AENY 2016 Recap: Highlights from an Incredible Year


That’s a wrap! Artexpo New York has taken the fine-art scene by storm yet again, and we’ve got the sales, stories, and gorgeous collection of photos and videos to prove it. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who played a part, from our extraordinary exhibitors and generous sponsors to our ever-eager attendees. Read on to find out more about 2016’s show—we’re proud to say it was another phenomenal one!

Panoramic view of Artexpo New York 2016.

Panoramic view of Artexpo New York 2016.

Moments to Remember
Throughout the four-day weekend, attendees enjoyed a number of exciting events, from the VIP Opening Night Preview Party featuring the unveiling of this year’s Poster Challenge winner to inspiring Art Talks, Meet the Artist sessions, and more. Famed dance photographer Jordan Matter wowed us all with his live photo shoots, and painters from around the world gave us a peek at their creative process during live art demonstrations. On Friday, author and industry leader Pamela N. Danziger gave the Keynote Presentation to a rapt audience of exhibitors and trade attendees.

Sculpture by Carlos Vallenilla.

Sculpture by Carlos Vallenilla.

Tristina Dietz Elmes, Julia Carter, and Nick Paciorek discuss their careers as artists.

Tristina Dietz Elmes, Julia Carter, and Nick Paciorek discuss their careers as artists.

Attendees find something to smile about around every corner.

Attendees find something to smile about around every corner.

Sculpture by Alexis Silk of Mattson's Fine Art.

Sculpture by Alexis Silk of Mattson’s Fine Art.

2016 Artexpo Award Winners
Over a dozen artists and galleries were given special recognition during Artexpo this year for their work that went above and beyond. Here’s a full list of 2016 award recipients:

  • SOLO Awards: Gordon Harrison; Peter Gish; Eddie Shen
  • FOTO SOLO Awards: Michael Ezra; George Saitas; Jan Gordon
  • Best International Exhibitor: Ms. Zheng Hui Rong, American Hairong; Oskar Rabenda; Tessa Aalbregt
  • Best Sculpture: Gallery Giuseppe; Rodo Padilla Sculpture
  • Best Booth Design: Mattson’s Fine Art
  • Directors’ Award: Anna Art Publishing
  • Best New Exhibitor: Harvest Mountain
  • 20th Anniversary Award: Samir Sammoun, Sammoun Fine Art
  • 25th Anniversary Award: Rami Rotkopf, Smart Publishing
  • 30th Anniversary Award: Victor Forbes, Fine Art Magazine


Artexpo New York 2016

[FOTO SOLO] Award Winner George Saitas with RMG’s Linda Mariano and Rick Barnett.

Artexpo New York 2016

20th Anniversary Award winner Samir Sammoun with RMG’s Rick Barnett.

Artexpo New York 2016

Anna Razumovskaya of Anna Art Publishing, winner of the Directors’ Award.

Top Sales & Success Stories
Here’s a sampling of some of our exhibitors’ top sales and feedback for the event. See more testimonials here

  • “Artexpo was an incredible event for us this year. Redwood Media is definitely the premier show producer in the country; we love working with them and their amazing team!” -Jeffrey Bisaillon, Jbis Contemporary Gallery
  • Samir Sammoun, our 20-year AENY artist, sold 15 originals on the first day and 3 additional pieces throughout the show, ranging in price from $10,000 to $50,000 each.
  • Rising Artist Martijn of STALE Amsterdam sold both of his paintings, for a total of $10,000. We look forward to hosting him at Spectrum Miami!
  • Art Design Consultants (ADC) sold 30 originals the first day of the show, many of which were by artist Ken Raussch.
  • “We had a successful weekend at the Artexpo show last weekend, selling two large sculptures for $90,000 each and making many helpful connections with collectors and galleries during the event. Thanks for everything!” -Marko Stout, Marko Stout Gallery
  • Vienna, Austria’s the Gallery Steiner sold seven paintings, four of which were from an artist who was a student of Gerhard Richter. They were thrilled with the show!
  • “Mihir and I would like to thank the whole RMG team for putting up such a great show … My artworks received high appreciation and over half the paintings displayed were purchased … We’re looking forward to Spectrum Miami!” -Rajvi Dedhia Unadkat, Rajvi Dedhia Unadkat Fine Art Gallery
  • [SOLO] Exhibitor Jenn Williamson sold four large originals
  • James Paterson sold a $450 silkscreen print plus 10 of his Prayer Machines at $2,000–5,000 each, and he also garnered two commissions at $4,000+ each!
  • Art Brand Studios boasted several great sales, including three wrapped canvases and two Simon Bull originals at $11,000 and $2,500.
Artwork by Blair Cahill/ADC Fine Art.

