From life : 7th oil portrait sketching competition

Aug 20, 2023

parlor, skylight gallery, Thomas Moran gallery, Hartley room


Salmagundi Library Committee
Private Foundation

$55 | Registration per artist
Available only through Eventbrite; tickets will not be sold at the door.

Schedule of Events

9:15 AM | Doors open to participants
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM | Competition
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Jurying, group photograph and pizza for contestants
4:00 PM | Doors open to the public
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM | Contest winners announcement

Artist Eligibility

Open to all artists. You do not have to be a member of the Salmagundi Club to participate.
All schools of art, ateliers, academies, and artists national and international are eligible.
Limited to 55 artists.
For waitlist, please contact Alexander Katlan at (718) 445-7458 or
No refunds of tickets will be given if unable to attend after registering.
A white man from the shoulders up. Two portraits from two different angles
Jessica Artman, Portrait of Charlie Mostow


This will be a one-day on-site competition, in which artists work from life. Full figure or partial figure paintings are acceptable.


$4,500 in cash prizes awarded:

1st Prize / Purchase prize | $3000 + $50 Chelsea Classical Studio Fine Art Materials certificate

2nd Prize | $1000 + $50 Chelsea Classical Studio Fine Art Materials certificate

3rd Prize | $500 + $50 Chelsea Classical Studio Fine Art Materials certificate


This competition will follow a blind judging process, which requires artists to not put a signature on their drawing. If a signature is found, the artwork will be disqualified from consideration. All artists must leave the galleries when the jurors enter at 3:00. Artists may choose to be omitted from being judged for prizes, if they so choose.


Easels are limited; up to 12 available for +$10
Artists must add the Easel add-on when purchasing their Eventbrite ticket. If easels are no longer available via Eventbrite, Alexander Katlan may be contacted prior to the event to be added to the waitlist.

Medium Limitations

The paintings should be done in oil. No turpentine is allowed; only odorless mineral spirits or non-toxic, odorless turpentine substitute. No painting can be larger than 16” x 20”.

Sketching location

Upon entering the skylight gallery, each artist will draw a number and proceed to the easel spot and model assigned to that number. Easel locations may not be changed or traded.


Four models will be participating, one in each gallery. Each model will hold a single pose for five hours (breaking every 20 minutes for 5 minutes).

Panel of Jurors

Three distinguished artists of the New York Metropolitan art scene will serve as jurors:

Liz Beard
Portrait of a woman with long, straight, full hair sitting behind a circular table with a vase of flowers.

Liz Beard is best known for her work done from life and draws inspiration from visual beauty and the poetry of experience. Large scale figure narrative paintings as well as simple but sensitive still-lives invite the viewer into reflection. Her education includes a BFA from Miami University of Ohio, a classical training at Ingbretson Studio, The Academy of Realist Art Boston, and Grand Central Atelier. Her education included working exclusively from life and this practice remains at the center of her art making process. In addition to painting, Liz teaches at Grand Central Atelier in NY where she is challenged by the energy and talent of her students. She is proud to have been born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and is currently living in Sunnyside, New York. She works full time on her art in a studio in Long Island City, Queens.

Gregory Mortenson
Portrait of a girl with braids looking over her shoulder on a cloudy day.

Gregory Mortenson (b.1976) is one of the most accomplished in a new generation of painters who have embraced the rigors of training in the atelier tradition. After completing his undergraduate studies at Southern Virginia University, in Buena Vista, he spent two years studying classical painting with Patrick Devonas and William Whitaker. He then moved to New York City, where he completed the four-year curriculum at the Grand Central Academy of Art under Jacob Collins, followed with two additional years of training in Collins’ private studio. Mortenson emerged from this lengthy apprenticeship with an impeccable classical technique that allows him to present exquisitely turned form and tonal rendering of great subtlety. This prowess is most evident in his portraiture, where the precision of description and delicate paint handling give quite a breathtaking sense of presence to the subject.

(Bio borrowed from American Artist Magazine)

Jessica Artman
Jessica Artman sits in a studio, painting a portrait from multiple references.

Jessica Artman (b.1985) grew up in Central Florida. Her studio is located in West New York, NJ and she is core instructor at the Grand Central Atelier. She received both her BFA and MFA before beginning her classical training with Jacob Collins at the Grand Central Atelier in 2012. During her studies with the Grand Central Atelier, Jessica received two Art Renewal Center awards for excellence and GCAs Structure Prix award. She is a Hudson river fellow, and a reoccurring Metropolitan Museum Copyist. Since completion of the four year program, Jessica began teaching Drawing and Painting with the Grand Central Atelier and was a founding instructor at the Paris Academy of Art. While her work focuses on the figure and anatomy, the principles and philosophy fostered in the atelier system continue to guide her studio practice. She believes in drawing as the source of all knowledge of truth and understanding and aims to develop drawings and paintings that resonate in the classical tradition.

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