artists and being an online competition, there is no shipping of works, leaving them free for additional shows. The people of Gateway International Art Competition/ Sedona Art Prize are friendly, very helpful, and easy to communicate with when you have questions.

Be sure to follow them on Facebook to see the featured artist entries throughout the year.

Good luck!




End of Summer News from my Studio

Good morning! I hope that you have been enjoying a wonderful summer. Here in my studio, the last half of the summer has been quite eventful. With many deadlines approaching for various shows, there have been long hours punctuated by some good news.

Earlier in the summer I was invited to create a painting for the “Cats vs. Dogs” group exhibit at the Vendue in Charleston, SC (in partnership with Robert Lange Studios). A group of 40 artists were selected from hundreds of submissions to make works for the cat and dog themed exhibit. The exhibit is benefitting the Charleston SPCA. As an animal lover, I was thrilled to be invited to create a painting (not to mention the beautiful venue). I love all animals, but for the fun of the exhibit the artists had to choose if they would represent cats or dogs.


Bookmark – 20 x 24 inches – Oil on Linen Mounted on Board

Bookmark was created for the show. The subjects of the image are my guy, David, and one of our two girls, Ernestine or “Ernie” – named for Ernest Hemingway (a favorite author of mine and a famed lover of cats). We adore her and she adores us – it’s a pretty good gig.

I never tire of seeing scenes such as this unfold in real time. I wanted to convey the ease, trust, and comedy in the daily routines of a family with cats. There is sweetness in her desire to join in every activity and, once experienced, one can’t help but have a deep love and affection for these glorious little creatures. And, there is great kindness in someone who doesn’t protest this type of hurdle but rather calmly finds a way to coexist with their smaller, furry family members. As anyone with cats will understand, sometimes you simply move part of the cat and continue reading.

In the painting I wanted to give a nod to the long connection between artists and cats. I chose to use Théophile Alexandre Steinlen’s iconic Le Chat Noir image and added Pablo Picasso’s Cat Devouring a Bird to the mug. (The steaming coffee so close to her back legs adds an exciting element of danger to a quiet morning of reading – and she sees something that has her transfixed. This might not end well…)

Cats vs. Dogs Exhibition runs from 10/19/2017 through April 2018

Reception: 10/19/2017 6 – 8 pm

Vendue Gallery

19 Vendue Range, Charleston, South Carolina 29401

United States



Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition 

Natural Selection was juried into the Oil Painters of America (OPA) Eastern Regional Exhibition to be held at Anderson Fine Art Gallery in beautiful St. Simons Island, Georgia. OPA is a not for profit educational organization and the first national organization to be established for the sole purpose of representing traditional, representational oil painters.

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Natural Selection – 11 x 14 inches – Oil on Paper Mounted on Board

I am excited to be a part of this exhibition with so many accomplished and impressive artists.

The exhibition will run from November 17 through December 16, 2017.  The Anderson Gallery will be hosting the opening reception and awards ceremony on Friday, November 17, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for artists, friends, press and the public.

Anderson Fine Art Gallery

3309 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, Georgia (United States)

Natural Selection was also selected as a Finalist in the June 2017 Bold Brush Painting Competition. Thank you to juror, David Kassan!


I hope you enjoy the last days of summer and I wish you beautiful days filled with inspiration!

12th International ARC Salon Live Exhibition



Click on the image to visit the Facebook event page.

I am honored to have my painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) included in the 12th Annual Art Renewal Center (ARC) Salon and to have my painting hanging alongside works by some of today’s best artists in this prestigious exhibition. If you have the chance to go, you will not want to miss this outstanding show.

The Art Renewal Center (ARC), a 501(c)(3), non-profit, educational foundation, is proud to present the 12th International ARC Salon Exhibition which will consist of 82 Contemporary Realist works, selected from an original 3,100 entries from 63 countries. The most prestigious realist art competition in the Americas and perhaps the world, the International ARC Salon offers over $100,000 in cash awards and International recognition through partnerships with prestigious magazines, galleries, museum exhibitions, and a strong online presence. The ARC Salon Exhibition will be on view at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Ave., New York, NY from May 12th – June 1st, 2017. The exhibition will then travel to the MEAM Museum, Barcelona, Spain where it will be on view from September 23 – November 27, 2017. Although many of the works in the exhibition are on loan from private collections from around the world, many of the works are also available for sale. For inquires and to learn more please visit https://www.arcsalon.org ; or write to kara.ross@artrenewal.org.