Artwork by Blair Cahill/ADC Fine Art.

Marko Stout's vibrant sculptures drummed up attention.

Marko Stout’s vibrant sculptures drummed up attention.

Media Buzz
Artexpo New York garnered tons of attention in media outlets in New York and beyond, with coverage including a shout-out in PAPER magazine, which dubbed our show as a “must-see,” a segment on CBS New York, and many others. We also reached tens of thousands of fans via social media, offering followers around the world up-to-the-minute event tidbits and photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks to everyone liking and following us on our social media channels—we love keeping you engaged!

Examining the gorgeous works of Mecenavie Gallery.

Examining the gorgeous works of Mecenavie Gallery.

Kaleo in front of his pop art, with Gallery Giuseppe sculptures in the forefront.

Kaleo in front of his pop art, with Gallery Giuseppe sculptures in the forefront.

The colorful artwork of Joel Amit.

The colorful artwork of Joel Amit.

Exhibit in 2017
Inspired by this year’s event to give exhibiting a shot yourself, or want to return to Artexpo after having a successful show this year? Apply for 2017 here, or contact our helpful sales team—they’ll be happy to help you.



Saturday at Artexpo marked the show’s busiest day yet, drawing thousands of attendees eager for artistic invigoration to the halls of Pier 94. Boasting booth after booth of extraordinary paintings, sculpture, glassworks, and photography, the 38th annual Artexpo New York offered something for everyone.


A line of eager artgoers at the Registration Desk.


An attendee views the vivid mixed-media work of Christybomb.


Artwork by Stygian Publishing.


Agnese Melbarde’s colorful paintings command attendees’ attention.

Visitors to the show were captivated by live demonstrations from artists hailing from around the globe, and enjoyed Art Talks such as “The Journey of a Working Artist” by Crista Cloutier, “Six Spheres of Success” by Michael Joseph, “Stewardship: Insuring the Legacy” by Jeannie Stanca, and a discussion with three successful artists—Tristina Dietz Elmes, Julia Carter, and Jeanne Bessette—about their respective careers.


A live art demonstration by Oscar Abreu of Boutaleb Gallery.


Artist Peris Carbonell demonstrates his painting technique.


RMG’s Rick Barnett speaks with [FOTO SOLO] Award winner Jan Gordon.


Uliana Zelinskaya of BlinkGroup Gallery stands by her work.

Showgoers will get one last chance today until 6 p.m. to peruse the fine art displayed at this world-renowned show. Here’s the lineup of events scheduled for Sunday. Not in New York? No worries—you’ll get an inside look at what it’s like to be at the show with our exclusive videos. Check them out here!


Featured works by Michele Righetti Contemporary Art.


Perusing the works of Mattson’s Fine Art.


A striking image showcased at the World Wide Art and Artavita Gallery booth.


Showgoers scope out the artwork from Progressive Fine Art.

Last but not least, make sure to check out Artexpo New York on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for fun tidbits throughout the show and leading up to next year. And check back soon for a full show roundup, including top sales, a full list of award winners, and more!



Friday at Artexpo brought throngs of visitors through the gates of Pier 94 to see artwork from over 400 exhibitors from around the world, comprising more than 1,000 artists in total. The doors opened early for the event’s Keynote Presentation by Pam Danziger, “Marketing Art in Today’s New Luxury Style,” during which the renowned speaker, author, and market researcher provided tips for artists and gallery owners in attendance.


Keynote Speaker Pam Danziger giving her presentation, “Marketing Art in Today’s New Luxury Style.”


Striking artwork at the Wolfeyes Creative/GL Wood booth.


Artwork from Blue Gallery.


Vibrant glassworks from Progressive Fine Art.

The day was filled with inspiring Meet the Artist events and live art demonstrations, giving attendees the chance to see featured exhibitors in action and learn about their paths to becoming successful artists. 


[SOLO] 2016 Award Winner Gordon Harrison gives a live art demo.


Dance photographer Jordan Matter always draws a crowd.


Rising Artist Exhibitor Maja Borowicz.

Showgoers also enjoyed mingling with exhibitors and other art lovers alike at the night’s two parties: the Meet & Greet Reception sponsored by Art Brand Studios, and the Focus on Design Friday Reception sponsored by Art Design Consultants. It was another fabulous day and evening at Artexpo—and we know Saturday and Sunday will continue the trend!


Taking in the artwork from Haiyan Gallery.


Elizabeth Raab Photography with Delahaye USA.


The hustle and bustle of Friday night at Artexpo.

Don’t forget to follow Artexpo New York on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on all the fun happening at the show this weekend!



Opening Day at Artexpo New York 2016 drew thousands of trade buyers from around the region, the country, and the world to Pier 94 in Manhattan for a glimpse at the latest offerings in the fine art world. First up, exhibitors gathered for an Open Forum and Sales Seminar, enjoying breakfast while they geared up for the weekend by learning tips on how to best sell their artwork.


RMG President and CEO Eric Smith addresses exhibitors on Thursday morning.


The bustling entrance to Artexpo New York.

Trade attendees got a first look at all the extraordinary sculpture, glassworks, painting, photography, and more on display this year as they made their way through booth after stunning booth, on the lookout for their next acquisition. While some enjoyed the informative Topics & Trends seminars slated for the day, others milled around the show with live-action art demos in mind. One such highlight was renowned dance photographer Jordan Matter’s live photo shoot with ballet dancers in attendance.


Dancers pose for Jordan Matter.


“Stand by Me III” sculpture by Gilbert Boro of Art Design Consultants.


Glass sculptures by Alexis Silk of Mattson’s Fine Art.


Attendees examine the vibrant works of Carlos Vallenilla.


Paintings by Stale Amsterdam.

From 4 to 7 p.m., Artexpo New York turned up the fun, hosting the highly anticipated annual Opening Night Preview Party, open not just to trade attendees, but also to the general public. Partygoers noshed on hors d’oeuvres and sipped wine while taking in all the sights and sounds of the show. A highlight of the show? Presenting the 2016 Poster Challenge Winner, Adrian Arrieta, to the New York crowd for the very first time. His painting, The Princess of the Strawberry Mouth, earned top marks in this year’s contest, earning him the privilege of having his work featured on the official show poster. You can read more about Adrian here—congrats again!


RMG’s Linda Mariano and Rick Barnett introduce Poster Challenge Winner Adrian Arrieta and his winning artwork.


Thousands of art lovers attended Thursday’s Opening Night Preview Party.


The captivating work of fine art photographer Michael Ezra.

We’ll fill you in tomorrow on all the 2016 Artexpo Award winners and Friday show highlights—stay tuned! Also, make sure to follow Artexpo New York on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay abreast of all that’s going on at Pier 94 this weekend.

AENY 2016 – Art Talks & Seminars



Planning your trip to the show? Be sure to attend one of our Art Talks or Seminars! Here are some highlights from our Education Schedule. For the full schedule click here.