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My painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) – Recipient of the Collection Magazine Publication Award and Dual Category Award.


Musings and News from the Studio

Good evening. Sitting here in my studio, surrounded by my paintings, I have been thinking a lot about my friend Aaron. Tomorrow, March 18th, would have been his 95th birthday. This week, Facebook “memories” popped up in my newsfeed with photos of Aaron, and a friend had sent me a video clip of him.

I learned this week that my painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) was juried into the 84th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Hudson Valley Art Association to be held at the Salmagundi Club in New York City 4/30 – 5/5.

Also, I learned just this morning that Blowing Smoke is a Finalist in the Sedona Art Prize.

It made me happy to see these things and get this news. With so many memories of Aaron appearing this week, it seemed like he was saying hello – and making sure I didn’t forget his birthday.

I will share one of my favorite photos. Here we are in Aaron’s studio in front of my painting of him. It is such a happy memory for me. Happy Birthday, Aaron!


Aaron, lighting my pipe (or, rather, his pipe that he let me borrow) in his studio – November 2014. My portrait of him is on the easel.


Prints, T-Shirts, and the Winner of the America the Beautiful Fine Art Print Random Drawing! 

When the t-shirt company, Bonfire was running a little behind on shipping the America the Beautiful t-shirts from the pre-sale (end date February 21, 2017), as a thank you for being patient, everyone who ordered was automatically entered in a random drawing for an America the Beautiful Limited Edition Fine Art Print.

The winner is Anahid U. of Forest Hills, NY! Congratulations, Anahid! Your print will be on its way to you very soon!

People who had missed the February 21st pre-sale deadline for t-shirts asked if we would sell the shirts again. America the Beautiful T-Shirts available here. They are once again on sale through Monday, March 21, 2017. After that date, the shirts will be printed. Please allow 7-14 business days after that date to receive the shirt(s).

Please note: The Women’s Slim Fit Tee runs small, size up. The shirt has a more vibrant graphic than do the Limited Edition Fine Art Prints which are color matched to the original artwork.


Limited edition fine art prints are still on sale in the Nicole Moné Fine Art website store.

Once again, 50% of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales, and 30% of the proceeds from the sale of the fine art prints, will be donated to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Planned Parenthood. Thank you for your support!

All good things to you!



12th International Art Renewal Center Salon Competition and Live Exhibition

The Art Renewal Center (ARC) is a highly regarded organization dedicated to the renewal of traditional art education and training. In their 12th International ARC Salon Competition, there were 1,006 finalist works (representing 32% of works submitted) by 640 artists from 63 countries. I was thrilled to be among the finalists and to have my painting, Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler), awarded the Collection Magazine Award and Dual Category Award.

From the award winners and the balance of the 1,006 finalist works, ARC is in the process of selecting between 75-100 works to be included in the live exhibit of the ARC Salon that will travel from the Salmagundi Club in New York, New York to the MEAM Museum in Barcelona, Spain.

I am honored and pleased to announce that my painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) has been selected for inclusion in what promises to be an exceptional exhibit.


Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) 36″x24″ – Oil on Linen


The 12th International ARC Salon Exhibition will be on view at the Salmagundi Club, NYC from May 12 – June 1, with the public opening reception on Saturday, May 13th from 11am to 3pm. The works will then travel to the MEAM Museum (European Museum of Modern Art) in Barcelona, Spain, where they will be on view from September 23 – November 27, 2017.

To see more of the works included in the Live Exhibition visit artrenewalcenter.org

May 12 – June 1, 2017 – Salmagundi Club – 47 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003  Public Opening – Saturday, May 13th, 2017 –  11am – 3pm

Sept 23 – Nov 27, 2017 – European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), C/ Barra de Ferro 5, 08003, Barcelona, Spain

September 22nd, 2017 – ARC Award Ceremony and Figurativas Opening Ceremony Starts 7pm

September 23rd, 2017 – Artists Forum Starts 11am