THURSDAY, April 14th

 1pm-2pm | [FOTO SOLO] A Cautionary Tale: Protecting Your Artwork

Award-winning photographer Doug Menuez will share his cautionary tale about taking a personal project and making it into a lasting legacy through print and exhibitions. Joining the conversation will be fine art photographer and gallery owner Michael Joseph of Artblend.

Moderator: David Schloss, Editor-in-Chief of Digital Photo Pro and Digital Photo magazines and Content Development Director for Madavor Media

Speakers: Doug Menuez and Michael Joseph

Location: Education Pavilion

2:30pm-3:30pm | The Hidden Path of the Career Artist

In this talk, Cory Huff of The Abundant Artist will explain the difference between the ways that artists think art is sold and how artists who make a living from their work actually do it.

Speaker: Cory Huff

Location: Education Pavilion


FRIDAY, April 15th

11:00pm-12:00pm | SPECIAL KEYNOTE PRESENTATION:“Marketing Art in Today’s New Luxury Style” by Pam Danziger

Speaker, author, and market researcher Pamela N. Danziger is internationally recognized for her expertise on the world’s most influential consumers: affluent Americans.

Speaker: Pam Danziger

Location: Education Pavilion

 1:00pm-2:00pm | Elements of Design

Join Jennifer Townsend from Larson-Juhl as she reviews the essential design elements for creating memorable rooms. As home building trends have evolved over the past few decades, home furnishings and design have kept pace. Custom frames have also adapted to relate to those changes.

Speaker: Jennifer Townsend

Location: Education Pavilion

 2:30pm-3:30pm | Art Talks: Success Secrets of Amazing Fine Art Photographers

In just five key questions, we’ll uncover the strategies and secrets behind the successful careers of three fine art photographers.

Panel Leader: Linda Mariano

Panel: Gregg Albracht, Anders Jorulf, and Jordan Matter

Education: Education Pavilion

4pm-5pm | Marketing Smarts for Designers and Artists

Generate sales, increase awareness, and brand your business as the premier destination for art and framing. Litsa Spanos, President of Art Design Consultants (ADC), will share creative marketing ideas that can take your art gallery to the next level.

Speaker: Litsa Spanos

Location: Education Pavilion

SATURDAY, April 16th

11am-12pm | The Journey of a Working Artist

Crista Cloutier explores the journey of the artist, how one finds a voice, develops it, and uses it to create a professional career as a working artist. Cloutier uses her own background as an arts dealer, curator, publisher, writer, and artist to illustrate her message of the importance of practice, authenticity, and the coupling of tenacity with audacity.

Speaker: Crista Cloutier

Location: Education Pavilion

12:30pm-1:30pm | Art Talks: Success Secrets of Amazing Artists

In just five key questions, we’ll uncover the strategies and secrets behind the successful careers of three artists.

Panel Leader: Linda Mariano

Panel: Tristina Dietz Elmes, Julia Carter, and Jeanne Bessette

Location: Education Pavilion

2pm-3pm | Six Spheres of Success

The “Six Spheres of Success” is a fact-proven concept in attracting art buyers and each of the elements that makes up a successful art career. The strategic plan is designed to help artist build a brand, nurture a long sustaining career, add value, and increase art sales.

Speaker: Michael Joseph

Location: Education Pavilion

3:30pm-4:30pm | Stewardship: Insuring the Legacy

Get the scoop from an expert on what is needed in today’s world to protect your artwork collection. What is personal property? What is stewardship? And what is needed to protect your art investment? Stanca will answer all those questions in this informative seminar.

Speaker: Jeannie Stanca

Location: Education Pavilion

SUNDAY, April 17th

11am-12pm | Preserving Your Legacy

Learn the data backup strategies, tools, and copyright protections necessary to ensure that your artwork is protected and available decades from now.

Moderator: David Schloss, Editor-in-Chief of Digital Photo Pro and Digital Photo magazines and Content Development Director for Madavor Media

Speakers: Jay Landrum and Jeannie Stanca

Location: Education Pavilion

12:30pm-1:30pm | Art Talks: Success Secrets of Amazing Artists

In just five key questions, we’ll uncover the strategies and secrets behind the successful careers of five artists.

Artists: Mercedes & Franziska Welte, Socrates Marquez, Don Heywood, and James Paterson

Location: Education Pavilion

2pm-3pm | Your Top 10 Checklist for Understanding Art Licensing

To license or not to license—that is the question. How do you decide if licensing is right for you? In this seminar, we’ll cover where to begin in today’s fast-paced licensing world.

Speakers: Linda Mariano and Jay Landrum

Location: Education Pavilion

3:30pm-4:30pm | Breaking the Myth of the Starving Artist

Art is important; it challenges the status quo and leads to innovation and change. Crista Cloutier of The Working Artist encourages artists to claim their rightful role as leaders.

Speakers: Crista Cloutier

Location: Education Pavilion


From Startup to Industry Star: Litsa Spanos, President and Owner of Art Design Consultants



Founded in 1992, ADC, Art Design Consultants, Inc. has grown from a one-woman operation started in a 500-square-foot basement to a successful multi-team-member venture running in a gorgeous gallery space with stunning views. The woman who made it all happen? Litsa Spanos.

In the last 24 years, Spanos has not only built ADC to be the booming business that it is today, helping clients select the perfect artwork for their corporate or residential spaces, but she has also received several honors along the way, including the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce & WE Celebrate’s “Woman-Owned Business of the Year” award in 2013. The accolades couldn’t go to a more deserving person—Litsa gives back as much as she receives, supporting numerous regional non-profit organizations and causes in addition to nurturing her clientele, ADC team, and family.


The ADC Gallery

Always with her finger on the pulse of what’s next in the art market, Litsa provides a valuable perspective for trade buyers and artists alike. We got to talk with her about her path to success as well as her tips for those rising in the industry:

What have been some of the challenges in your career, as well as some of the highlights?
The challenges are similar to what all small businesses face—finding new clients or talent and then bringing everyone together in an impactful way. Highlights of my career include being named “Woman-Owned Business of the Year”; publishing a beautiful art-filled book (Blink Art Resource); landing incredible new corporate, healthcare, and residential projects; and being able to work with creative and talented people every day.

Any pleasant surprises or memorable experiences on your path to success that you’d like to share?
A pleasant surprise was finding our incredible location in downtown Cincinnati during the recession. It’s a light-filled, 10,000-square-foot gallery with sweeping views of the city. It beautifully showcases all types of art, from paintings and sculpture to photography and mixed media. Our clients never want to leave, and we are all inspired every day!

What do you think are the most essential qualities one must have to succeed in the art world?
Perseverance, the willingness to take risks, honesty, and ethics.

What do you see coming up in the art market, trendwise?
Many of our clients want something different, unusual, and unexpected. Artists need to think outside the box and create works that no one else has. Whether it’s a new way to print photographs or painting on unusual surfaces, think fresh, new, and exciting. Starting a conversation and creating an interesting dialogue between the buyer and seller is what makes sales happen!



ADC has several exciting things coming up this year, starting with the launch of the 2016 Blink Art Resource at Artexpo New York. This stunning, image-rich guide for designers, galleries, and consultants features work from hundreds of exceptional artists in a wide variety of mediums for sourcing work with ease and efficiency. Ask Litsa about it at while you’re at the show, or check out the details at In addition, ADC will be hosting the Artist Success Summit this June 3–4, an inspiring two-day conference and networking event that equips artists with everything they need to succeed in today’s competitive art market. For more on the Summit, visit ADC also proudly sponsors Art Comes Alive (ACA), an annual fine art contest and exhibit that awards over $250,000 to the brightest and best artists working in North America. For more information, visit


Gregg Albracht, 2016 Spotlight Artist


Gregg Albracht

Fine art photographer Gregg Albracht’s passion for photography started in the summer of 1969 when he saw a portfolio of fine art photos. “I was mesmerized by their richness and beauty,” Albracht says. “It was in that moment that photography took a hold of me and I discovered what was to become my life’s work.” Starting decades ago with black-and-white images, he has evolved his craft over time and, today, uses all means of photographic technology to adapt his images for his new Dream Series. Many of Albracht’s photographs are considered a window to the west—a timeless place where human beings live in deep connection to the animals and the land. He’s not after a uniform look, which would tie his photographs together, but rather approaches each new image as if it’s the first he’s ever done.

Albracht - London-Calling

London Calling

Albracht - Kasure


Albracht has had more than 80 shows all over the west and has won more than 25 regional and national awards. His photographs are exhibited in museum collections throughout the country including collections in Montana, Santa Fe, Nebraska, and Washington, D.C.

Albracht - Alice



A much-anticipated programming element of Redwood Media Group’s other art shows, the Spotlight Artist Program is being featured for the very first time at Artexpo New York in 2016 and will continue to be a highlight at the show in future years. Gregg Albracht is one of four esteemed artists selected for this year’s Spotlight Artist Program.

Jonathan Brender, 2016 Spotlight Artist


Jonathan Brender
Born in Caracas, Jonathan Brender has felt passionate about the arts since he was a young boy, growing up in a unique cultural melting pot of native Venezuelans and Europeans. Jonathan started drawing comics, cars, and boats until he moved on to study ceramics and sculpture for three years at the renowned Arte y Fuego.

Feeling the need to expand his knowledge, culture and skills, he eventually moved to the U.S. to pursue the art of canvas painting with a unique modern style. Inspired by a two-month trip he took to Australia’s back country, Brender began to study the Aborigines’ art of pointillism. He started modifying that art into portraits of modern icons and found immediate success at exhibitions with his new style. With each piece of artwork containing up to 180,000 painted dots, Brender caps his artistic output at 10–12 paintings a year because the process is so time-consuming.

Brender - Untitled 5

Untitled 5

Brender’s unique cultural and artistic background, along with his experience, vision, and personality, makes his work one of a kind. He’s exhibited his work in places such as Israel, England, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, and the U.S. Some of his work can be seen at prestigious five-star hotels in Venezuela, Commercial Buildings in Miami, and private collections around the world.

Brender - Untitled 4

Untitled 4


Brender - Untitled 3

Untitled 3

A much-anticipated programming element of Redwood Media Group’s other art shows, the Spotlight Artist Program is being featured for the very first time at Artexpo New York in 2016 and will continue to be a highlight at the show in future years. Jonathan Brender is one of four esteemed artists selected for this year’s Spotlight Artist Program.

Alexis Silk, 2016 Spotlight Artist


Alexis Silk Alexis Silk is breaking exciting ground with dramatic new works in blown glass and metal that are at once timeless and thought provoking. Emerging from the intersection of the artist’s fascination with the human figure, passion for her molten medium, and desire for conceptual expression, the work exhibits surprising maturity and depth. Technically, Silk is pushing the boundaries of what is possible, sculpting her glass figures entirely freehand while the glass is hot on the end of a blowpipe or punty rod. Her largest figures are close to half her body weight and take a team of six assistants to handle the glass while she is sculpting it. While making intrinsically beautiful objects, Silk explores issues of human nature, society, and the relationship of humans, nature, and industry. Her hanging figures are an eloquent exploration of objectification of the body.

Silk - black-red-hanging-female-no-frame

Black and Red Hanging Female

Since receiving her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005, Silk has continued to study with glass masters such as Pino Signoretto, Richard Royal, and Boyd Sugiki. She has been working full time as an artist since 2006. Today she has work in museums, galleries, private collections, and fine art shows around the world.

Alexis Silk - Red Angel

Red Angel

Silk in the studio

Alexis Silk in the Studio

A much-anticipated programming element of Redwood Media Group’s other art shows, the Spotlight Artist Program is being featured for the very first time at Artexpo New York in 2016 and will continue to be a highlight at the show in future years. Alexis Silk is one of four esteemed artists selected for this year’s Spotlight Artist Program.


Introducing Adrian Arrieta, 2016 Poster Challenge Winner


Adrian Arrieta

Meet Adrian Arrieta, the 23-year-old artist who took our social media-powered Artexpo New York Poster Challenge by storm in his quest to garner the most votes in the 2016 contest. Earning the top honor with his painting The Princess of the Strawberry Mouth, Arrieta looks back with us at his journey and the sacrifices he’s made to get to this point—a point we are confident signals just the beginning of an exciting art career ahead.

Born in Rodas, a municipality in the Cienfuegos Province of Cuba, Arrieta grew up longing to become an artist, but often felt discouraged by the impracticality of his dreams. “I was always skeptical about becoming an artist in my country,” Arrieta explains. “I [could] never find the freedom to criticize society through my paintings without being repressed here … The lack of freedom in Cuba imposes a protocol that needs to be followed.”

Nevertheless, Arrieta, the son of a pharmacist and an English teacher, immersed himself in art whenever he could, thriving during the portion of his school day that he got to spend in art class. He shares, “Although I enjoyed the other subjects at school, my art class stood out the most. Perhaps it was the chance of getting to express what I felt in those 45 minutes of class that drove me towards the bizarre idea of becoming an artist.”

At age 14, Arrieta left his home to attend the Benny Moré School of Art, one of the top visual and performing arts schools in Cuba. Unsure if it was worth being separated from his family in order to pursue such an elusive goal with meager financial support, he nevertheless pressed on, eventually graduating at the top of his class. His fine standing upon completion at the academy provided him with several opportunities to exhibit his work throughout the Cienfuegos Province. “I never denied an opportunity,” says Arrieta. “I would barely sleep, but just to think that somebody could understand my work and actually like it was my definite accomplishment.”

After graduating, Arrieta decided to come to the United States to attend college in Miami and broaden his potential exhibition opportunities. “I came to the U.S. not only to begin my studies in graphic design, but also to be able to exhibit at the best places in the country,” he explains. “One of those places—and perhaps the first one on the list—was New York.”

Upon arriving in Miami, he finally set about to put his creative ideas to work—but he quickly became bogged down by the pressures of making a living while pursuing his education. Working 48 hours a week to help his family pay for their basic needs while attending classes Monday through Friday, Arrieta felt his dream of painting was fading.

“But I never give up,” asserts Arrieta, “To be able to paint is my only dream and I will do anything in order to achieve it.” When he was researching painting contests in the United States one day this past January, he came upon the call for entries to the 2016 Artexpo New York Poster Challenge. Never one to turn down an opportunity, no matter how daunting, Arrieta submitted The Princess of the Strawberry Mouth to the contest, hoping against hope that his artwork would end up being the one that tens of thousands of show attendees would see splashed across the Artexpo show poster come spring.

Much to Arrieta’s surprise, his painting was chosen from over 550 original entries as a top 10 finalist by the selection jury just two weeks later. “I barely slept for a week when I received the notice that I was one of the 10 finalists,” he confesses, “and I could not stop thanking my friends and family for supporting me on social media.” Amassing the largest number of votes on Facebook during the one-week public voting period, Arrieta was named the winner of the 2016 contest, scoring a host of exposure opportunities that totaled a value of $20,000, including the chance to exhibit his work at Artexpo New York.


Arrieta is still incredulous that the last couple of months transpired the way they did. “I will never be thankful enough for the opportunities I have received in this country, to receive such an enormous chance,” he shares. “I am [exhibiting] in New York and, as I am saying this, I still cannot believe it.”


View Adrian Arrieta’s winning artwork, The Princess of the Strawberry Mouth, at Booth S704 in the [SOLO] Pavilion.